Tomorrow I will be teaching from 1 Samuel 28. Here’s an except:
The Philistines assembled and came and encamped at Shunem. And Saul gathered all Israel, and they encamped at Gilboa. (1 Samuel 28:4)
Here’s why that’s significant: Because the cities of Shunem and Gilboa are located in the far NORTH of Israel — so what that means is that while Saul had taken the army off for years to chase after David, the Philistines, who were based in the South-Western corner of Israel (modern-day Gaza), had penetrated deep into Israel’s territory.
Now, think about it: How did that happen? How did Saul lose all that ground?
It was because Saul spent all his time fighting the wrong enemy.
Saul forgot who the real enemy was. And instead of fighting the real enemy (the Philistines) — he had spent all his time waging a campaign against a brother (David).
As a result — now, when there is a real battle to fight, Saul’s completely unprepared, and the enemy has made huge inroads into territory that he once possessed.
Let me tell you: that should be a major warning for all of us!
Make sure you know who the real enemy is! Make sure you’re spending your time fighting the RIGHT battles, and not wasting your time and energy fighting the wrong ones!
There is an enemy of your soul — but let me tell you: It’s not your wife! It’s not your husband! Your enemy is not your Christian brother or sister – who has a slightly different view than you do on some secondary Christian doctrine!
If we forget who the real enemy is, if we forget what the real battle is, and get all distracted with going on crusades against people who are really on our same team, then what happens is, like Saul – one day we turn around to realize that we’ve lost a lot of ground, and the enemy has made huge inroads into our lives…