Saul, the new king, is ready to take on the challenge that caused the Israelites to ask for a king. He is about to lead Israel into battle against the Philistines. Victory over the Ammonites was good, but the Philistines are bigger, scarier, and greater in numbers. All of Israel will need to come together to fight this enemy.
So the entire Israelite army was summoned to join Saul at Gilgal. The Philistines mustered a mighty army of 3,000 chariots, 6,000 charioteers, and as many warriors as the grains of sand on the seashore! They camped at Micmash east of Beth-aven. The men of Israel saw what a tight spot they were in; and because they were hard pressed by the enemy, they tried to hide in caves, thickets, rocks, holes, and cisterns. Some of them crossed the Jordan River and escaped into the land of Gad and Gilead. Meanwhile, Saul stayed at Gilgal, and his men were trembling with fear. (1 Samuel 13:5-7 NLT)
When we face challenges, struggles, and enemies that are bigger, stronger, and greater in number; it is natural to feel fear. Everything in our past experiences tells us that we are in trouble. We can’t handle it. We are too weak. We will lose. Everyone tells us this, with one exception: God.
But the people soon forgot about the LORD their God, so He handed them over to Sisera, the commander of Hazor's army, and also to the Philistines and to the king of Moab, who fought against them. "Then they cried to the LORD again and confessed, 'We have sinned by turning away from the LORD and worshiping the images of Baal and Ashtoreth. But we will worship You and You alone if You will rescue us from our enemies.' Then the LORD sent Gideon, Bedan, Jephthah, and Samuel to save you, and you lived in safety. (1 Samuel 12:9-11 NLT)
When we look back over our lives, it’s important to see one other part of the pattern. We lose battles when we fight battles the LORD does not want us to fight. We lose battles when we fight battles the LORD wants us to fight, but we do not fight the way the LORD wants us to fight. We lose battles without the LORD.
When we go into the battles of our daily lives, we need to remember not only what the LORD has done. We need to remember what the LORD wants to do. What battle does the LORD want me to avoid? What battle does the LORD want me to fight? When I do fight, how does the LORD want me to fight the battle? It isn’t good enough to come up with a battle plan and then ask God to bless it. We need to turn to the LORD and remember God’s plan.
How about you? Do you remember what the LORD wants to do?