Why Did the Philistines and Israelites Constantly Fight, and What is the Christian’s Fight Today

The Philistines are a constant nuisance and danger to the people of God.  Why is that?

The Philistines were an ancient people, listed in the records of those who descended from Noah’s son, Ham, after the time of the flood (Genesis 10:14).  But it was during the time of the Exodus that the Lord promised that the land of Israel would include the territory of the Philistines (Exodus 23:31).  This promise meant that some kind of conflict would have to take place for Israel to displace the Philistines. 

When Joshua was old, he mentioned the land of the Philistines as one of the areas that still remained to be defeated by Israel (Joshua 13:1–3). Because the Philistines were not completely removed, Israel faced them as perennial enemies. 

The conflict between the two countries comes to a head in 1 Samuel.

In 1 Samuel 4, the Philistines defeated the people of God.  Israel illicitly brought out the ark to the battlefield, and Israel was decimated.

In 1 Samuel 7, the people of God defeated the Philistines.  “The LORD thundered loudly against the Philistines that day and threw them into such confusion that they fled before Israel” (7:10)

In 1 Samuel 13, the Philistines defeated Israel.  Saul asks Samuel to offer a sacrifice.  When it takes Samuel 7 days to get there, Saul offers an unbiblical sacrifice.

In 1 Samuel 14, Saul’s son, Jonathan defeats the Philistine’s, but because Saul said no one was allowed to eat until the Philistines were defeated, the whole battle falls apart and the Philistines are not entirely wiped out.

And of course, all of this comes to a head in 1 Samuel 17, the Philistines send Goliath, their champion, to find the champion of Israel.  David steps forward and defeats Goliath.

Biblically, this conflict goes on and on and on. The basis of the conflict between Israel and the Philistines is that Israel advanced into Philistine territory and took their land and that conflict always goes back and forth.

So now in the New Testament, we don’t live in the context of taking physical property on behalf the kingdom of God. But in the New Testament context in the light of Jesus in the arrival of the kingdom of God that he brings there still is territory for the Christian to take it is only spiritual.

Ephesians 6: 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.

That means that you are constantly called to advance and take spiritual territory for the kingdom of God in this world, and that means that if you live that out you will be constantly hated by the world.

If your expression of Christianity in the proclaiming of Jesus Christ is not putting you in some conflict with the world that is the equivalent of an Israelite soldier who just doesn’t go into battle.  It doesn’t mean that the world doesn’t hate you, it just means that the world can’t distinguish you as a representative of the kingdom of God

But, so many years later, Paul understood the struggle of being a good soldier of Christ.  There are so many challenges and potential distractions.  He prays against them, and he asked others to pray for him as well.  In that, we see our hope (and a slight nod to David as well).

2 Timothy 2: 2 You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, 2 and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also. 3 Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.

4 No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. 5 An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. 6 It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops. 7 Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.  8 Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel.

May the Lord bless you and make you strong for the battle at hand.

Gospel Rich Books

If you would like to learn more about Gospel Rich books, we offer a host of challenging and encouraging resources.  You can find them below:

Gospel Rich Books Amazon Catalog

Gospel Rich Books Blog

And to enable more writers to publish their works, we offer the BestSeller Template which is a publisher ready resource that authors can cut and paste their works into to make them Amazon ready. 

If you want to follow more of what’s going on with Gordon, check out the website www.jgordonduncan.com and his recently launched podcast at

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/this-is-gonna-hurt-the-podcast-of-j-gordon-duncan/id1356352968

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Gospel Rich Books Celebrates the Release of Pocket Spurgeon – The Gospel Cordial

Thank you, everyone, who read “Pocket Spurgeon – The Hold Fast”.  It has been met with a greater response than perhaps any other Gospel Rich Books release.  “Joy in Trials” is probably the only book that has received a greater response. 

I hope this means two things.  I hope it means that “Pocket Spurgeon” is designed in such a way to make Christian classics more accessible, and I also hope it means that people have enjoyed the content.

Gospel Rich Books plans on releasing at least a dozen more “Pocket Spurgeon” titles, and we also are editing works from other classic authors.   Look for them soon.

Excitedly, we are ready to announce our newest release:  “Pocket Spurgeon – The Gospel Cordial”.  Taken from Proverbs 31:6-7, the focus passage reads: “Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts. Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.”

We will write more about this release soon, but for now, just know this sweet book focuses on Christ as the better drink for the hurt of our souls.

You can find “Pocket Spurgeon – The Gospel Cordial” on Amazon

Thank you so much for supporting Gospel Rich Books and Christians classics.  We hope all of our releases are encouraging and edifying to you.

Gospel Rich Books

If you would like to learn more about Gospel Rich books, we offer a host of challenging and encouraging resources.  You can find them below:

Gospel Rich Books Amazon Catalog

Gospel Rich Books Blog

And to enable more writers to publish their works, we offer the BestSeller Template which is a publisher ready resource that authors can cut and paste their works into to make them Amazon ready. 

If you want to follow more of what’s going on with Gordon, check out the website www.jgordonduncan.com and his recently launched podcast at

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/this-is-gonna-hurt-the-podcast-of-j-gordon-duncan/id1356352968

Sheep, Wolves, Snakes, and Doves – Gordon Goes to Vegas Part One

“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” Matthew 10:16

I spent the last part of the past week in Las Vegas at the 10XGrowthCon.  The 10XGrowthCon is exactly what it says it is.  It is a convention that is supposed to teach anyone doing anything how to they can grow it by 10X. 

The conference was hosted by Grant Cardone, a sales and real estate expert, and included such speakers as The Shark Tank’s Daymond John, Michael Jordan’s coach, Tim Grover, Oprah’s life coach, Tim Storey, and the list goes on and on.  There were no seminars and very few breaks.  From 845am until 6 or 7pm each night, speaker after speaker encouraged, rebuked, inspired, and of course, sold their goods.  Who signs up for that kind of thing?  Lots of folks.  10X’s first year was 2017 and 2,000 people showed up.  Year Two?  Over 9,000.

So, why did this pastor, writer, consultant, etc. go to the 10XGrowthCon in Vegas?  Well, just as being a Christian is not a requirement to being a good engineer, it doesn’t take a Christian to know how to grow something.  Principles of growth in such things as social media, technology, etc are ever growing and rapidly evolving.  What a growth conference in Vegas does require is a lot of discernment.  As a Vegas virgin, I learned a lot.

The first thing I noticed was that everyone, not just people at the conference, but everyone was amazingly honest about what they were doing.  What happens in Vegas may stay in Vegas, but while you are there, everyone’s life is fair game.

Even as I waited at the airport in DC, this attitude was prevailing.  I heard buddies talking about what they would do at their bachelor’s parties.  I heard bunches of ladies talking expectantly about their girl’s getaways.  Some were making fun of the other for what happened last time, and others were saying that they were going to have to look out for so-and-so who gets a little too crazy in Vegas.  This excitement continued upon arrival, people jubilantly disembarked the airplane, and some couldn’t wait to start throwing money in the slots in the terminal.    

Within fifteen minutes on the ground, my Uber driver was telling me about Vegas and his personal devotion to the science of the mind.  When he found out I was a pastor, he opened up about the physical and emotional abuse that he suffered at the hands of the church.  My heart was broken for him, and I expressed as much Gospel compassion as I could after having traveled for nearly ten hours. 

All this, and the conference hadn’t even started yet. 

While Vegas is showy and full of lights, there is one thing about it above all with which I struggled.  The smell.  Casinos allow everything:  cigarettes, cigars, vaping, and even pot.  The smell was everywhere.  On a side note, they even have coffee shops where the grounds are laced with cannabis.  Going up or going down?

Day One of the conference, I woke up at 4am since my body hadn’t adjusted to Vegas time yet, and since my marathon is less than three weeks away, I decided to get my long run in:  a half marathon.  From the Mandalay Bay to one end of the strip is nearly five miles.  It goes further, but the more I got away from crowded neon, the less safe I felt.  I ran the five back, took my photo at the legendary “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign, and found three more to finish off the run.  One note:  it’s true that Vegas is the city that never sleeps, but I can attest to this.  The folks walking home at 4:30am might be awake, but they are definitely on their last legs.

Walking into the first day of the conference, I was blown away.  9,000 people, as diverse as the United Nations, joyfully greeted each other.  They asked about backgrounds, professions, and dreams.  It was refreshing and energetic.  Certainly, there were some professional piranhas in the water, but the overwhelming majority were upbeat, encouraging, and offering free, helpful advice. 

And in very Vegas style, the conference began…

Tune in for Part Two.

Gordon

Gospel Rich Books

If you would like to learn more about Gospel Rich books, we offer a host of challenging and encouraging resources.  You can find them below:

Gospel Rich Books Amazon Catalog

Monthly Gospel Rich Journal

Gospel Rich Books Blog

And to enable more writers to publish their works, we offer the BestSeller Template which is a publisher ready resource that authors can cut and paste their works into to make them Amazon ready. 

Gospel Rich Books to Release Spurgeon Classics in the “Pocket Spurgeon” Series

Nearly every pastor references Charles Haddon Spurgeon.  In fact, Spurgeon is where many a pastor goes to find an answer to their Biblical and theological questions.  Surely, he has been quoted in sermons more than any other pastor.

But for too long, Spurgeon’s works have been regulated to academia and the pulpit.  The irony of that fact is that Spurgeon preached to an estimated 10 million people in his lifetime.

Gospel Rich Books hopes to put an end to that irony by releasing a series entitled, “Pocket Spurgeon”.  Pocket Spurgeon books hope to make the impactful words and sermons of C.H. Spurgeon more accessible, by creating editions that are easy to carry and even easier to read.

These books are intended to be bite-sized morsels of his works that can be digested in 90 minutes or less.  They are easy to carry and even easier to read.  No paraphrasing has occurred. What you will read are Spurgeon’s words.

Hopefully, this series will expand and many of his great works will become more accessible in the day to day lives of the laity…just as Spurgeon wanted it.

Our first release is entitled, “The Hold Fast”.  “The Hold Fast” is a sermon (No. 1418) delivered on Lord’s Day morning, June 9th, 1878, at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington. It is based on Proverbs 4:13: “Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life.”

You can find “The Hold Fast” at Amazon, and of course, you can find other Gospel Rich Books there as well.

Hopefully, the works of C.H. Spurgeon will make an impact on this generation as they did on his.

The Hold Fast

If you would like to learn more about Gospel Rich books, we offer a host of challenging and encouraging resources.  You can find them below:

Gospel Rich Books Amazon Catalog

Monthly Gospel Rich Journal

Gospel Rich Books Blog

And to enable more writers to publish their works, we offer the BestSeller Template which is a publisher ready resource that authors can cut and paste their works into to make them Amazon ready.

 

The Lost Art of Reading Christian Biographies

Reading biographies and autobiographies of great people of faith is a lost art, or at least a fading interest, for many.  There is actually some biblical precedent for it:

Hebrews 6:12 11 And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Imitating the saints who have gone before us is a command, and the primary way in which we can know their stories is reading their books.  In reading their story, we learn what faith looks like in…

War – Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy

Suffering – Surprised by Joy by CS Lewis

Revival – Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther

Missionary Service – A Chance to Die: The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael

It is a rich study to dwell on the thoughts and acts of faith of Christians who inspired so many.  Reading their books insures that their lives will influence Christians for years to come.

If you are interested in reading a few more stories, Gospel Rich Books has published two biographies.

The first is “I am my father’s son”.  This is the story of Thom Duncan and his faithful service as a bi-vocational minister.

Secondly is our biography of his wife, Ann, entitled, “Bedside – a Memoir of Care”.  Ann faithfully supported her husband, helped raise five children, and served the Lord faithfully for over 60 years.

We also offer a 2-1 hardback edition.  Please note, this edition will be taken down soon as it will be re-edited to remove several printing errors.

No matter who you study, seek out great people of faith and learn from their lives.  It is a study worth undertaking.

Gospel Rich Books

If you would like to learn more about Gospel Rich books, we offer a host of challenging and encouraging resources.  You can find them below:

Gospel Rich Books Amazon Catalog

Monthly Gospel Rich Journal

Gospel Rich Books Blog

And to enable more writers to publish their works, we offer the BestSeller Template which is a publisher ready resource that authors can cut and paste their works into to make them Amazon ready.

 

Have You Ever Wanted to Publish a Book? This Template is All You Need

In addition to publishing resources that will draw our readers to Christ, Gospel Rich Books wants to enable new authors to get their works to market on Amazon, Nook, CreateSpace, and wherever books are sold.

However, there is one thing that we have learned about the book market:  The challenge for the writer is not the writing.  Writing is what writers do.  No, the challenge is often creating professional looking books in the self-publishing world.  When books don’t look professional, they get poor reviews and aren’t recommended to others.

So, to help you out, we present the “BestSelling Template”.  The “BestSelling Template” is a 6×9 template that makes your work pop, and they help your books duplicate the standard sized book on the market today.  As a result, what you release will look professional even though you published it yourself.

All you have to do is cut and paste your images and manuscript into this re-usable word doc, and you will have ready-to-sell resources for Amazon (or wherever you have your books published) in no time at all.

We are presenting the “BestSelling Template” for an introductory price of $9.99.

In addition to this offer, we are also giving away a copy of “The 5 Steps to Publishing Your Own Books” – absolutely free. Our hope is that these resources will help you sell a ton of books.  Be sure to reply to this email if you have any questions.

So, if you have always wanted to get your book published, we hope these two tools will help you do just that.  And remember, the “BestSelling Template” is re-usable, so every time you have a book ready to go to market, this will be the resource that helps you get there.

Gospel Rich Books

P.S. On a final note, we have heard from several of you that you might want additional help publishing your books.  Gospel Rich Books will soon outline the details of how we can help you do just that.  Look for those details soon.  Our goal is to help you get published, not take a cut of your royalties once the book is on the market. 

 

 

Gospel Rich Books Honors Dr. R.C. Sproul

As some of you may or may not be aware, Dr. R.C. Sproul passed away this past week.  As a theologian, professor, author, and pastor, he was a spiritual mentor to millions of people.  The Gospel Rich Books release, “I am my father’s son”, tells a story about he was gracious to help mend a relationship between a father and son.  That excerpt is below.  Please read it in honor of God’s work done in Dr. Sproul’s life.

My father, who I affectionately called “Sam” and I rarely fought.  Even as a kid, I don’t remember any face to face screaming matches with him.  As adults, we were respectable, and we dealt with our few disagreements peaceably.

Except for one time.  I was probably thirty-five at the time.

We had a family member struggling with several large life issues.  Sam and I disagreed about how we should approach them.  I saw it as a Gospel issue, as in, “The Gospel teaches us to do this.”  Sam saw it as a law issue, “We need to teach this lesson.”

I don’t cast it that way to say I was right and Sam was wrong.  That was just the way we were approaching the situation, and looking back, I think we both had valid points.

But for the first time in our lives, we were barely speaking, and when we did, it was Mom saying, “Hey, don’t you want to speak to your father?”  She would then hand the phone to Sam and force us to talk.

Well, I was off at my denomination’s General Assembly.  This is when the teaching and ruling elders from across the country gather for worship, information, and some manner of business.  Within my denomination is a pastor named, RC Sproul.

As Sam was doing research to interact with me over areas of theological disagreement in seminary, he began to read Dr. Sproul.  Sproul made a huge impact on Sam, and in areas where I could not articulate certain theological positions well, Dr. Sproul could.  In fact, any changes of conviction on Sam’s part were much more due to Dr. Sproul than to me.

So, at General Assembly, I was walking around the vendor floor where a million books are sold.  Standing in the middle of the walkway was Dr. Sproul.  He was surrounded by about ten guys who were lapping up every word that he spoke.  I took my place among the circle and waited.  Eventually, the business of General Assembly renewed, and one by one, the sycophants (of which I was numbered) all left.

Dr. Sproul turned to me as I was the last man standing.  He has this amazingly gravel, smoke-tinged voice that helps give his wise words authoritative weight.  He realized that I had been standing for a long time and had said nothing. So, he asked, “Can I help you, young man?”

I told him that he could.  I told him that my father, Dr. Thom Duncan, was an avid reader of his books and greatly enjoyed his writings.  I then asked Dr. Sproul my favor.

“If I called my father, would you be willing to speak to him for a moment?  It would mean a lot.”

He agreed, and I immediately called Sam on my cell phone.  Surprised at my call, Sam asked if everything was okay.  I said, “Yeah, everything is fine, but there is someone here who would like to speak to you.”

I handed the phone to Dr. Sproul, and he said, “Dr. Duncan, my name is RC Sproul.  You must be really proud of your son here.”  They spoke for maybe five minutes, and Dr.  Sproul handed me back my phone.

When I returned to speak with Sam, he had an excitement in his voice similar to a kid who got to meet their favorite football player.  When I got home, we talked about the incident, and our tension was gone.  We brought up the conversation about interacting with the sick family member, but this time, all of the tension was gone.  We were able to speak in a way where care for the person was more important than winning the day.

That was the kind of man that Dr. Sproul was.  Gracious and giving.  Thanks, Dr. Sproul.

 

If you would like to read more from “I am my father’s son”, you can purchase this book at

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Nook

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