Then Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying, “If you return to the Lord with all your hearts, then put away the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths from among you, and prepare your hearts for the Lord, and serve Him only; and He will deliver you from the hand of the Philistines.
1 Samuel 7:3
Even before the death of Eli it became evident that Samuel was his divinely-appointed successor as judge in Israel. And so, after the disconcerting experiences of the Philistines in connection with the ark of the covenant led them to send it back to the people whose glory it was, we find the young prophet coming immediately to the front. Through his ministry there was a revival of interest in the worship of Jehovah and a true return to God on the part of many. God works through human instruments and He always has the man ready when the hour of blessing strikes. The history of the great awakenings throughout the centuries, first in Israel and then in the church of the new dispensation, is largely the story of the chosen servants prepared by God and subject to His will, who have been raised up to call an erring people to repentance and to bring them back to their only proper allegiance. Of these, Samuel stands out as one of the greatest of the whole army of the reformers.
My Saviour, by His powerful word,
Hath turned my night to day;
And all those heavenly joys restored
Which I had sinned away.
Blest Lord, I wonder and adore,
Thy grace is all divine;
Oh, keep me, that I sin no more
Against such love as Thine.
Oh, speak that gracious word again,
And cheer my drooping heart;
No voice but Thine can soothe my pain,
And bid all fear depart.
H. A. Ironside, The Continual Burnt Offering: Daily Meditations on the Word of God (Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Brothers, 1994), 49.