THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE ENEMY’S ENCAMPMENT
1 Sam 17: 1 Now the Philistines gathered together their armies to battle, and were gathered together at Shochoh, which [belongeth] to Judah, and pitched between Shochoh and Azekah, in Ephesdammim.
Enshrouded in the above verse is our spiritual enemy’s exact location. The Philistines, Israel’s staunch enemy, has unknowingly left a powerful clue for detecting the location of the believer’s spiritual enemy. In the face-off described in First Samuel Chapter 17, a young man faces a giant. Life or death. In emphatic spiritual symbolism, the scene pictures the believer who is preparing to begin his journey of life in the Spirit. Before he can begin, a giant enemy which symbolizes the carnal mind, must be destroyed with a work in righteousness.
The Philistines camped between Shochoh and Azekah in Ephesdammin. Shochoh means bushy. Its root meaning is hedge or fence as used in the Book of Job when the devil had to confess that Job had a hedge of protection placed by God that he could not penetrate without permission. Shochoh further means Sukkot which is the Feast of Booths or Feast of Tabernacles. This feast represents a believer entering full spiritual maturity.
Azekah means dug over. The natural picture is one of broken up earth; however, the spiritual symbol is seen in Hosea 10:12 which reads, "Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for [it is] time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you." A prepared heart in earnest before God is the spiritual image that emerges.
Ephesdammin means edge of blood. The enemy is encamped at a place where the believer’s life is at stake. Leviticus 17:11 reads, "The life of the flesh is in the blood…" The spiritual mind knows that true life in Christ at stake. Notice that Ephesdammin is located between the new convert (Azehak) and his place of maturity (Shochoh). Praise God for David who pictures Jesus Christ our Lord. Employing the tools of the spirit, a staff for comfort, five smooth stones (grace), and a sling which is the same as the hangings made of fine line or righteousness in the Tabernacle, a young man moved in the strength of God. With one strike to the forehead, the enemy (carnal mind) was destroyed and the enemy scattered. One revelation of Jesus Christ and His Redemptive Work will destroy our carnal thinking and allow us to live a life of power and victory in the Spirit!