Strange Bedfellows

Saul and his son Jonathan and the men with them were staying in Gibeah in Benjamin, while the Philistines camped at Micmash. Raiding parties went out from the Philistine camp in three detachments. One turned toward Ophrah in the vicinity of Shual, another toward Beth Horon, and the third toward the borderland overlooking the Valley of Zeboim facing the desert. Not a blacksmith could be found in the whole land of Israel, because the Philistines had said, "Otherwise the Hebrews will make swords or spears!" So all Israel went down to the Philistines to have their plowshares, mattocks, axes and sickles sharpened. The price was two thirds of a shekel for sharpening plowshares and mattocks, and a third of a shekel for sharpening forks and axes and for repointing goads. So on the day of the battle not a soldier with Saul and Jonathan had a sword or spear in his hand; only Saul and his son Jonathan had them. Jonathan Attacks the Philistines Now a detachment of Philistines had gone out to the pass at Micmash. 1 Samuel 13:16-23

By the tone of the passage, you'd think that the Israelites and Philistines were best friends. Nothing could be further from the truth. And yet, the Israelites had to depend on the Philistines to sharpen their tools and weapons. You have to know that the Philistines were thinking of ways to deceive and defeat even as their weapons were in the repair shop.

It has been said that "politics makes strange bedfellows." What is meant by that is that sometimes out of necessity you have to make friends with people you despise. In fact we have another saying that goes right along that: the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Let me give you a concrete example. In the early 1980s the United States was friends with the Afghans. They had absolutely nothing to offer the United States except that we were enemies with the Soviet Union. When the USSR invaded Afghanistan in 1979, the United States immediately sought ways of befriending some fairly unsavory character in Afghanistan. Those same people today are using some of the technology and weaponry against the United States as it fights terrorists.

Most countries make strange pacts and agreements with other nations. Thank God for his sovereignty over the nations! Praise Him that He has the entire universe under control despite the odd and even evil alliances nations must make.

Nothing surprises Him. He is in control.

, ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.