“Now there was no smith found throughout all the land of Israel: for the Philistines said, Lest the Hebrews make them swords or spears: But all the Israelites went down to the Philistines, to sharpen every man his share [sickle], and his coulter [plow tool], and his axe and his mattock [hoe].” (1 Samuel 13:19-20)
We should not have to go to the world to sharpen our tools. God has given each of us some talent(s) with which to serve Him, and it is up to us to keep it or them sharp, ready to be wielded at the direction of the Spirit of God. But unfortunately, in many cases, we are forced to sharpen these talents on instruments used to prepare the enemy for battle.
In Israel’s case, their inadequacy had been premeditated. The Philistines, in order to keep track of their weaponry, had made sure that all their (Israel’s) implements had to be serviced by them. They accomplished this by seeing to it that there were no smiths (one who works in iron or other metals) among them. In this way, the Israelites were always dependent and never able to gain the advantage.
In the same way, I am sure this ungodly world system is better served by making sure the best education, products, and services are forged on their anvils and sharpened on their whetstones. In this way, you and I—and our children—are regularly forced into the atmosphere of their humanistic, ungodly influence.
Obviously, the answer for the Israelites would have been to have their own smiths. And it is just as obvious that we Christians should be producing educators, scientists, athletes, soldiers, entertainers, entrepreneurs, etc., to not only service us, but who are capable of turning the tables and infiltrating the camp of the enemy. Talents—at least, legitimate ones—do not come in sacred and secular categories. It is we who turn them into one or the other. As believers, we are all full-time, 24/7 workers for God. Some by ministering exclusively to the saints in local church bodies, others by engaging a lost world day after day with the claims of Jesus Christ, and in every arena of life.
WANTED: One smith—capable, reliable, and commissioned by the King!