Where Are The Blacksmiths? – A Word by Ryan Johnson
1 Samuel 13:16-23 “Now Saul and his son Jonathan and the people who were present with them were staying in Geba of Benjamin while the Philistines camped at Michmash. 17 And the raiders came from the camp of the Philistines in three companies: one company turned toward Ophrah, to the land of Shual, 18 and another company turned toward Beth-horon, and another company turned toward the border which overlooks the valley of Zeboim toward the wilderness. 19 Now no blacksmith could be found in all the land of Israel, for the Philistines said, “Otherwise the Hebrews will make swords or spears.” 20 So all Israel went down to the Philistines, each to sharpen his plowshare, his mattock, his axe, and his hoe. 21 The charge was two-thirds of a shekel for the plowshares, the mattocks, the forks, and the axes, and to fix the hoes. 22 So it came about on the day of battle that neither sword nor spear was found in the hands of any of the people who were with Saul and Jonathan, but they were found with Saul and his son Jonathan. 23 And the garrison of the Philistines went out to the pass of Michmash.”
Quickly in this passage we find that the enemy (Philistines) have surrounded Israel from the Northeast, the West, and the Southeast. The purpose of the enemy is to get Saul (King), Johnathan (Saul’s son), and the Israelites (soldiers) out of their positions and force them to fight. Once out of position the enemy would attack. In the passage above there is some interesting insight to where Israel had found themselves. V. 21 – “We notice that the Israelites had to pay the enemy to sharpen what they had available.”
By this time, the enemy of Israel had taken away all of their weapons, and their blacksmiths. As strange as it may sound, the Philistine strategy was very effective. Let’s think about the fact that they took away the very individuals who created the weapons…THE BLACKSMITHS. Because of this one move, when crops began to mature, the enemy spoilers would raid the nation stealing their bounty with ease because there would be no defense from the Israelites. No one could keep the tools, and/or weapons in proper working order. Due to this one major point, we read that the only weapon to be found in Israel were in the hands of Saul and Johnathan. It was a season in Israel where they had armed leaders and disarmed saints.
Why is this so important? Let’s look at one of the verses found right before a very famously quoted verse in the Bible. Isaiah 54:16-17 16 “Behold, I Myself have created the smith who blows the fire of coals and brings out a weapon for its work; and I have created the destroyer to ruin. 17 “No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; and every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their vindication is from Me,” declares the Lord.
It would be the Blacksmiths who worked with raw material and fire on a daily basis. The Blacksmiths would take the hot material and begin to form the metal into what they had a vision for. Never knowing what a block of metal may be, the Blacksmith would have a vision of what it could become. There was a vision and a process. The process of the Blacksmith is a very specific job as only the Blacksmith knows what he is forming from the raw materials that they have. They have to get the temperature of the fire just right before placing the metal into the tempered heat. Then, the Blacksmith has to know the exact time to pull the metal out of the fire to begin the process of formation through the continual pounding of a hammer. They then begin beating on the material and eventually placing it back into the fire, until the process is complete. Once that process is repeated over and over, the Blacksmith ultimately seals the metal into water and it forms a bond that is purified with water.
Can you imagine where Israel now finds themselves? They need the Blacksmith for their farming equipment, but more importantly for their weapons when faced by an enemy. And yet, there were no Blacksmiths. Israel had become accustomed to paying the enemy for the work that they were once able to produce. How often have we surrendered to our enemy, even before the battle begins. We often find ourselves becoming satisfied with paying the enemy to do what we are capable of doing ourselves. And then the very moment you need that key person, that key weapon, the enemy has complete control.
We are in a very familiar situation today as week by week, we have leaders who use their gifts that have been entrusted to them, but typically the soldiers are not properly prepared. We have the best of the best in certain areas, but sadly we find ourselves weak in areas where we should not be. We are in a season where we have Armed Leaders and Disarmed Saints. However, I AM CALLING FOR THE BLACKSMITHS TO RISE UP!
We need the Spiritual Blacksmiths to rise up and be strengthened because the enemy seeks to remove the weapons of our warfare. The enemy seeks to keep you silent and remove the Spiritual Blacksmiths of this world, but when there is Fire of Holy Spirit, the Blacksmiths will forge the raw material of His Word into powerful weapons which shape and mold God’s people into His image and then equips them for spiritual warfare. Although the enemy is constantly attacking the word of God, we know that the Word is a Double Edge Sword and God is going to use that Sword to overcome the enemy.
The Lord is looking for those who will be constant in the word of God. Those who are willing to get dirty, nasty, hot, and sweaty from the intensity of the Blacksmiths Fire. God’s Word has to be put into the hands of those who will take the sword and learn how to wield with righteousness. Our prayers have to be in agreement with His Word as our battle plans, and our worship must be the strategy to our victory. I know that in times past we have depended on others to do it for us, but we need someone who will prepare the way yet again.
I am truly grateful for those who are demonstrating God’s power, but we need Sons/Daughters to be quipped for Battle today! It’s one thing to demonstrate God’s power…It’s another thing altogether to equip the saints to minister in the power of God. The raw material is available for forging spiritual weapons and these materials, each believer has within them. We can’t keep going to service after service, and/or conference after conference just to gather for a dance and a shout. We need to discover the purity of the Fire of Holy Spirit. Excitement without purity is not fire. God’s Fire first makes us pure, then creates within us the passion that is needed to cause us to burn. So where and how does this all begin? We must discover that God is our Blacksmith. Are you willing to endure the beating away of what must be hammered out? Are you willing to be placed in the fire, only to be taken out and put back again, over and over as HE begins the process of making you into the image that HE sees you to be? Are you willing to be sealed with the Holy Spirit? Once you know that your YES is YES, the process will begin and from the process there will be a restoration of Blacksmiths in the land again. Let the Blacksmiths Arise!