The corresponding letter to this chapter is Zayin – focal point of sustenance and struggle.
Sh’mu’el Alef 7:1-2 And the men of Kiryat-Ye’arim came and took the ark of the L-RD and brought it into the house of Avinadav on the hill, and consecrated El’azar his son to keep the ark of the L-RD. And it came about from the day that the ark remained at Kiryat-Ye’arim that the time was long, for it was twenty years; and all the house of Israel lamented after the L-RD.
Kiryat-Ye’arim – this town was associated with Baal worship. The ark remained there 20 years and was not immediately returned to the tabernacle. This tells us something about Israel’s spiritual condition.
Sh’mu’el Alef 7:3-6 Then Sh’mu’el spoke to all the house of Israel, saying, "If you return to the L-RD with all your heart, remove the foreign gods and the Ashtarot from among you and direct your hearts to the L-RD and serve Him alone; and He will deliver you from the hand of the P’lishtim." So the sons of Israel removed the Baals and the Ashtarot and served the L-RD alone. Then Sh’mu’el said, "Gather all Israel to Mizpah, and I will pray to the L-RD for you." And they gathered to Mizpah, and drew water and poured it out before the L-RD, and fasted on that day, and said there, "We have sinned against the L-RD." And Sh’mu’el judged the sons of Israel at Mizpah.
Here we see that they were in fact worshipping other gods. Sh’mu’el calls the nation of Israel to repentance.
These were the Canaanite fertility gods. Ashtarot was the female goddess and the male god.
Pouring out the water was a sign of repentance.
The people gather together and Sh’mu’el prayed for them.
Sh’mu’el was the last judge of Israel before the first king, Saul.
Sh’mu’el Alef 7:7-8 Now when the P’lishtim heard that the sons of Israel had gathered to Mizpah, the lords of the P’lishtim went up against Israel. And when the sons of Israel heard it, they were afraid of the P’lishtim. Then the sons of Israel said to Sh’mu’el, "Do not cease to cry to the L-RD our G-d for us, that He may save us from the hand of the P’lishtim."
It is often the case that when one decides to follow Yeshua they are almost immediately faced with some sort of opposition. This is the way Ha Satan and his minions work.
Sh’mu’el Alef 7:9-10 And Sh’mu’el took a suckling lamb and offered it for a whole burnt offering to the L-RD; and Sh’mu’el cried to the L-RD for Israel and the L-RD answered him. Now Sh’mu’el was offering up the burnt offering, and the P’lishtim drew near to battle against Israel. But the L-RD thundered with a great thunder on that day against the P’lishtim and confused them, so that they were routed before Israel.
The L-rd is still on His throne and is ready to cone to the aid of His children. Just as Hannah prayed the L-rd used literal thunder to confuse the enemy.
Sh’mu’el Alef 2:10 "Those who contend with the L-RD will be shattered; Against them He will thunder in the heavens, The L-RD will judge the ends of the earth; And He will give strength to His king, And will exalt the horn of His anointed."
Sh’mu’el Alef 7:11 And the men of Israel went out of Mizpah and pursued the P’lishtim, and struck them down as far as below Beth-car. Then Sh’mu’el took a stone and set it between Mizpah and Shen, and named it Ebenezer, saying, "Thus far the L-RD has helped us."
The L-rd was there help. They were powerless to help themselves. He alone was the source of their strength.
Sh’mu’el Alef 7:13-14 So the P’lishtim were subdued and they did not come anymore within the border of Israel. And the hand of the L-RD was against the P’lishtim all the days of Sh’mu’el. And the cities which the P’lishtim had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron even to Gat; and Israel delivered their territory from the hand of the P’lishtim. So there was peace between Israel and the Emori.
Now that Israel gave G-d the proper place in their lives they had peace with their neighbors.
Sh’mu’el Alef 7:15-17 Now Sh’mu’el judged Israel all the days of his life. And he used to go annually on circuit to Beit-El and Gilgal and Mizpah, and he judged Israel in all these places. Then his return was to Ramah, for his house was there, and there he judged Israel; and he built there an altar to the L-RD. Sh’mu’el toured the country on an annual basis to met and judge the people.
This chapter ends the period of the judges in the next chapter we will meet Israels first king.