Israel’s Military Disadvantage

And Samuel arose, and gat him up from Gilgal unto Gibeah of Benjamin. And Saul numbered the people that were present with him, about six hundred men…. 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 Beth-horon: and another company turned to the way of the border that looketh to the valley of Zeboim toward the wilderness. 1 Samuel 13:15‭, ‬17‭-‬18 KJV

This is the crisis. If you’ve followed these vignettes thus far, you’ll notice that we’ve taken the entire Bible as God’s storyline. Its exciting how the action rises, its complications and the resolutions. The crisis is the point that should force the protagonist to change. Its a binary that demands quality decisions. Saul should have repented, and perhaps prostrate before Samuel left. Instead, he counted the men. The last time Saul summoned the people against Ammon, he had thirty thousand people(1Sam.11:8). Even in normal operations, he had two thousand stationed with him, Johnathan had a thousand. Now, they had only six hundred men. This time the Philistines mustered,” thirty thousand chariots, and six thousand horsemen, and people as the sand which is on the sea shore in multitude”(1Sam.13:5). There’s only one explanation. Samuel’s departure affected the moral of the army. People left. To add salt to injury, raiding parties, not the full military, began to distract in three directions. Even the enemy knew they were disadvantaged. When it looks like you will be overwhelmed, take a retreat or a rethink. Samuel’s departure signalled God’s departure. Don’t ever do it without God.

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