Moving from an Immobilized Army to an Active Abomination
“1 Saul reigned one year; and when he had reigned two years over Israel,[a] 2 Saul chose for himself three thousand men of Israel. Two thousand were with Saul in Michmash and in the mountains of Bethel, and a thousand were with Jonathan in Gibeah of Benjamin. The rest of the people he sent away, every man to his tent.
3 And Jonathan attacked the garrison of the Philistines that was in Geba, and the Philistines heard of it. Then Saul blew the trumpet throughout all the land, saying, “Let the Hebrews hear!” 4 Now all Israel heard it said that Saul had attacked a garrison of the Philistines, and that Israel had also become an abomination to the Philistines. And the people were called together to Saul at Gilgal.” 1 Samuel 13:1-4 NKJV
The main point today is: Victory in the Lord is more important than peace with the devil.
Under the reign of King Saul, Israel had assembled their first army. Previously, they only had assembled a militia for battle, but never a formal trained army. A militia was when normal farmers, shepherds, and everyday men were called in to go to war and fight in times of a national threat. They weren’t trained soldiers. They were men who were fighting for their land.
In 1 Samuel, Saul assembles the first formally trained army to represent Israel and stand up to the enemy. This first army of Israel shows me what the army of God should and should not be doing.
Gather in the mountain.
The two thousand of Saul’s army gathered with him in the mountains of Bethel. Saul led his army to gather in the mountains of Bethel. It was probably a feeling of excitement and exhilaration to have an army of 2,000 trained soldiers near to him. It must have been celebrated to have the first group of trained warriors for Israel. For whatever reason, Saul led them to gather in the mountains.
Sometimes we as the people of God can do the same. Like Saul and his army, we can get caught up “in the mountain of Bethel” rejoicing in the army we have. We can spend our time gathering together to celebrate each other and to be proud of who and what we are.
Get up and enter into the battle.
The garrison of one thousand went with Jonathan (Saul’s son). Jonathan takes the army he has and attacks the Philistines in Geba.
When the people of God assemble, we are not called to gather in the mountains, we are called to attack the enemy! Someone once said it this way, “We’re not called to the huddle. We’re called to break and play the game.” Jonathan understood this. The army of God’s people was not meant to gather in the mountains, but to engage the enemy.
It is worth recognizing that the Philistines had no problem with the Israelite army gathering in the mountain as long as they did nothing. They may have even approved of it, so long as Israel did not stand up against them. The Philistines had no issue or problem with Israel gathering together and training as long as Israel was subject to the authority of the Philistines. It was only when the people of God rose up and attacked that the Philistines considered them to be an abomination.
Our enemy is not the Philistines. The scripture says that we do not battle against flesh and blood, but against powers and principalities. The enemy of our souls doesn’t mind us gathering together as believers, as long as we remain ineffective and huddled together, so as not to make a difference to those around us. Our spiritual enemy does not mind us as believers gathering together all as long as we remain weak and unwilling to engage in spiritual warfare. The devil doesn’t mind us being an immobilized army for God, but he doesn’t want us to be an active abomination. As soon as God’s people stand for Him, speak out for Him, pray for others, and engage the enemy, we become an abomination (to them)!
Jonathan knew that victory in the Lord must always be more important to than peace with the enemy! I must remember, “Victory in the Lord is always more important to fight for, than settling to have peace with the devil!”
God is calling me to be a man of God who enters the battle rather than a man of God who gathers in the hills!
Lord Jesus may we as the church never settle for being an immobilized army, but always be an active abomination to the enemy! May we be bold for You, strong in You, courageous with You, and be overcoming the enemy in Your name. Amen.