Summary: Have you ever come to a place in your life not knowing what to do concerning a certain matter? The simultaneous conflicting feelings of making a choice on what way to turn can cause unbearable stress to the body… Should I accept or pass up this opportunit
Elder M. Edmunds
Co-Pastor of United Ordained Church
In the foregoing chapter, Saul, king of Israel, gathered three thousand trained men to fight against their pursuing enemy, the Philistines. Two thousand were under Saul’s direct control in Michmash, and one thousand men Saul assigned to his son Jonathan in Gibeah.
He strategically stationed these warriors in Michmash and Gibeah in order to avert the Philistines’ attack. In Gibeah, Saul’s son Jonathan, a man of valor, faith and loyalty, was victorious in his attack against a certain battalion of the Philistines. This attack eventually incited however a vicious war between Israel and their enemy.
The Philistines were no ordinary enemy to Israel. They were more experienced in combat than the Amalekites, Moabites, and the Midinites. The Philistines were also implacable or merciless, and they taunted and eventually dominated the Israelites for forty years until the time of David’s reign.
For they were, if you allow me to give detail in what kind of people Israel was up against, the Philistines were a sophisticated and technical culture, who was firmly entrenched on the lower Mediterranean coast of Canaan, from Joppa to south of Gaza they occupied five cities; Ashdod, Gaza, Ashkelon (all meaning stronghold), Gath (winepress), and Ekron(eradication). The Philistines had a stronghold on Israel, pressing them on every side just to eradicate or annihilate God’s people.
Are you dealing with an enemy this morning trying to destroy your hopes and dreams, trying to destroy your relationship and your future?
You are pressed on every side. Matter fact it is a miracle you made it this far. On a verge of a break down pressed financially, pressed relationally, pressed physically, and/or pressed professionally. Can I get a witness? We can relate to Israel’s predicament.
Each city from Joppa to south Gaza, there ruled an official or a warlord. Five tyrants who exercised some autonomy, but worked in concert and were subject to majority decision when faced with national crisis; they governed their political structure, as a pentapolis (‘five cities’).
The Philistines’ strength as a people was derived from their cooperation or pulling together against any who opposed them. Their pulling together made them formidable.
When the Pharisees defamed Jesus, claiming He was casting devils out by Beelzebub the prince of the devils, Jesus retorted in Matthews twelve and twenty-five, “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.” Then He goes on in the twenty-sixth verse and says, “And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?”
The Pharisees was declaring Jesus as an enemy to Israel as the Philistines were to their ancestors. They called Him Beelzebub the prince of the devils or ‘lord of the dwelling.’ Beelzebub was a name under which, the Philistines of Ekron worshiped Baal. Beelzebub was deemed as the storm god who controlled diseases brought by flies.