So the Philistines were subdued, and they did not come anymore into the territory of Israel. And the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel (1 Samuel 7, 13).
This was a long lasting victory as the bible says the Philistines were subdued all the days of Samuel. To subdue is to bring under control, to tame, to defeat, to crush, to quash and overpower so while Samuel was around, the Philistines were overpowered.
Samuel was a prophetic voice in Israel at that time having taken over from Eli. Prophets in those days speak the word and the mind of God to the nation. The bible says “and the word of the Lord was rare in those days; there was no widespread revelation (1 Samuel 3, 1). In the time of Samuel where there was no king in Israel, he was the one guiding the nation by the word of God as the Lord promised them through Moses: “I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him” (Deuteronomy 18, 18). So the Spirit of the Lord was upon the prophet to declare God’s intention to His people as a nation on a political level and as His children on a spiritual level. As long as they obey the word of the prophet, there was victory over the enemy.
Today we tend to run only after the spoken words through prophets but the Bible is also divine instructions that we need to follow and obey. We need both for “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3, 16).
In Joshua 1, 8 we read: “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success”.
Even Jesus used the written word (Luke 3, 4; Luke 4, 4) though He is the revealed word and the apostles did the same.
While Samuel was alive, the Philistines were subdued because the nation believed and obeyed the word of the prophet Samuel. The bible says “Believe in the Lord your God, and you shall be established; believe his prophet, and you shall prosper” (2 Chronicles 20, 20).
Most often we find it easy to believe and trust prophetic words given unto us but the fulfilment of those words depend on us obeying the whole counsel of God. “Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth” (Deuteronomy 28, 1).
God delights in our obedience than anything else “So Samuel said: “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? (1 Samuel 15, 22)”.
The Apostles in the book of Acts (5, 29) told the religious leaders that “they ought to obey God than man” and how can we obey God if not through His words? Be it from the bible or small, still and gentle voice of the Holy Spirit?
Obeying the word brings us blessings and prosperity as stated in Deuteronomy 28 and Job 36, 11. Obedience to the word not only subdues the enemy but also gives us rest (And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? Hebrew 3, 18).
For us to have divine help, let us observe and obey the instructions of God.