TODAY'S WORD FOR Monday, July 23, 2018:
Any instrument or device used for attack or defense in a fight or combat.
But everyone went down to the Philistines to sharpen his man’s plowshare, his mattock (pickax), his ax, and his sickle.
I Samuel 13:20
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
In I Samuel 13, the Israelites were facing a severe predicament. They were being repeatedly attacked by their detested enemies, the Philistines. The Philistines had superior metal-working craftsmen and their army was well armed with weapons of iron. The Philistines had a monopoly on iron and prevented the Israelites from making weapons of iron. Among the Israelites only Saul and his son Jonathan had swords.
So, the children of Israel did the best with what they had. They had all of their tools they used for farming sharpened, per the verse we have put above. They had no swords but they planned to use the sharpened farm tools to inflict deadly blows as they fought hand to hand.
It never dawned on the Philistines metal workers that they were getting these farm tools sharpened to fight them. Even though the Children of Israel had all of their farm tools sharpened and ready for battle they never had to use them because God won the battle for them (I Samuel 14:1-34).
The lesson for us is that we need to go into all of our battles prepared. God can and will use whatever tools we have if we are obedient and willing to follow His commands. We are in a battle against evil just like Saul and the Children of Israel were. Our weapons are different but they need to be constantly sharpened. Our weapons include such things as faith, the knowledge of God’s Word, prayer, and obedience.
The battle between good and evil rages all around us day and night. Satan never sleeps so we need to be prepared for battle at every moment. We need quickness of perception. This means we must be alert to see and recognize evil when it approaches us. We need unwavering faith, strength, energy, and a prepared heart to respond to evil. All of the resources that God has given us must be employed daily in our Christian walk as weapons to fight against evil we face.
For the Children of Israel, it was a war to protect the land God had given them. For us it is a war to protect our faith in Jesus Christ. God has promised to be with us just as He promised the Children of Israel. He kept His word with them and He will do the same for us.
The best weapon we have to protect us from the evils of the world is the Bible. Hebrews 4:12 describes God’s Word as the sword: “For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than a double-edged sword, and it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
God’s Word penetrates our mind and heart, showing us who we really are by revealing our faults and our sinfulness. God’s Word has cleansing power to save us from our sins and redeeming power to mold us to be what He wants us to be.
Our memory verse for this week is found in Matthew 5:8.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Thank you that we do not have to fight the battles we face in life against Satan by ourselves. Thank You for giving us the weapon of the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Keep me faithful in studying Your Word so that I am always ready to fight against Satan’s evil schemes.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution and Ministry Director for World Bible Society, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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