I can't let go of something this morning, this passage (1 Sam 7:2): "all Israel mourned because it seemed that the Lord had abandoned them."
They were no longer mourning for the Ark, but for the Lord himself.
As a nation, more importantly as God's people when was the last time that we mourned for the Lord himself? Think about it, in some ways it's still about the Ark; fill our churches, our schools, our whatever.
Are we serious about wanting to return to the Lord?
That is the question Samuel asked and the question I think we must ask of ourselves. When was the last time you were asked that?
Samuel didn't pull any punches; he came straight at the people with a challenge. He knew that God must be Lord of all, and that He would not tolerate rivals or false gods. He told them to get rid of them and obey only the Lord.
In your life who or what is your false god? Maybe you need some help to identify it; who or what do you look for to get your identity, security, purpose, joy, protection, etc. Is it a person, is it your vocation, is it money, what?
The Bible said the people destroyed the images and worshipped only the Lord, in other words, turn away from it/them as your god and turn to the one and only true God.
Samuel then summoned the whole group to fasting and prayer; he also stood before God privately for them.
This is not to be taken lightly, when you make this type of declaration you have to be serious, why?
Because you are going to get attacked! (1 Sam 7:7)
But, He is also our Rescuer!