Last Friday, terrorists in the Gaza Strip launched rockets aimed at Israel. Only one problem: one of the rockets never made it out of Gaza, but hit the home of a Hamas terrorist instead. While it is not the first time a Gazan rocket has failed to make it out of Gaza, it is certainly ironic that a Hamas operative would take the hit. (Find a news report of that event here.)
When I read the report, I immediately thought of instances in Scripture when God moved on Israel’s behalf by confusing Israel’s enemies, causing them to turn on one another. One example stood out more than the others. The account is found in 1 Samuel 14.
To set the stage, chapter 13 tells us that King Saul and his son Jonathan led Israel into battle with the Philistines, where they found themselves outnumbered (as Israel normally is). Moreover, only Saul and Jonathan had weapons in which to fight the battle.
Now to chapter 14, where we find Jonathan concocting and implementing a plan. In verse 6, he expressed his faith in the Lord: “Perhaps the Lord will help us, for nothing can hinder the Lord. He can win a battle whether he has many warriors or only a few!”
Jonathan and his armor bearer went up against the Philistines and had a degree of success, but it took a move of the Lord on their behalf to bring victory.
Suddenly, panic broke out in the Philistine army, both in the camp and in the field, including even the outposts and raiding parties. And just then an earthquake struck, and everyone was terrified….Then Saul and all his men rushed out to the battle and found the Philistines killing each other. There was terrible confusion everywhere.
~1 Samuel 14:15, 20
In the confusion, the Philistines turned on one another and the Lord saved Israel that day, according to verse 22.
Today, Israel is incredibly outnumbered by her enemies, yet just as Jonathan proclaimed, the Lord wins battles whether the warriors are many or few, and Israel has a degree of success when they must go to battle.
However, when Israel’s enemies’ weapons turn upon themselves, we know the Lord is fighting the battle! Oh, by the way…the name “Palestinians” (who occupy Gaza) comes from the same root word as Philistines!
Praise God for His faithfulness to His people! Though His hand of protection may not always be clearly seen, there are certainly times when He makes His presence known on their behalf.
What praise is due the God of Israel…and how faithful we must be to pray blessings upon His people!