B i b l e   S t u d y




Rev. Ronald C. Purkey claims no originality for this Bible study outline.

However, every outline posted on this website has been taught by Rev. Purkey.

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SCRIPTURE: 1 Samuel 7:3-11, 15-17


KEY VERSE: And Samuel spake unto all the house of Israel, saying, If ye do return unto the Lord with all your hearts, then put away the strange gods and Ashtaroth from among you, and prepare your hearts unto the Lord, and serve him only: and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines. (1 Samuel 7:3)


BACKGROUND: After twenty years the people of Israel begin to turn back to Jehovah God and away from the false god’s Baalim and Ashtaroth. The people came to the place where they wanted the God of the Bible.


In our day (2012 A.D.) there is a renewed interest in the Word of God. I rejoice in this, because it is my definite conviction that God’s people must get back to the Bible.


(1) I believe that all sixty-six books -- all the way from Genesis to Revelation -- are the Word of God.


(2) I believe in the Bible’s integrity and inerrancy and in the fact that we need to get back to its teachings.


We have been a long time getting back to God’s Word. Progress has been slow. How many more years will it take? Today many people are getting very tired of listening to politicians who make promises, promises, promises, and then do not fulfill them. I want to say in their behalf that they cannot fulfill them -- yet they promise. We also have all kinds of new solutions coming from college professors and leaders in every field. There is only one thing wrong: they will not work! Maybe in desperation America will turn to back God. That is what happened to Israel after twenty years.


INTRODUCTION: According to 1 Samuel 1-2; Joshua 18:28, the Ark of the Covenant was now out of the Philistines hands and safe in the house of Abinadab in the territory of Benjamin. The city of Shiloh had been destroyed by the enemy and was no longer the location of the sanctuary of Jehovah God, and many years would pass before the Ark of the Covenant would be moved to Jerusalem by King David. But having the Ark of the Covenant in Israel’s territory did not necessarily solve the Jew’s problems, because during the twenty years when the Ark of the Covenant was in Abinadab's possession, a new generation had arisen and was demanding radical changes in Israel’s government. For centuries, the Jewish people had looked to the Lord as their King, but now they asked Jehovah God to give them a king like the pagan nations. For Israel it was a critical time, and it took the leadership and prayers of the Prophet Samuel to bring them safely through this precarious time of change.




The Prophet Samuel understood that the people of Israel were impatient and wanted change, and he knew that times of changeover bring out either the worst or the best in people. God led Samuel to build a bond between the stormy age of the Judges and the new era of the monarchy, and it was not an easy task.


There was one thing the prophet knew for sure: king or no king, the Israel could never prosper if the people did not put their Lord first and trust only in the Lord. That is why Samuel called for a meeting at Mizpah, a city in Benjamin (Joshua 18:26), where the prophet challenged God’s chosen people to return to the God of the Bible.


A. They Put Away Their False Gods. (1 Samuel 7:3-4)


(1 Samuel 7:3-4) 3 And Samuel spake unto all the house of Israel, saying, If ye do return unto the Lord with all your hearts, then put away the strange gods and Ashtaroth from among you, and prepare your hearts unto the Lord, and serve him only: and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines. 4 Then the children of Israel did put away Baalim and Ashtaroth, and served the Lord only.


1. Israel was practicing idolatry.


This is actually the beginning of Samuel’s great ministry. Israel was deep in idolatry. They had turned from Jehovah, the living and true God. They had been defeated in so many battles that it had become old hat to them, and they were extremely discouraged. They were beginning to lament after the Lord.


2. Israel needed to get back to the Lord.


We, too, need to get back to the Lord. There is a hunger in the hearts of many people who are saying, “We are tired of eating the husks that pigs eat in the far country. We want to get back to the Father’s house.” Well, they have to come through the door of the Word of God.


B. They Confessed Their Sins. (1 Samuel 7:5-6)


(1 Samuel 7:5-6) 5 And Samuel said, Gather all Israel to Mizpeh, and I will pray for you unto the Lord. 6 And they gathered together to Mizpeh, and drew water, and poured it out before the Lord, and fasted on that day, and said there, We have sinned against the Lord. And Samuel judged the children of Israel in Mizpeh.


1. Prayer and confession.


Samuel is not only the prophet of Israel; he is also the judge of the nation. Here we find Israel turning from false gods to the God of the Bible. This man Samuel is praying for them, and they confess their sins. This is the way back for God’s people. I do not think there is another way back. I hear about all kinds of methods today that will be blessed by God.


2. Scripture and confession.


Let me put it right down in bold letters and tell it like it is. What God’s people need to do is to go to God and confess their sins. They need to see themselves in the light of the Word of God. If we really see ourselves, we see that we have come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23); and then we can be assured that the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, will keep on cleansing us from all sin (1 John 1:9).


A Word From The Lord


Noted preacher and theologian Helmut Thielicke (1908–1986) endured great opposition from the Nazi regime in Germany during the 1930s and 1940s. Yet he remained committed to proclaiming God’s presence and power in Jesus Christ during a difficult and perplexing time. Scholar Robert Smith said that as Thielicke addressed modern issues and problems in his sermons, “he sought to answer the question, ‘Is there any word from the Lord?’”


Isn’t that what each of us is seeking today? What has God said that will strengthen and guide us through the difficulties and opportunities we face?


First Samuel 3 describes a time when “the word of the Lord was rare” (verse 1). When God spoke to young Samuel, the boy mistakenly thought it was the aging priest Eli calling him. Eli told the boy to respond to God’s voice by saying, “Speak, Lord, for Your servant hears” (verse 9). Samuel listened, and he became known as a man who lived faithfully and fearlessly, “for the Lord revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the Lord” (verse 21).


Whenever we open the Bible, listen to a sermon, or pause to pray, it’s a wonderful practice to say, “Lord Jesus, speak to me. I’m ready to listen and eager to obey.” – David C. McCasland, Our Daily Bread, February 19, 2012




A. The People Were Terrified Because Of The Enemy. (1 Samuel 7:7-8)


(1 Samuel 7:7-8)7 And when the Philistines heard that the children of Israel were gathered together to Mizpeh, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. And when the children of Israel heard it, they were afraid of the Philistines. 8 And the children of Israel said to Samuel, Cease not to cry unto the Lord our God for us, that he will save us out of the hand of the Philistines.


“And Samuel judged the children of Israel” (verse 6). Perhaps, since this refers to this specific act of revival, a better translation might be, “And so Samuel functioned as a judge on this occasion in Mizpeh.” Hearing that the Israelites were at Mizpah, and supposing that a revolt was in the making, the Philistines attacked. The Jews, unprepared for war, were terrified and pleaded with Samuel to intercede to God for them.


B. The Prophet Prayed Because Of The Enemy. (1 Samuel 7:8-11)


1. Pray. (1 Samuel 7:8)


(1 Samuel 7:8) And the children of Israel said to Samuel, Cease not to cry unto the Lord our God for us, that he will save us out of the hand of the Philistines.


“Cease not to cry unto the Lord our God for us, that he will save us” (verse 8). This is exactly the response that the Lord wants. His people must look to Him as the only source of deliverance. The salvation here is purely physical deliverance from the Philistines, but it is typical of spiritual salvation; and both the word save, and the concept of salvation are very prominent in this book. The name “Joshua” in the Old Testament and the name “Jesus” in the New Testament come from this word and mean “Jehovah is salvation.” When we cry out to the Lord to save us from our sins, He will also deliver us.


2. Obey. (1 Samuel 7:9)


(1 Samuel 7:9) And Samuel took a sucking lamb, and offered it for a burnt offering wholly unto the Lord: and Samuel cried unto the Lord for Israel; and the Lord heard him.


Samuel did what the people asked and offered a “lamb … for a burnt offering”; and the Lord accepted the sacrifice, answered the prayer for deliverance, and again saved His people.


3. Praise. (1 Samuel 7:10-11)


(1 Samuel 7:10-11) 10 And as Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel: but the Lord thundered with a great thunder on that day upon the Philistines, and discomfited them; and they were smitten before Israel. 11 And the men of Israel went out of Mizpeh, and pursued the Philistines, and smote them, until they came under Bethcar.


God gave Israel a great victory, and it was the first one they had had for a long time. These people had lapsed into idolatry; they had been in angry rebellion. When they began to turn to God, Samuel exacted a confession of sin and a promise to return to God. As a result God gave them a signal victory over the Philistines.


III. SAMUEL JUDGES ISRAEL. (1 Samuel 7:15-17)


A. Samuel’s Judicial Office. (1 Samuel 7:15)


(1 Samuel 7:15) And Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life.


Samuel became a circuit judge, traveling through the cities of Israel and administering justice according to the law of the Lord. He lived in “Ramah, his father’s home, and built an altar … there.” We are not told why he did not return to the Lord’s altar, now at Nob, nor why he allowed the ark to remain in Abinadab’s house. But these were days of irregularities, many things being practiced which God allowed even though they were not according to the Lord’s original design.


B. Samuel’s Judicial Circuit. (1 Samuel 7:16-17)


(1 Samuel 7:16-17) 16 And he went from year to year in circuit to Bethel, and Gilgal, and Mizpeh, and judged Israel in all those places. 17 And his return was to Ramah; for there was his house; and there he judged Israel; and there he built an altar unto the Lord.


1. The story.


Samuel was unquestionably a mighty man of God: prophet-priest-judge of Israel. He is a circuit judge. He goes from Beth-el to Gilgal to Mizpeh and back to Ramah, all areas north of Jerusalem. He “judged Israel in all those places.”


2. The revival.


1 Samuel 7 is a study in revival. The Lord first raised up a man, Samuel, who called the people to repentance, confession, and cleansing. Intercession was made through the blood of a lamb (a type of Calvary’s Lamb), and then there was victory. These are the steps to individual as well as national revival.


CONCLUSION: Although Samuel, Israel's last judge, tried to talk the people out of wanting a king to rule over them, they insisted on having a military ruler as did the pagan nations around them. The Israelites wanted to be like their worldly neighbors.


As tempting as the world can be, we should not make the same mistake that ancient Israel made. We must not participate in anything that is contrary to Christ's teachings or that draws us away from Him.


THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: “God speaks through His Word to those who listen with their heart.”


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REFERENCES: References used in the Bible study are the King James Bible (KJV), the Scofield Study Bible, the Believer’s Bible Commentary, Charles J. Woodbridge Bible Outlines, Lee Roberson’s Sermons, Don Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Women’s Study Bible, The Bible Reader’s Companion Ed. 3, The Nelson Study Bible: New King James Version, KJV Bible Commentary, Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the New Testament ed. 4, Cliff Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the Old Testament, With the Word Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s “Be” Series: Old & New Testaments, selected illustrations, and other references.



E-mail: Ronald Purkey


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