Ok, so the ark is essentially causing chaos wherever it goes. In this chapter, it moves again. “And the men of Kiriath-jearim came and took up the Ark of the Lord, and brought it to the house of Abinadab, on the hill, and they designated Eleazar, his son, to guard the Ark of the Lord (Samuel I 7:1).” For twenty years, the ark stays put, and the people follow God, unlike throughout Judges, when we constantly hear how they strayed. So at least some progress has been made. Samuel tells the people that if they want to be saved from the Philistines, they need to totally remove idolatry from their lives and fully direct their hearts towards God. They obey, for once, and Samuel tells them to gather in Mizpah. There, the people confess their sins, and Samuel judges them.
“Now the Philistines heard that the children of Israel had assembled at Mizpah, and the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel, and the children of Israel heard, and they were afraid of the Philistines (Samuel I 7:7).” Samuel offers a sacrifice on behalf of the people, and it’s accepted by God. The Israelites beat the Philistines, thanks to God’s help. After all of the ongoing wars and skirmishes, it seems that they’ve been beaten back for good this time, and God remains on the side of the Israelites.