Recently during prayer, God began speaking to me about the spiritual battle surrounding His people. I hope that what He showed me will also help you.
In the song of lament for the loss of Jonathan, David states, “How are the mighty fallen, and the weapons of war perished!” (2 Samuel 1:27, KJV). As I began to contemplate this thought, I wondered, “How can the ordinary, like me, be victorious when the mighty fall?” We have all seen someone, who seemed to be a mighty spiritual warrior, fall into a sinful lifestyle to which that they should have been immune. Why does that happen? How can I protect myself from the same error?
Thankfully, God is not in the habit of provoking a question without having a ready answer, and this was the case that morning. I marveled as the reasoning and conclusion opened up to be so simplistic; yet, I have never truly considered the following occurrences to be relevant to my day-to-day battle.
God mentioned two Biblical cities that were considered impregnable. Their walls were so strong and the supplies so well stocked that they could simply defeat the attacking enemy by waiting. Eventually, the enemy would tire and move on to other cities in search of conquest and plunder. In spite of these marvels of engineering and planning, history records that each were defeated with little loss of life to the attackers. How could something so strong fall so easily? Amazingly, the problem of both cities resided within. We will look at each individually.
2 Samuel 5:6-10 (KJV)
6 And the king and his men went to Jerusalem unto the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land: which spake unto David, saying, Except thou take away the blind and the lame, thou shalt not come in hither: thinking, David cannot come in hither.
7 Nevertheless David took the strong hold of Zion: the same is the city of David.
8 And David said on that day, Whosoever getteth up to the gutter, and smiteth the Jebusites, and the lame and the blind, that are hated of David’s soul, he shall be chief and captain. Wherefore they said, The blind and the lame shall not come into the house.
9 So David dwelt in the fort, and called it the city of David. And David built round about from Millo and inward.
10 And David went on, and grew great, and the LORD God of hosts was with him.
Jerusalem was ideally situated on a ridge with valleys on all four sides. This elevation, combined with its strong walls, caused it to be easily defended. This defense was accentuated with the significant provisions and protected natural water source, the spring of Gihon, at the base of the ridge. As access from the spring would require climbing the fifty foot (15m) vertical shaft, by which the inhabitants would lower buckets to gain access to the water below, the shaft was only lightly protected. Who would ever consider to attempt to climb this shaft while wearing a full complement of armor and weaponry? Sounds like a foolhardy attempt!
Many times do we say, “I would never fall for that!” or “Even if I were not Christian, I would not consider doing that!” These are the areas to which I am I’m referring. We see no need to pay much attention to these areas because the natural defenses are so strong, we would never consider the action.
The capture of Babylon by the Med-Persian army is a saddening account to study. The city was under siege. Attack was eminent and the entire city knew it. Their faith was in the seeming invincibility of their defenses. The massive walls were even built to span the Euphrates River which divided the city into two halves. Metal walls hanged below the waterline as deterrence to those who considered swimming underneath them. It would be difficult to swim the distance while dressed for battle. The walls were so massive that only the watchtowers were manned. In the event of any surprise, they could easily sound the alarm.
They had seen that the invaders were digging upstream but considering conventional warfare, it was simply thought that they were about to begin to build ramps against the wall, a task that would take hours, if not days. This was not a concern because they would simply sound the alarm; the archers would then gather at the attack point to harass the builders. There was no need for immediate concern.
It is estimated that the city has adequate stores to endure a siege of twenty years. This, combined with the mighty Euphrates as a ready water source, lulled the populace into a feeling of security in spite of the very visible danger. This security caused King Belshazzar to proclaim a city-wide feast. That night, the invaders diverted the Euphrates and walked under the sluice gates and captured the city. Why did no one notice the change in water level? Why did no one sound the alarm?
How did these two seemingly invincible cities fall with so little effort by the attackers? The problem is found within the walls. The seeming safety resulted in slothfulness. Had there simply been a small contingent of guards posted at the water shaft, they could have easily withstood the encroachment sufficiently for reinforcements to arrive. Had someone been posted near the river to monitor water levels, the alarm could have been sounded.
There is no human reason that these cities should have fallen. They had adequate provision and sufficient military capability. On the surface they appeared to have significant defenses to repel any attempted attack. Yet, they fell so easily for lack of diligence.
Am I diligently guarding my resources? Do I adequately protect my schedule so that I have adequate time with Jesus every day? Am I ensuring that the proper tools are at hand in case of spiritual attack? Once again, I am in a process of analyzing my life to find the areas in which I need to strengthen my defenses. I do not want to be caught within a moment of lethargy with inadequate defenses. The price of failure is costly and the reward of success is beyond my imagination.