When the Israelites pleaded for Samuel’s prayers for salvation from the Philistines, they witnessed God’s mighty hand in its active power (1 Samuel 7:3-14).
“He cried out to the Lord on Israel’s behalf, and the Lord answered him.” – 1 Samuel 7:9
The New Bible Commentary reveals the impact of this act:
“In reality it was probably only a minor victory, but it was enough to keep the Philistines out of Israelite territory for some considerable time, and it was the beginning of a period in which Philistine power declined, thanks to the hand of the LORD.” (p. 303, bold emphasis mine)
“Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, ‘Thus far the Lord has helped us.’” – 1 Samuel 7:12
Not Always A Whale-Sized Act
God is active in our lives, and God deserves our praise for His love in action. But not every act is as large as a tumbling Jerusalem wall or divine plans for an ark. The little acts God completes within our bigger battles can mean just as much.
Samuel set up this memorial Ebenezer stone for what seemed to be a relatively small “win” within the larger view of events. But just because an act is minor doesn’t mean it should lack praise.
Little Victories and Big Praise
In my family’s current circumstances, we’re fighting a huge medical battle against slim odds. But God’s “little” victories boost our morale and remind us He is ever present.
A fantastic nurse giving care. A small check surprising us to support our financial needs. Regular smiles from our boy in spite of suboptimal conditions. All these acts may seem minor, but we experience the fullness these feats emit.
God shows us a small victory when He places the right doctor in our path. He whispers He is here when He puts it on a friend’s heart to email a prayer. He declares His hand in our situation each month we “somehow” are able to pay our bills.
Each step along this incomplete journey is sprinkled with signs of how He has helped (and continues to help) us. And each verse we read, God reminds us we read evidence of a greater victory in the battle He has already won.
I witness these little victories again and again (and again), and it could only be by God that all these things work together and surface. All this good, no matter how big or small, all presents itself thanks to His hand.
Extol His name with me (Psalm 145:3-7); how have you seen His mighty acts in your life?