Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 13.15-23
Then Samuel arose and went up from Gilgal to Gibeah of Benjamin. And Saul numbered the people who were present with him, about six hundred men. 16 Now Saul and his son Jonathan and the people who were present with them were staying in Geba of Benjamin while the Philistines camped at Michmash. 17 And the raiders came from the camp of the Philistines in three companies: one company turned toward Ophrah, to the land of Shual, 18 and another company turned toward Beth-horon, and another company turned toward the border which overlooks the valley of Zeboim toward the wilderness. 19 Now no blacksmith could be found in all the land of Israel, for the Philistines said, “Otherwise the Hebrews will make swords or spears.” 20 So all Israel went down to the Philistines, each to sharpen his plowshare, his mattock, his axe, and his hoe. 21 The charge was two-thirds of a shekel for the plowshares, the mattocks, the forks, and the axes, and to fix the hoes. 22 So it came about on the day of battle that neither sword nor spear was found in the hands of any of the people who were with Saul and Jonathan, but they were found with Saul and his son Jonathan. 23 And the garrison of the Philistines went out to the pass of Michmash. 1 Samuel 13:15-23
When we are in a difficult spot, what do we do? When things get even worse, how do we handle the situation? Let me warn you that there is no resolve in our passage today. You will have to continue reading the next few chapters of 1 Samuel to find the answers. Until then we are stuck in this difficult situation with little guidance.
In yesterday’s devotional (1 Samuel 13:1-14) we saw how King Saul foolishly got impatient and took matters into his own hands. Instead of waiting for the prophet Samuel to arrive and make the sacrifice, Saul did it. Saul took holy duties upon himself because of fear facing a superior army of Philistines. Saul was severely chastised for this as God now rejected his kingship.
Today’s devotional leaves God’s people in a dire situation. Israel has about 600 men (verse 15) facing an army of thousands. More importantly we see that Israel is without weapons because for decades the Philistines never allowed them to have blacksmiths (verses 19-22). The Philistines controlled the forging and sharpening of all tools and weapons.
As you pray about this passage today let God do His work of conviction in us. When leaders fail God, the people also bear the consequences. How are you doing at leading as a parent, worker, or a student. Do not fail the people who are depending on you to faithfully serve God. Don’t rush to resolve whatever situation you are in. Take today to really understand your need for total dependence on the Lord, total repentance, and total commitment.
Weekly Memory Verse: And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4.7