“Nevertheless, the Lord raised up judges
who delivered them out of the hand of
those who plundered them.” – Author of Judges (Judge 2:16)
Judges are people used by the Lord to save the Israelites from their oppressors. They exist between the period after Joshua’s death until the time of Eli the Priest /King Saul. There were a total of 12 judges, did we see the weapons that they were using?
Each of the judges were given different gifts, hence their weapons are different, but yet with Gods help, these weapons became effective weapons to accomplish Gods salvation.
Likewise today in our spiritual battle, we too have spiritual weapons. We had studied the weapons of Peter and Paul, let us consider the weapon of the judges.
The Flesh Jawbone used by Samson
Let us begin the journey by considering the weapons used by Samson. Many would reckon that Samson himself is already a weapon and would not imagine him needing any other weapon
But over at Judg 15:16 Records of a weapon used by Samson
|“With the jawbone of a donkey,
Heaps upon heaps,
With the jawbone of a donkey
I have slain a thousand
men!” – Samson (Judg 15:16)
A Jawbone is usually not considered as a weapon, but with the help of Gods spirit, it became an effective weapon. What does the jawbone of Samson represent?
The Importance Of A Steadfast and Strong Faith
The jawbone is a representative of a steadfast and strong faith. During war time, people with a strong and steadfast spirit tends to win, for without it, soldiers would lose their courage fighting.
1 Sam 17:10-11 records of a battle at the valley of Elah where Saul and his armies are dismayed and frightened. In fact we know that Saul and his troops are not cowards and they have won many battles before.
But this time, the situation is different, the enemies is strong and tall. Therefore they grew weak before the fight event started. When Goliath challenged “I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.” Everyone was afraid to respond to that challenge.
When the time is ripe, David entered the valley of Elah, he came to visit his brothers in the battle field. What did he say when he heard the giants mocking Israel?
“What shall be done for the man who kills
this Philistine and takes away the reproach
from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised
Philistine, that he should defy the armies of
the living God?” David (1 Sam 17:26)
They are indeed words of courage, but at the same time it draws much disdain from the audience. One example was the elder brother of David (1 Sam 17:28-29). He feel that David was proud, for its easy to say “Go and Fight, be strong and courageous” but must people who said that just did it so that they could watch the fight.
But David was far from that, he was being misunderstood. So David replied “What have I done? Is there not a cause?” . David didn’t care what others think, he knew what he wanted to do all along. David did not visit the valley of Elah to play hero, he knew the necessity to fight and he know Israel will prevail.
Why was David so confident and where did he gather his faith? This is something we need to examine in detail. For many had lost their faith in the valley of Elah and they are unable to fight even if they have a whole armoury to draw their weapons from.
A Faith As Hard As A Jawbone
David’s faith is as hard as a jawbone of the donkey. That is why he is able to say his famous words in 1 Sam 17:45.
Initially when Goliath saw David, he look down on him saying “Am I a dog that you come with me with sticks?”
“Then all this assembly shall know that
the Lord does not save with sword and
spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and
He will give you into our hands.”- David (1 Sam 17:45)
These words can be easily spoken with our mouth. But the question is, are we able to say it when we are facing our own Goliath? Sometimes we only know who we are fighting when we stepped into the battlefield. That is when we grow faint and wonder “How did I lose that faith?”
The Need To Build Faith
David’s faith is establish as he progress with life. Sometimes we are all fired up after listening to a sermon, we seem to be full of faith before God. But often that faith was never tested, nor was it put to use often.
But if one nurtures his faith and use them often, , he will have the faith to face calamities when it comes. Therefore it is important for faith to be nurtured. But often we have faith but we do not use it, we spend it merely listening to sermons.
Let us look at how the faith of David is nurtured. David spoke about it here
“Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep,
and when a lion or a bear came and took a
lamb out of the flock, I went out after it and
struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth;
and when it arose against me, I caught it by its
beard, and struck and killed it.
When Saul claimed that David was a youth and cannot go to war. David disagreed and he bore testimony about how he killed Lions and Bears. I am sure most of us have the courage to kill foxes and wolves, but do we dare fight a lion and a bear?
Usually we will calculate our odds and when we realise the odds stacked against us. That is when we value our lives more than the lives of the sheep. But David is different, he fought the lion and the bear. How is that possible?
He relied on God, he wanted to save his sheep, he believes God is his shepherd. That is not a mere poetic description of God, it was his declaration of faith. He must have fought many lions and bears, and as the result, his faith became stronger. That is when he is made to fight Goliath the giant.
“Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and
this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of
them, seeing he has defied the armies of the
living God.” -David (1 Sam 17:36)
He did not enter the battlefield relying on his skill with the sling, but his faith can clearly be seen in the next verse
“The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the
lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver
me from the hand of this Philistine.”-David (1 Sam 17:37)
As the result, Saul agreed and said “Go, and the Lord be with you”. We all know the outcome of that battle.
We know that the weapon we need in this spiritual battle is persistent faith. This faith is build up over time and require us to cultivate it in our daily lives. How do we cultivate it?
We will discuss these questions on the next post.