Saturday, January 21, 2012

No Weapons for Saul's Army

By Mary Vee,
I Samuel 13 and 14

From Jonathan's Journal

After the prophet Samuel left the battlefield in anger, we didn't know what to do. 

We no longer had the Lord's blessing on our fighting. How could we break free from the Philistines when they outlawed all Israelite blacksmithing? 

We had no one to sharpen our plowshares, mattocks, axes, or sickles. We needed these to grow crops and live. Neither could we make weapons to defend ourselves. 

The Philistines laughed at us. We had to go to our enemy's camp and pay one of their blacksmiths to sharpen our farm equipment. Of course, they wouldn't sharpen any weapon.

We stood helpless. 

Philistines lived all around us. They controlled our lives. 

My father, King Saul, sat under a tree fussing. He didn't know what to do.

Sitting around and pouting didn't help the situation. I had enough. I would not allow the Philistines to rule the Israelites another day. I took my armor bearer aside and said, "I want you to go with me over to the Philistines' army camp."

I didn't tell my father because I knew he would prevent me from going. I decided to let him rest under the pomegranate tree in Migron with his six hundred man army while my armor bearer and I crept away.

We moved between the passes, which lead to the Philistine camp. A sharp rock faced northward and the other southward. I turned to my armor bearer, "Ready? Let's fight these heathen Philistines. Maybe the Lord will work for us. For nothing holds back the power of God from using a huge army or a few soldiers to win a battle."

My armor bearer answered, "I will do what you asked. I will stay here with you and will do what you say."

"Good. Here is my plan. We'll show ourselves to the Philistines. If they say, 'Wait until we come to you' then we'll stand still in our place and not go up to them. But if they say, 'Come up to us' then we will go because the Lord has delivered them into our hand."

We took a deep breath and moved out from behind the rock. A Philistine soldier shouted, "Look, the Hebrews are coming out of the holes where they've hidden." The men laughed. The soldier shouted again, "Come up to us, and we will show you something."

I turned to  my armor bearer, "Ready? Follow me." We climbed toward the Philistines on our hands and knees. Something or someone caused the soldiers to fall right in front of us. Between my armor bearer and myself, the Lord helped us kill about twenty men.

The ground suddenly trembled and quaked. The Philistines cried out in fright. The earth shook more. The soldiers ran around their camp and acted like mad men. 

Later I found out my father wanted to know who had caused the earth to tremble. Surely someone was missing from the troops. He asked for an attendance to be taken. When my armor bearer and I did not answer, my father realized we had caused a bit of a stir with the Philistines. He called for the ark of God to be brought to the field.

The Philistines screamed louder. We didn't know why. My father signaled the army to attack the Philistine camp. The Philistines had gone crazy. They swung their swords around and killed each.

News of the Philistine soldiers killing each other spread like wild fire. All the Israelites came out from their hiding places and joined in the battle.

On this day, the Lord gave a mighty victory to the Israelites. 

It sure was fun.

1.  Samuel did not participate in the battle because King Saul disobeyed God. What did King Saul do?
2. Who bullied the Israelites?
3. What did the bullies do to the people of Israel.
4. Who is King Saul's son?
5. What bothered Jonathan?
6. What did he do and who did he take with him?
7. What happened at the battle?

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