Cross Training

A Weaponless Army

My son and I are studying the lives of Saul and David in our quiet time and some verses caught me by surprise. When Saul became king, Israel had all kinds of grief from those pesky Philistines. The Philistines had rigged it where the entire nation of Israel was weaponless. Check it out:

“Saul and his son Jonathan and the men with them were staying in Gibeah in Benjamin, while the Philistines camped at Micmash. Raiding parties went out from the Philistine camp in three detachments. One turned toward Ophrah in the vicinity of Shual, another toward Beth Horon, and the third toward the borderland overlooking the valley of Zeboim facing the desert. Not a blacksmith could be found in the whole land of Israel, because the Philistines had said, “Otherwise the Hebrews will make swords and spears!”…So on the day of battle not a soldier with Saul and Jonathan had a sword or spear in his hand; only Saul and his son Jonathan had them.”                    1 Samuel 13: 16-19,22 (NIV)

Yikes! Only two guys in the entire army have weapons—the king and the prince. Can you imagine our country sending our soldiers to Iran or Afghanistan without weapons? Ridiculous!

I think God agrees. In Ephesians 6, Paul reminds us that if we are Christ-followers, the battle is on. Your Commander-in-Chief, however, has not left you unequipped:

            “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”               Ephesians 6: 14-17 (NIV)

God has armed you. You have a weapon, “the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God.” Commit yourself to training. Read it. Memorize it. Obey it.

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