1 Samuel 7:10-11
10 While Samuel was sacrificing the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to engage Israel in battle. But that day the Lord thundered with loud thunder against the Philistines and threw them into such a panic that they were routed before the Israelites. 11 The men of Israel rushed out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, slaughtering them along the way to a point below Beth Kar.
There’s no escaping the fact that this is an uncomfortable passage, we can’t ignore the fact that it seems to seems to support the Israelite mass killing of the Philistines. Is it a case of God routing them without physical violence, but the Israelites then taking matters into their own hands? Or is this killing ok because it is encouraged by God who sees and judges fairly? I’m not sure, it is difficult to reconcile with Jesus’s teaching on loving your enemies and the commandment, do not murder. What is clear, however, is that God demonstrates his power on behalf of those who place their trust in him, in a way that they’d hoped to previously but he did not as they treated him as a commodity rather than their god.
Thank you Father for the ways you powerfully act on our behalf when we merit your help and even more so for the times when we do not. Help us to place our faith in you even when the odds seem stacked against us.