1 Samuel 13:19 – Now there was no smith found throughout all the land of Israel: for the Philistines said, Lest the Hebrews make them swords or spears:
1 Samuel 13:20 – But all the Israelites went down to the Philistines, to sharpen every man his share, and his coulter, and his axe, and his mattock.
1 Samuel 13:21 – Yet they had a file for the mattocks, and for the coulters, and for the forks, and for the axes, and to sharpen the goads.
1 Samuel 13:22 – So it came to pass in the day of battle, that there was neither sword nor spear found in the hand of any of the people that were with Saul and Jonathan: but with Saul and with Jonathan his son was there found.
Hello readers, thank you for reading today. Today I want to talk about no smith in Israel. Hopefully there will be some valid points raised from the text which will help you to realize who the enemy is and what he does. The Philistines were the enemies of Israel, they didn’t worship the same God, their ways and means were different, and they were in dominion of Israel because of Israel’s disobedience to God. You disobey God and rebel against him it will be the same for you, you compromise with the world, you sell out on truth… you will be under Philistine control… it won’t be peaceful coexistence… they will be your master. There was no smith found in Israel. It was a time of war under Saul, yet the nation of Israel wasn’t equipped for battle at all. The smiths were gone, and consequentially nobody had any swords. Right off the bat, does this sound like Christianity today? 1 Samuel follows hot on the heels of the book of Judges… a time where there was no king in Israel but every man did that which was right in his own eyes. Israel was in disarray… with no authority, without God’s word… and we get what Christianity is like today… nobody is armed, nobody can do battle. In fact, noone is even thinking to do battle. Nobody has swords, because there are no smiths in the land.
Do you even know who your enemy is? I mean, we know the Philistines were the enemies of Israel, but how does that relate to you today? These stories are useless if not applicable to our individual lives. Who are your Philistines? Satan is an enemy, he is the enemy of your soul, he is a murderer and a liar. The world, which is his kingdom, is also an enemy, and the people of this world hate God, they hate Jesus, and they hate believers and followers of Jesus Christ. Your flesh, which is sinful, is your enemy as well, because it pulls you to do things which will ruin your life. The Philistines came into Israel because of Israel’s sin and disobedience to God. That’s what you get when you sin and rebel against God… the Philistines are upon you. So who is really controlling your life? Who’s tune are you dancing to? Who is your master? They were called Israel, but they were in servitude to the Philistines. You may be called a Christian, but it’s a dead name, you are really under the enemy. Maybe you don’t recognize the state of your life for what it actually is… and that’s why we need truth to see the truth about who we are, and what we are. But does truth find a place in your heart? Or is your heart only receptive to what Satan puts in there… as Judas Iscariot’s was? See, Judas was a Christian too… but he was a betrayer, a fraud… he had everyone else fooled, but not Jesus, and only what Jesus thinks and knows about you matters. Satan want’s to keep you in a state of servitude to him. That’s why the Philistines got rid of the smiths, because through the smiths, Israel might just get it in their heads to make some weapons and fight them.
Israel learned to co-exist with the Philistines, and accepted them. Should we accept things the way they are? It’s amazing how very much creatures of comfort we are. We get scared to change the status quo. Is that the case with you today? Have you accepted your lot in life? You have accepted the gains the enemy has made in your life… all the territory he’s taken? So many people are happy with their lives… they are happy in their sin. Right where Satan wants you. He doesn’t want you to consider a life of acknowledgement of truth, of forgiveness of sin, of peace with God, of eternal life. He’ll rob you of everything without you even realizing it. He wants your mind, your heart, your soul. The Philistines had taken measures to make sure the status quo would stay that way. They removed the smiths in the land. It was a smart move, they disarmed Israel. But more than that, they took away the mechanisms by which they could be armed. No smiths… no swords. What is a smith? You would’ve heard of blacksmiths and so on. Smiths make things, and they make them by forging them. Forging involves heating the metal in a furnace and then beating it out and fashioning it into something fit for use. A smith was worth his weight in gold, he could make swords, and swords could be used to fight. They were incredibly valuable!
Smiths today represent preachers of God’s word. But not just preachers, but anybody who knows God’s word, anybody who is of the truth, and having it, has it to share it with somebody else. Truth is powerful. Jesus said, ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free. Israel needed to be set free. But you won’t get free going down like an obedient little slave to the Philistines to get your garden hoe filed. The Philistines made Israel dependent upon them. Sound like our welfare state today? If you are dependent on them, the last thing you need is to get rid of them. We become so dependent on things that really need to be gone from our lives. Imagine if God could transfrom our hearts and minds. See things for what they really are, see the truth about the situation. What we need is truth. The Bible says my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. It was simple men that followed Absalom to their deaths. Satan knows if he can remove preachers of God’s word, he is removing people from hearing the truth. It is the lack of smiths in the land which has resulted in nobody being armed for combat at all. Or even knowing the need to do combat to begin with. In fact, people unsaved and saved are living under the yoke of the enemy, not just without a sword, but without even wanting a sword. Satan so effectively blinds people forgiveness and eternal life are things not even to be desired. You talk to some people and they have happily accepted things they don’t even need to! They, as the Bible says, judge themselves unworthy of eternal life.
Smiths know how to beat a formless bit of metal into something meaningful which results in people being armed. If you want to be a smith in the land, someone who can help arm Israel… you’re going to have to be able to know God’s word and be able to give it to others. Someone who can say like Phillip said to the eunuch… understandest thou what thou readest? Can you rightly divide the word of truth? Do you know what God says? When numbering the mighty men and the helpers of David, we read of the children of Issachar… which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do – 1 Chronicles 12:32. You don’t have to be a preacher, we are all called to hold forth the word of life, anybody can be a smith today… who can furnish others with weapons. You can be an actual useful part of society, you can make a difference in people’s lives. You can be someone who may give somebody the idea they need a weapon to begin with. How will people know if nobody tells them?
It is interesting to note though that the Philistines… they did offer Israel some services. They would file their agricultural tools. Satan is more than happy to file and sharpen parts of your life which won’t threaten his hold over you. He would love you to get good at things which are opposite to God’s design for your life. He wants to shape your thinking. The Philistines wanted Israel busy with their agricultural work so they wouldn’t have time to think about fighting them. Satan wants to keep you busy, he will distract you, and fill your life up so full you won’t have time for God or for his business. He wants you busy with making money, he wants you occupied with pleasures and affairs of this life so you won’t threaten his kingdom. He wants to point you in a certain direction for your life, a direction that is away from God’s direction for your life. He wants the book closed in your life, and for him to sit on the seat of your heart. He’s quite content being your master, as the Philistines were masters of Israel… and he doesn’t want that threatened. The Philistines didn’t want it to enter into Israel’s mind to fight them. It is so true today, control information, control knowledge… it took expertise to be a smith… and you control people. Satan will control how you think… you will be so busy serving him you won’t have time to think about a better life, a life free of his clutches, a life full of forgiveness and mercy and the love and grace and liberty of God. Jesus said Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. Think about it, are you busy serving sin? Is sin your master? Has it filled your life, like leaven leavens the whole lump?
The Philistines were happy to sharpen their farming equipment. That’s pretty accomodating of them. They were Israel’s enemy, but that’s a pretty amicable little arrangement. Sometimes our enemies don’t seem so enemy… isn’t that true? It’s one thing to say this is wrong or that is wrong on paper, but seeing and applying it to our real life is another thing entirely. You can say adultery is wrong and wicked on paper… but in real life you could rationalize it into being ok, after all she’s the prettiest and most irresistible thing you know of right. These Philistines were enemies, yet they were doing Israel a service, they had reached an agreement and come to an arrangement. Compromise with the world is a killer. What agreement have you come to with the world? With the devil? Remember, Satan is winning and you’re not… when you make a compromise with someone who is the father of lies and no truth abides in him. There’s some things the Philistines want you to focus on and will help you to focus on. If Israel is busy farming, then they ain’t fighting. There’s also another truth here, and that is that the Philistines were doing the sharpening. What’s sharpening your life? Who is having the input into your life… who is influencing the way you think and act? Who and what is filing and sharpening your mind? Because if you look at public schools with all their worldly, anti God, anti Bible indoctrination for instance… that is Satan sharpening the kids minds. Where did you get what you believe? What are you affirming from? It’s interesting that even Christians say this, this and that… yet it’s not based in God’s word… it’s because the Philistines have been sharpening their tools. The tools of their lives are conformed to Philistine standards. You’re not actually getting what you believe from God’s word, but from the Philistines, they are controlling your life. Your life meets the Philistine standard… not God’s standard.
Speaking of control… this passage shows that disarmament is a way of subduing a people… of destroying someone’s freedoms. On the spiritual and physical level… it is the pathway to control. In a country like the United States of America today that is at the core of the gun issue… dominion and power. Whenever there is a mass shooting, there’s an outcry against guns and there is great moral indignation… but if people truly cared about human lives lost, abortion surely wouldn’t be the booming industry that it is? Surely the drug and alcohol trade would have been shut down if everyone was so committed to the sanctity of life? But people don’t care about each other at all… they just want gun control because they want to disarm you… so they can control you. It’s what the Philistines did. Israel were such dummies they didn’t realize it. Because the Philistines were in dominion of them. Take for instance, Judas Iscariot… he cared so much about the money… he said, why wasn’t the ointment sold and given to the poor!? He was a thief… he didn’t care about the poor at all. It’s time instead of the Philistines doing the sharpening, to let God sharpen you right up so you can see that the Philistines need to go. Let God define your life… let him form you and shape you. Stop looking at the world the way the Philistines make you see it.
People need truth, and when given it, they can go out, they are armed.. and the Philistines are in trouble. Saul and Jonathan had swords… so you can still get a sword… even if nobody else has one. Not many people want swords, or have swords… doesn’t mean you have to conform to the rest. If you know your Bible, you know that the sword that we need is provided for us… God has given us a sword to do battle with. The sword of the Spirit is the word of God… Ephesians 6:17. We read in Revelation of Jesus Christ that… out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword. You need the word of God today, and so do I. The word of God will cut through all the garbage. It might help you recognize who the actual enemy is finally, it might get you thinking finally, and it will give you the weapon you need to put the enemy to flight. But because the smiths were gone, nobody had swords. Never forget, it is by the foolishness of preaching that men are saved. Churches should be smiths… churches should be arming people for the battle of life. Instead churches are more like Philistine sharpening sheds. Isn’t that what prosperity gospel is? Just like the Philistines filing their tools so they could make more money andh have a bigger harvest… and feed the Philistines? Forging is a rough and tough process… that metal is BEAT out. Preaching can be pretty rough and tough, but it’s what we need. That end result, a sword, is a result of metal being put into a furnace… Jesus was put through the furnace of death for us… and as a result of his resurrection, we have been furnished with the gospel which cuts through all the darkness and lies and distractions and deceptions and devices of the enemy. The gospel, the word of God, is the POWER of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth. That’s a sword the enemy fears.
The Philistines didn’t want Israel to even think of being delivered. People don’t want to hear the gospel at all today, and Satan keeps them blinded, he doesn’t want them to even consider the truth… for it not even come to mind. He wants to keep us all so occupied we don’t make a dent on this life, we don’t upset any apple carts, we just fall in line with them. He wants to be in control of your life, he wants you to come to him for sharpening… and he’ll sharpen you in his ways alright… he’ll have you dancing to his tune your whole life in rigid servitude. They were serving the Philistines! He wants you caught up in the distractions and pleasures of this life, too occupied to consider Jesus Christ who died on the cross for you. It’s sad, because when the time for battle comes, and some Christians want to stand up… they realize they don’t got a sword. A swordless Christian is one at a huge disadvantage, he’s not equipped for battle. In the day of battle, when it’s time to stand up and be counted… will you be able to stand up and fight? Do you have a sword? The Bible says in 1 John that… I have written unto you young men, because ye are strong, and the Word of God abideth in you. Is this true of you? Will you be able to say as Paul did… 2 Timothy 4:7 – I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith… the fight is a fight of faith… and faith comes by hearing the word of God. You can’t fight without the word of God, nor will you have faith without the word of God. God’s word builds faith. Israel was a faithless, weak, defeated people because they had no swords, they had been disarmed… there was no smith in Israel.