How to Strengthen Your Vulnerable Buffer Zone

The foothills of Israel's Shephelah offer lessons on keeping spiritually alert.

Do you have a buffer zone between you and what can harm you? I’m talking about putting a safeguard between you and evil influences that can cause compromise in your walk with Jesus Christ. We see an illustration of this buffer zone throughout Old Testament history in the foothills of Israel’s Shephelah.

The Shephelah

(Photo: The Shephelah. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

Between the Philistine plain and the Hill Country where God’s people dwelt lay 10 miles of low rolling hills. This buffer zone was known as the “Shephelah.” The hills of the Shephelah served as a geographical buffer that represented a spiritual barrier.

You have a Shephelah in your life as well. Here’s how you can guard it.

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Learning to Trust God in a New Way

Why does it seem like our trust in God is always starting over?

Have you noticed? We have no problem choosing to trust God with the things for which we already trust Him. But then another situation shows up. And suddenly, it’s like starting over.

Learning to Trust God in a New Way

(Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

In those times, we’re a lot like Asa, one of the few godly kings of Judah. He once trusted the Lord in a battle in the Shephelah of Judah and defeated an Ethiopian who came against him with an army a million strong (2 Chronicles 14).

But Asa’s greatest test came in an area that hit closer to home—literally. That’s where God tests us as well, isn’t it?

Sometimes it seems like we’re always starting over in our trust of God. Here’s why.

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Caves in Israel—Manmade and God-made

When you think of ancient Israel, it’s likely you don’t think of caves. And yet, the country has literally thousands of them that have played a role in history. They’re still there.

Bet Guvrin-Maresha National Park—See the Story in History

(Photo: Exploring the Caves in Bet Guvrin-Maresha National Park. Photo by James Foo)

From the caves in Mount Arbel, to those that provide sheepfolds in Bethlehem, to the Qumran caves that preserved the Hebrew text, the land is honeycombed with caves.

One area particularly filled with caves is the Shephelah, the low rolling foothills that slope down between the Hill Country of Judea and the Philistine plain. Not all of these subterranean labyrinths allow for spelunking visitors. But let’s look at two that do.

One of these caves men made thousands of years ago.

Another one God made over thousands of years.

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