Sometimes our pastor likes to change up how he teaches us. There’s always the auditory aspect, but sometimes he uses low-tech visual aids because they can help many people learn and there’s examples of prophets doing the same in the Bible. Singing worship songs and the Lord’s Supper are examples of interactive worship. In 1 Samuel 7, we see another example of interactive worship.
In 1 Samuel 4 the Ark of the Covenant was captured by the Philistines. Then in chapter 5 we see that whichever city held the captured Ark faced devastation, so they returned in chapter 6.
Now we get to 1 Samuel 7 and learn the Ark was returned to Israel and stayed at Kiriath Jearim twenty years (1 Samuel 7:1-2a). During that time Samuel was raised up as a prophet.
The Israelites realized they were a mess and turned back to God. Samuel encouraged them to turn to God with all their heart and to rid themselves of the idols and false gods they worshipped, promising deliverance from the Philistines if they did. And so they did as Samuel encouraged (1 Samuel 7:2b-4).
Then Samuel gathered everyone together and led them in an interactive worship experience. They drew water and poured it out before God and fasted and confessed their sins. They poured out their hearts to God and made a break with the past--when you pour water on the ground, you don’t get it back (1 Samuel 7:5-6). .. Our pastor invited us to do this during the invitation. … Is there anything you need to confess to God, anything you need to cut ties with and leave in the past?
Sometimes when you get right with Lord, your worldly circumstances change for the worse. When they gathered together at Mizpah for that interactive worship, the Philistines took it as a sign of aggression and gathered their army together to go against Israel. The Israelites feared the Philistines because they’ve lost in battle to them a few times before this and now they are about to battle again. So they asked Samuel to keep crying out to God so that God might rescue them. So Samuel offered a sacrifice. As he offered the sacrifice, the Philistines drew close to attack, but God caused a great thunder that threw them into a panic and the they were defeated (1 Samuel 7:7-11).
Now we come to a second act of interactive worship. Samuel set up a stone to commemorate the event, to immortalize the Lord’s help (1 Samuel 7:12). Our memories aren’t always very good and sometimes we forget what God has done for us. Samuel didn’t want this to happen to the Israelites, so he raised up that stone as a way of offering Thanksgiving to God. … Our pastor invited us to go write something God has helped us with on a stone during the invitation. … Has God done anything in your life you need to remember forever? Has he answered a prayer, helped you beat cancer, helped you with anxiety or getting over a loss of a loved one? Make a monument somewhere you will see it and be reminded about God’s goodness everyday.