That which does not kill us makes us stronger. — Nietzsche

Story of the Bible Told for Young and Old - Jesse Hurlbut




The Last of the Judges


When the ark of God was taken and the Tabernacle fell into ruins, Samuel was still a boy. He went to his father's house at Ramah, which was in the mountains, about four miles north of Jerusalem. Ramah was the home of Samuel after this as long as he lived.

For some years, while Samuel was growing up, there was no judge in Israel, and no head of the tribes. The Philistines ruled the people and took from them a large part of their harvests, their sheep, and their oxen. Often in their need they thought of the ark of the Lord, standing alone in the house at Kirjath-jearim. And the eyes of all the people turned to the young Samuel growing up at Ramah. For Samuel walked with God, and God spoke to Samuel, as God had spoken to Abraham, and to Moses, and to Joshua.

As soon as Samuel had grown up to be a man, he began to go among the tribes and to give to the people everywhere God's word to them. And this was what Samuel said:

"If you will really come back with all your heart to the Lord God of Israel, put away the false gods, the images of Baal, and of Asherah, and seek the Lord alone and serve him, then God will set you free from the Philistines."

After Samuel's words the people began to throw down the idols and to pray to the God of Israel. And Samuel called the people from all the land to gather in one place, as many as could come. They met at a place called Mizpah, in the mountains of Benjamin, not far from Jerusalem.

There Samuel prayed for the people, and asked God to forgive their sin in turning away from God to idols. They confessed their wrong-doings, and made a solemn promise to serve the Lord, and to serve the Lord only.

The Philistines upon the plain beside the Great Sea heard of this meeting. They feared that the Israelites were about to break away from their rule, and they came up with an army to drive the Israelites away to their homes and keep them under the rule of the Philistines.

When the Israelites saw the Philistines coming against them they were greatly alarmed. The Philistines were men of war, with swords, and shields, and spears, and they were trained in fighting; while the men of Israel had not seen war. It was more than twenty years since their fathers had fought the Philistines and twice had been beaten by them. They had neither weapons nor training, and they felt themselves helpless against their enemies. They looked to Samuel, just as children would look to a father, and they said to him, "Do not cease praying and crying to the Lord for us, that he may save us from the Philistines."

Then Samuel took a lamb and offered it up to the Lord as a burnt-offering for the people, and he prayed mightily that God would help Israel; and God heard his prayer.

Just as the Philistines were rushing upon the helpless men of Israel there came a great storm with rolling thunder and flashing lightning. Such storms do not come often in that land, and this was so heavy that it frightened the Philistines. They threw down their spears and swords in sudden terror and ran away.

The men of Israel picked up these arms and gathered such other weapons as they could find, and they followed the Philistines and killed many of them, and won a great victory over them. By this one stroke of power of the Philistines was broken, and they lost their rule over Israel. And it so happened that the place where Samuel won this great victory was the very place where the Israelites had been beaten twice before, the place where the ark of God had been taken, as we read in the last Story. On the battlefield Samuel set up a great stone to mark the place, and he gave it the name Eben-ezer, which means "The Stone of Help."

"For," said Samuel, "this was the place where the Lord helped us."

After this defeat the Philistines came no more into the land of Israel in the years while Samuel ruled as judge over the tribes. He was the fifteenth of the judges, and the last. He went throughout the land, and people everywhere brought to him their questions and their differences for Samuel to decide, for they knew that he was a good man and would do justly between man and man. From each journey he came back to Ramah. There was his home, and there he built an altar to the Lord.

Tomb near Jeruslaem called 'The Tomb of the Judges
TOMB NEAR JERUSLAEM CALLED "THE TOMB OF THE JUDGES"


Samuel lived many years, and ruled the people wisely, so that all trusted in him. He taught the Israelites to worship the Lord God, and to put away the idols, which so many of them had served. While Samuel ruled there was peace in all the tribes, and no enemies came from the lands around to do harm to the Israelites. But the Philistines were still very strong, and held rule over some parts of Israel near their own land, although there was no war. Samuel was not a man of war, like Gideon or Jephthah, but a man of peace, and his rule was quiet, though it was strong.



Contents

Front Matter
Review

The Story of a Beautiful Garden
The First Baby in the World and His Brother
The Great Ship That Saved Eight People
The Tower That Was Never Finished
The Story of a Long Journey
How Abram's Choice Brought Blessing
The Angel by the Well
The Rain of Fire That Fell on a City
The Boy Who Became an Archer
How an Angel's Voice Saved a Boy's Life
The Story of a Journey after a Wife
How Jacob Stole His Brother's Blessing
Jacob's Wonderful Dream
A Midnight Wrestling Match
The Rich Man's Son Who Was Sold as a Slave
From the Prison to the Palace
How Joseph's Dream Came True
A Lost Brother Found
From the Land of Famine to the Land of Plenty
The Beautiful Baby Who Was Found in a River
The Voice from the Burning Bush
The River That Ran Blood
The Night When a Nation Was Born
How the Sea Became Dry Land and the Sky Rained Bre
The Mountain That Smoked and Words That Were Spoke
How Aaron Made a Golden Calf and What Became of It
The Tent Where God Lived Among His People
How They Worshipped God in the Tabernacle
What Strong Drink Brought to Aaron's Sons
The Scapegoat in the Wilderness
The Cluster of Grapes from the Land of Canaan
How the Long Journey of the Israelites Came to an
What a Wise Man Learned from an Ass
How Moses Looked upon the Promised Land
The Story of Job
The Story of a Scarlet Cord
How the River Jordan Became Dry
The Story of a Wedge of Gold
How Joshua Conquered the Land of Canaan
The Old Man Who Fought Against the Giants
The Avenger of Blook and the Cities of Refuge
The Story of an Altar Beside the River
The Presnt That Ehud Brought to King Eglon
How a Woman Won a Great Victory
Gideon and His Brave Three Hundred
Jephthah's Rash Promise and What Came from It
The Strong Man: How He Lived and How He Died
The Idol Temple at Dan and Its Priest
How Ruth Gleaned in the Field of Boaz
The Little Boy with a Linen Coat
How the Idol Fell Down Before the Ark
The Last of the Judges
The Tall Man Who Was Chosen King
How Saul Saved the Eyes of the Men of Jabesh
The Brave Young Prince
Saul's Great Sin and His Great Loss
The Shepherd Boy of Bethlehem
The Shepherd Boy's Fight with the Giant
The Little Boy Looking for the Arrows
Where David Found the Giant's Sword
How David Spared Saul's Life
The Last Days of King Saul
The Shepherd Boy Becomes a King
The Sound in the Treetops
The Cripple at the King's Table
The Prophet's Story of the Little Lamb
David's Handsome Son and How He Stole the Kingdom
Absalom in the Wood; David on the Throne
The Angel with the Drawn Sword on Mount Moriah
Solomon on This Father's Throne
The Wise Young King
The House of God on Mount Moriah
The Last Days of Solomon's Reign
The Breaking Up of a Great Kingdom
The King Who Led Israel to Sin
The Prophet Who Raised a Boy to Life
The Prayer That Was Answered in Fire
The Voice That Spoke to Elijah in the Mount
The Wounded Prophet and His Story
What Ahab Paid for His Vineyard
The Arrow That Killed a King
Elijah's Chariot of Fire
A Spring Sweetened by Salt
The Pot of Oil and the Pot of Poison
The Little Boy at Shunem
How a Little Girl Helped to Cure a Leper
The Chariots of Fire around Elisha
What the Lepers Found in the Camp
Jehu, the Furious Driver of His Chariot
Elisha and the Bow; Jonah and Nineveh
How the Ten Tribes Were Lost
The First Four Kings of Judah
The Little Boy Who Was Crowned King
Three Kings and a Great Prophet
The Good King Hezekiah
The Lost Book Found in the Temple
The Last Four Kings of Judah and the Weeping Proph
What Ezekiel Saw in the Valley
The Jewish Captives in the Court of the King
The Golden Image and the Fiery Furnace
The Tree That Was Cut Down and Grew Again
The Writing upon the Wall
Daniel in the Den of Lions
The Story of a Joyous Journey
The New Temple on Mount Moriah
The Beautiful Queen of Persia
The Scribe Who Wrote the Old Testament
The Nobleman Who Built the Wall of Jerusalem
Ezra's Great Bible Class in Jerusalem
The Angel by the Altar
The Manger of Bethlehem
The Star and the Wise Men
The Boy in his Father's House
The Prophet in the Wilderness
Jesus in the Desert, and beside the River
The Water Jars at the Wedding Feast
The Stranger at the Well
The Story of a Boy in Capernaum and a Riot
A Net Full of Fishes
The Leper and the Man Let Down through the Roof
The Cripple at the Pool and the Withered Hand
The Twelve Disciples and the Sermon on the Mount
The Captain's Servant, the Widow's Son, and a Sinn
Some Stories Jesus Told by the Sea
"Peace, Be Still"
The Little Girl Who Was Raised to Life
A Dancing Girl and What Was Given Her
The Feast beside the Sea and What Followed It
The Answer to a Mother's Prayer
The Glory of Jesus on the Mountain
The Little Child in the Arms of Jesus
At the Feast of Tabernacles
The Man with Clay on His Face
The Good Shepherd and the Good Samaritan
Lazarus Raised to Life
Some Parables in Perea
The Poor Rich Man and the Rich Poor Man
Jesus at Jericho
Palm Sunday
The Last Vistis of Jesus to the Temple
The Parables on the Mount of Olives
The Last Supper
The Olive Orchard and the High Priests Hall
The Crown of Thorns
The Darkest Day of All the World
The Brightest Day of All the World
The Stranger on the Shore
The Church of the First Days
The Man at the Beautiful Gate
The Right Way to Give, and the Wrong Way
Stephen with the Shining Face
The Man Reading in the Chariot
The Voice That Spoke to Saul
What Peter Saw by the Sea
How the Iron Gate Was Opened
The Earliest Missionaries
The Song in the Prison
Paul's Speech on the Hill
Paul at Corinth
Paul at Ephesus
Paul's Last Journey to Jerusalem
The Speech on the Stairs
Two Years in Prison
The Story That Paul Told to the King
Paul in the Storm
How Paul Came to Rome and How He Lived There
The Throne of God
The City of God