I have so many “favorite” Bible stories. 1 Samuel chapter 13 & 14 holds one of them. Take a minute to read it if you have not read it recently. Basically, we find Johnathan, King Saul’s son and his armor bearer drawing out battle plans to fight against the Philistines. Nothing out of the ordinary here, until we find out that they were the only ones in all of Israel with actual weapons.
The Philistines (smartly) killed off all the blacksmiths in Israel, then refused to sharpen the Israelites weapons, because they were the enemy. Since the Israelites were apparently good at growing crops, and the Philistines liked to steal them, they decided that they would sharpen their garden tools, but for a price. Under the leadership of Johnathan and his armor bearer, they banded together with garden tools to take on the Philistines.
There is so much to learn from this story, I hate to gloss over details and skip to the end, but if I don’t, I fear this post would never end. In short, God throws the Philistine army into confusion, and they end up fighting each other. The Israelites win the battle with two swords and garden tools.
Notice that the Israelites were without weapons. Isn’t that so much like the enemy? He knows that our weapons against him are much stronger than his weapons against us. So, he tries to take our weapons away. He gets us down. He brings circumstances against us meant to destroy us. He raises doubt in our mind about all sorts of things. He strikes at our family and friends. There is one thing that he does not count on-ever. While he thinks he taking our weapons away, he is strengthening other weapons.
One of the most powerful weapons we have against the devil, is our testimony. So while he is attacking our family, friends, and finances; our testimony is getting stronger. We can look back at times when we were under attack by the enemy and see where God was taking care of us. When God brings victory, it always encourages others. We must share God’s victories with the discouraged, broken-hearted, down-trodden.
I’ve shared my story in bits and pieces over the course of this blog. I firmly believe that God brought Roberta and I through hard times in life so that we can stand victorious over our circumstances and encourage others who have gone through miscarriages, loss and other things we have faced. While the enemy was trying to destroy us, he was sharpening other weapons. We could not understand, much less empathize with people who have struggled with fertility issues had we not gone through it. Now our hearts ache with others who have miscarriages and we can honestly walk through the pain along with them, having been there.
At the end of the story we find this verse: “So on that day the Lord saved Israel, and the battle moved on beyond Beth Aven.” (1 Sam 14:23) Who saved Israel? Not Johnathan, or his armor bearer, or King Saul or David, or any other warrior. It was God. God saved Israel that day. If you read the story, you see that though Johnathan and his armor bearer fought gallantly, and the Israelites fought boldly without any swords, God really did orchestrate the winning scenario.
recognize that any victory is from God. God is the giver of all good things. He is the author and prefecture of our faith. He is the creator of life. There is nothing that we can do apart from Him-especially win. I’ve tried to win on my own stregnth. Do you know what happens? Nothing. God brings the victory.
Worship God in the victory, praise Him in the storm, and use your story to encourage others.