In I Samuel 13, the Philistines sent groups of raiders against Saul and the people of Israel. But Israel was in an extremely weak position. Verses 19-23 tell us, “Now, no blacksmith could be found in all the land of Israel, for the Philistines had said, ‘Otherwise the Hebrews will make swords or spears.’ … So it came about on the day of battle that neither sword nor spear was found in the hands of any of the people who were with Saul and Jonathan …”. Having no swords or spears is NOT a desirable position to be in when a battle is approaching!
Unfortunately, this is just the picture of the defenselessness of many of God’s people today in the face of the spiritual attacks of the enemy. Ephesians 6:17 tells us “the sword of the Spirit … is the word of God.” In Matthew 4, we see that Jesus continually drew that “sword of the Spirit” to ward off the temptations of Satan. His constant defense was “It is written …”.
Yet many Christians find themselves like Israel on that ancient day. They have no “weapons” with which to defend themselves in spiritual battles. Because they have not spent adequate time in God’s word, and have not committed its truths to memory, their hands are as empty on the day of spiritual battle as Saul & Jonathan’s people’s were. Proverbs 24:10 warns us: “If you are slack in the day of distress, your strength will be limited.” This is exactly where too many Christians find themselves in crucial times: with no weapon in hand to fight the imminent spiritual battle.
Let it not be said of us, like it was of Israel, that “on the day of battle, neither sword nor spear was found in the hands of any of the people …”. Like our Lord before us, let us arm ourselves beforehand with the word of God — reading it, studying it, memorizing it — that we may wield it like a sword against the wiles of the enemy!