Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | March 15, 2009

Galilee | Day 3 Morn

Endor as seen from Mt. Gilboa

Endor as seen from Mt. Gilboa

The Unimaginable | We drove to Mount Gilboa on the morning of March 13 for our first hike of the day. Mount Gilboa is located on the southeastern side of the fertile Jezreel Valley. The hike was not difficult. However, the history of this particular place is difficult. It was here that Saul’s army camped in anticipation of doing battle with the Philistines. The text tells us, “When Saul saw the Philistine army, he was afraid; terror filled his heart” (1 Sam 28:5). Saul consequently consulted a medium that lived in Endor and learned that he and his sons would not survive the battle. Saul was critically wounded in the battle (2 Samuel 31:3) and committed suicide rather than falling into enemy hands (2 Samuel 31:4). When David, Israel’s new king, heard this news, he cursed the mountain: “O mountains of Gilboa, may you have neither dew nor rain, nor fields that yield offerings” (2 Sam 1:21).

Caution | As in the case of his earlier battle against the Amalekites (1 Sam. 15), Saul had a problem trusting and obeying God. He was too impatient to wait on God and chose to do things his own way. When we fail to trust and wait on God we are prone to do the unimaginable to deal with life’s difficulties. Saul went to a witch to get advice! Be careful where you turn for help when you find yourself on your own Mount Gilboa.

The Unexplainable | From Mount Gilboa we walked the short distance to En Harod, also known as Gideon’s Fountain. This is the place where Gideon’s hastily-assembled volunteer army of 32,000 was camped while waiting to do battle with the Midianite coalition of more than 135,000 (Judges 7). It was there that God told Gideon, “You have too many men for Me to deliver Midian into their hands” (Judges 7:2). So, God reduced Gideon’s army to only 300 men. The first to be released from service were twenty-two thousand fearful men. God then instructed Gideon to take the remainder of his men “to the water” to further reduce the size of his army. “There the Lord told him, ‘Separate those who lap the water with their tongues like a dog from those who kneel down to drink’” (Judges 7:5). God used this test to reduce Gideon’s army to 300 men. And, with only 300 men God gave Gideon an unexplainable victory over an army of more than 135,000 men. We should always keep in mind that “Nothing can hinder the Lord from saving, whether by many or by few” (1 Sam. 14:6).

En Harod | Gideon's Fountain

En Harod | Gideon's Fountain

Encouragement | The men who drank water did not know they were being tested. And, the Scripture does not tell us the significance of the test of drinking water. Some have conjectured that those who knelt to drink and brought the water to their mouths were more alert and kept their eyes on Gideon and their surroundings. The important thing to keep in mind is that this was a simple way to reduce the size of Gideon’s army without raising suspicion. On a practical note, this occasion reminds us to always be alert because we may not know when we are being tested. I once heard that we should make every occasion a great occasion because we can never tell when somebody may be taking our measure for a larger place.


Responses

  1. Omar-

    All those photos are seemlier like Bangladesh, I am sure most are the places are mountains & Desert! But some photo looks like our country, is it looks like tides come & go from the rivers. thanks for the messages!

    Mortuza
    Bangladesh


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