Summary: The devil would do his best to thwart the Church, but he is a defeated foe.
1 Samuel 13:16-18 KJV And Saul, and Jonathan his son, and the people that were present with them, abode in Gibeah of Benjamin: but the Philistines encamped in Michmash.  And the spoilers came out of the camp of the Philistines in three companies: one company turned unto the way that leadeth to Ophrah, unto the land of Shual:  And another company turned the way to Bethhoron: and another company turned to the way of the border that looketh to the valley of Zeboim toward the wilderness.
I. INTRODUCTION—OLD TESTAMENT PICTURES = NEW TESTAMENT INSTRUCTIONS
1 Corinthians 10:11 KJV Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
-Those are the words of Paul as he is explaining the huge price that doubt and unbelief took on the children of Israel. He noted that there was some that died in the wilderness and never made it to the Promised Land.
-He then exhorts a New Testament church to understand that all of the accounts and encounters in the Old Testament were written for our instruction. He infers that the wanderings of Israel can very well be a picture of what the church life and saint life looks like. We have to use these Old Testament stories to help us in our spiritual battle.
William Gurnall—So many go into the field against Satan, and so few come out conquerors; because all have a desire to be happy, but few have courage and resolution to grapple with the difficulties that meet them in the way to happiness.
-So it is that we find this story in that same vein of thought also. God in His great grace passed to us a Book where He has spoken so that we can see how to go.
Psalms 119:11 KJV Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
II. THE BACKGROUND OF THE TEXT
-The background surrounding this text is in the first three years of Saul’s reign as the new king of Israel. This battle he is about to go into will his first one against Israel’s arch-enemy, the Philistines.
-Saul had already put together an army of three thousand soldiers to help him to defend the nation.
• Two thousand were under his command at Michmash.
• One thousand were under the command of Jonathon at Gibeah.
-The Philistines were to be formidable enemies for Saul and his men as you see played out through the rest of 1 and 2 Samuel.
-But as for 1 Samuel 13, it is not difficult to see that the Philistines were breathing down their neck with fear and intimidation. The clues to that end are found in this chapter.
-In 13:4, Israel was had in abomination with the Philistines. . . meaning that the Philistines were not pleased that they now had a king and had already defeated the Ammonites in a battle.
-In 13:6, the people were distressed. . . literally means that they were squeezed and pressed together and were in great difficulty.
-In 13:6, the people had fled to the limestone caves. Those who could not make it to the caves hid in the thickets which were found in the clefts and fissures of the rocks.