Tag Archives: Israelites

Two Swords Among Them

Story of the Day for Saturday Sept. 15, 2012 

                Two Swords Among Them

 

                 So on the day of battle none of the people, except Saul and Jonathan, had a sword or spear in his hand. 

                                                                                              1 Samuel 13:22

 

Adolf Hitler was furious.

As the Third Reich trampled over the nations of Europe, Hitler offered Great Britain terms of peace, in exchange for surrender. When they refused to capitulate, Hitler ordered his military commanders to prepare for the invasion of England. In a top-secret letter, Hitler wrote, “Since England, despite its militarily hopeless situation, still has not shown any signs of being prepared to negotiate, I have decided to prepare a landing operation against England.”

Hitler was almost right about England’s “hopeless situation.” How, exactly, did the British intend to defend their homeland against the juggernaut of the German army? In those early days, when the Nazis prepared to pound the Brits into submission, English citizens stood on the eastern coast, armed only with hunting rifles, pitchforks, and, in some cases, golf clubs.

 

The Philistines, the perennial enemies of Israel, had developed a super-weapon: iron. The Philistines guarded their new technology so tightly that the Bible says there wasn’t a single blacksmith in all of Israel. “Otherwise,” the Philistines reasoned, “the Hebrews will make swords or spears.”

When the Philistines prepared to march into Israel, they were armed – not only with swords and spears, but with 30,000 chariots and 6000 horsemen, and foot soldiers “like the sand on the seashore.”  The Israelites managed to cobble together a militia of 600 men – with two swords among them.

 

So, what do you do when your days seem so dark and your situation hopeless?  Many simply cave in to depression and despair. They give up.

But the Lord reminds us that “the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong.”  When times seem bleak, we place our lives in God’s hands, suck up our courage, and refuse to give in to fear.

 

During the war, Winston Churchill spoke to the students at Harrow School. He recalled the Battle of Britain, and how “we were quite alone, desperately alone . . .” And then he reminded them that “We were poorly armed.”

“You cannot tell from appearances how things will go,” Churchill told them. “But for everyone, surely . . . this is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never – in nothing great or small, large or petty – never give in . . .”

 

German bombers pulverized the city of London, but the British refused to surrender, and, in the end, the plucky Englishmen hung their pitchforks back in their sheds and slammed their nine irons back into their golf bags.

 

The Philistine army was routed, and that small band of unsophisticated Hebrews stood victorious on the field of battle.

Do you believe that, in seemingly hopeless situations, the Lord is still at work? Then never give up. Never, never, never, never.

(copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre) 

 

No Excuses

Story of the Day for Wednesday February 15, 2012

No Excuses

                     Moses said to the Lord, “Look, the Israelites will not listen to me. Why would Pharaoh listen, since I speak with a stammering tongue?” 

                                                                   Exodus 6:12

While the people of Israel moaned under the crushing weight of slavery in Egypt, God sent Moses on a mission. He was to tell the people a word from God: “I am the Lord and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians.”

Moses told his fellow Israelites the good news. Yet, instead of exuberant shouts of joy, the Israelites ignored him. They were far too discouraged to believe in good news.

 

Great. You say exactly what the Lord wants, and no one listens. The next time, the Lord wants Moses to tell Pharaoh to let the Israelites go. This time Moses is ready . . . with excuses. “Tried it already.” “Didn’t work.” And, just for good measure, Moses adds, “I’m a lousy public speaker.”

 

We can’t brag up Moses too much, (because he’s not walking away as the winner of this argument), but these are really good excuses. And, Moses was absolutely right. He did go to Pharaoh, and Pharaoh scoffed at him – just as Moses said he would.

 

Excuses are wonderful things because they absolve us from responsibility.  They defend us against embarrassment and failure.

But, in the process we become “victimized” by life. Listen to these actual insurance claims and see if you notice a pattern:

  • “A pedestrian hit me and went under my car.”

  • “. . . as I reached an intersection, a hedge sprang up obscuring my vision.”

  • “As I approached the intersection, a stop sign suddenly appeared. . . “

  • “The telephone pole was approaching fast. I attempted to swerve out of its path when it struck my front end.”

Did you notice it? When those filing insurance claims try to avoid responsibility, their  passivity becomes comical. They are poor, passive victims living in a hostile world where stop signs and telephone poles dart in front of their cars and attack them.

 

Moses had good excuses for not becoming God’s messenger. But God told Moses to speak; he didn’t tell him to make Pharaoh respond. That’s God’s department.

Moses did end up doing what God said (with Aaron’s help), and, in the end, everything turned out all right.

Do you have excuses for not doing what the Lord wants you to do? I hope they’re good ones (and don’t forget that “I already tried it; doesn’t work” is a solid performer). But, at the end of the day, are we trying to persuade God, or just ourselves?

God’s ways often don’t make sense – to us anyway. But once we know His will, it’s always best to trust him. No excuses.

(copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)