Do you feel a bit sorry for Saul about now? We see in this passage how Saul’s army is at such a disadvantage. His troops have dwindled down to 600 men. And those men don’t even have swords! I’m not a warfare expert, but it would seem the Philistines have the edge.
The feud with the Philistines isn’t new. We can see from their control of the blacksmith trade one example of how the Philistines are manipulating the Israelites. Saul is going to need to be creative if he is going to win any battles at this point.
I have often been a fan of rooting for the underdog. I can think of many movie plots where the team of misfits come out ahead in the end. It’s fun to cheer them on along the way, yet we always expect the movie is going to have a happy ending.
So what about the Israelites. Of course, as God’s chosen people, I want to be the first to be cheering them on. History has been written. We’ve seen time and again how the Israelites mess up God’s plans for them. It’s easy for us to point fingers and call out their bad behavior.
The Bible is full of examples of how the sinfulness of God’s people keeps them from living the life of blessing God intends. Although our names don’t appear on the pages of the Bible, we can probably see ourselves in the rebellion, in the ignorance, in the self-serving nature we so easily point out in the characters we do see.
Are we all that different from the people we read about in the Bible? Our situations may look a lot different. A lot of the difference is culture, and the rest is “progress.” There were no computers, cell phones, airplanes, or fast food joints back in Saul’s time. We have different distractions pulling on us.
When I look around at what’s happening in the world right now, I see idolatry. Anything that keeps us from worshipping God (our electronics, our jobs, our search for wealth, our selfish desires) is an idol. There are many. Who is actually following Jesus these days?
Without Jesus, we can find ourselves at a serious disadvantage. We have no hope for the future, for our destiny. We have no peace to make it through each chaotic day. We have no assurance of our forgiveness for all the wrong things we have done.
Take some time today to reflect on what is keeping you distracted and separated from the love of God.
Let’s pray …
Lord, I know I have strayed off the path you have for me many times in my life. Thank you that each time, you have rescued me and set me straight! Help me to stay focused on your Will for my life and help me accept it and embrace it. In Jesus’ name. Amen.