Where are the Blacksmiths?
In 1 Samuel 13:19, a seemingly insignificant observation is made about the state of the nation of Israel under king Saul’s leadership - “Now there was no blacksmith to be found throughout all the land of Israel….” This was no coincidence, but a deliberate ploy on the part of their enemy the Philistines, to ensure the Israelites were not equipped to become a fighting force against them.
By removing the blacksmiths from the nation, there was no one skilled either to sharpen any existing tool they might have into a weapon of attack, nor to forge any metal into swords or spears. In this way, Israel was reduced to a community of harmless farmers and vulnerable neighbors. To add insult to injury, the Philistines made sure that the Israelites had to come to them in order to have even their tools to survive as farmers sharpened by foreign blacksmiths and, in so doing, regulated the pace and price for existence within the neighborhood. Although the parallels to our day may need no explanation, let me share just a few thoughts on how I understand this passage relating to us.
Download the full AC Talk from Keith along with a Kingdom Clip from Tony Fitzgerald below.