1 Samuel 13:16-22
16 Saul and his son Jonathan were staying in Gibeah in the land of Benjamin. What was left of the army was there with them. At the same time, the Philistines camped at Micmash. 17 Three groups of soldiers went out from the Philistine camp to attack Israel. One group turned and went toward Ophrah in the area of Shual. 18 Another went toward Beth Horon. The third went toward the border that looked out over the Valley of Zeboim. That valley faces the desert. 19 There weren’t any blacksmiths in the whole land of Israel. That’s because the Philistines had said, “The Hebrews might hire them to make swords or spears!” 20 So all of the people of Israel had to go down to the Philistines. They had to go to them to get their plows, hoes, axes and sickles sharpened. 21 It cost a fourth of an ounce of silver to sharpen a plow or a hoe. It cost an eighth of an ounce to sharpen a pitchfork or an axe. That’s also what it cost to put new tips on large sticks that were used to drive oxen. 22 So not one of Saul’s or Jonathan’s soldiers had a sword or spear in his hand when he went out to battle. Only Saul and his son Jonathan had those weapons.
On the day of battle, Saul and his army are apparently paralyzed and impotent against the massive army of the Philistines and their strategic raiding parties.
Raided and plundered by the enemy, Israel was in no state to win the battle, much less defend their own territory.
All this because of Saul’s falling back into flaws of character, strongly rooted in fears and insecurities.
This passage reminds me of how important it is that I continually allow God to work on and grow my character in true godliness and righteousness.
Saul could have been a different kind of leader. The Spirit of God had come upon him and changed him before. But he fell back into fear, because of unmastered weakness within himself, with the result of compromising his calling and ultimately affecting his nation detrimentally.
God, teach me well from the life of Saul. Reveal in me my character flaws and places of compromise and darkness, and lead me by your Holy Spirit into Christ’s light and righteousness. And help me keep myself there. In the words of Ps 139:23-24,
“Search me, God, and know my Cialis generic sale heart…lead me in the way everlasting.”
Written by Ps. Rob Waugh