There is a lot of preparedness and tactical knowledge in the Bible, and that’s where the motivation for this blog comes from. Hidden inside the Bible are a lot of great adventure stories that rival the Lord of the Rings, but you have you to know where to find them.
The story of Elijah is one of those. His story is one of wilderness survival, resisting a tyrannical government, intelligence gathering, and war. I know, your pastor doesn’t tell you that in the snippets he gives you on Sunday, but hold, on, we’re going for a ride.
I am going to briefly recap his story, and illustrate the preparedness and tactical truths that are just as valid today as we go along. Historically, we know that the one major battle depicted did in fact occur between King Ahab and King Ben-Hadad in about 857 BC, so these truths are over 2,000 years old and still valid.
This story is found in 1 Kings 17-21.
First, Elijah delivers an ultimatum and warning to the King, Ahab, right at the outset. Elijah, being a smart and prepared young man, knows that it’s a good idea when you put the government on notice, to immediately clear the area.
He immediately fled from the capitol, and went and hid in a ravine. He choose a ravine because it had a solid water supply. In verse 17:6, God tells Elijah “I have commanded the ravens to bring you food”. Now, the Bible is an odd book, because sometimes you’re meant to take it literally, and sometimes, you aren’t. This notice from God was basically saying that the Elijah was to live off the land. Ravens are scavengers and that’s the example for Elijah. The water eventually dried up, so Elijah had to move on.
There are a couple of lessons for us here:
- Pick a location with access to water.
- Have the skills to enable you to live off the land.
- If conditions (like access to water) change, be prepared to change locations.
I always say that skills beat stuff (gear) every day. I didn’t say, “Bring all the gear to live off the land”, I said have the skills.
In Chapter 18, we learn about a man named Obadiah. While Elijah was playing Ted Kaczynski Mountain-Man, chilling out with the ravens, Jezebel had ordered her guards (the police) to round up all the Jewish followers of God (sound familiar?). When Obadiah saw this happening, he gathered 100 of them to hide.
But…Obadiah was SMART. He found 2 caves, and hid 50 of the people in each cave and kept them supplied with food and water. That way, if a cave was found, they weren’t all found.
Sounds like a principle we can use today:
- Establish multiple bug-out locations.
- For supplies, never put them all in one cache, in case it is found or seized (Yes, the Defense Production Act allows this).
- If forced to, reveal only one location, which will allow you to preserve at least 50% of your supplies, more if you have more than 2 locations.
- You could theoretically have a planned “surrender” stash for exactly this purpose.
- Have a network or plan for resupply as needed.
Shortly after Elijah returned, Jezebel sent him a messenger. The messenger advised Elijah that she was going to hunt him down and kill him. Doesn’t that sound exactly like the rhetoric we’re hearing right now? Anyway, on hearing this, Elijah immediately showed his wisdom and tactical acumen by immediately leaving the area.
- Listen to what people tell you they’re going to do. Take them at their word and prepare accordingly.
- Never accept the fight on someone else’s terms, if you can avoid it. You pick the time and place, not the opposition.
Elijah fled, but this time, he wasn’t prepared. He ran out into the wilderness with no supplies and quickly got overwhelmed. He laid down under a tree and asked God to take his life. Now, God sent an Angel to feed Elijah in verse 19:7, but you and I can’t plan on that. After he ate what the Angel brought (This Angel was the first Uber Eats delivery ever recorded), Elijah felt better and made a concrete plan.
- Never plan to move without food & water.
- Your “bug-out bag” or “5 minute bag”, whatever you call it, should contain at least some food and water, and a means to get more food and purify more water.
- In verse 17:6, the Angel LITERALLY tells Elijah he needs food & water for strength for his journey, and so do you.
- Every situation looks better after a bite to eat.
- If you don’t have food in a mobile format to allow you to live long enough to get to your 25-year food stash, it doesn’t matter how much you have stored in that cabin in the woods.
- Never just flee blindly, always have a plan & destination in mind.
After Elijah made it to his bug out location (a cave in the mountains), he was sent on an intelligence mission to gather forces to launch an attack against King Ahab. Elijah set out and gathered a coalition of 33 Kings to come together and fight the battle.
- The enemy of your enemy might not exactly be your friend, but he is your ALLY.
- Build coalitions of nearby mutual groups or residents to band together in the event a larger force is needed for defense.
- Establish a clear chain of command, because this large force, LOST the battle ultimately because each King had his own goals, rather than a mutual goal together.
In Chapter 20, The Battle of Samaria, which occurred in 857 BC plays out, and there are lessons in it. Israel won the battle, despite being overwhelmingly outnumbered (7,000 versus about 200,000).
But first, before the battle, Ben-Hadad sent a list of demands to Ahab. While the demands were tough, all his gold & silver, and his best wives (I wonder who made the cut, and how happy the ones he kept were at not being the best), Ahab agreed. The next day, Ben-Hadad sent more demands, which were too excessive, and Ahab refused.
- Appeasement to demands will only get you more demands, until you have nothing left.
- The Munich Agreement of 1938 is a classic example of this.
The lessons learned in the battle are:
- The Arameans were not surprised because they had scouts out watching the enemy.
- Always establish observation posts/listening posts and send out scouts, even if you can only send 2 people.
- Israel won with a small force, because they gave full authority to conduct the battle to “junior officers”, rather than the generals. The Arameans didn’t.
- Always empower small unit leaders.
In Chapter 21, a man named Naboth owned some land that King Ahab wanted, but he refused to sell it to him. Jezebel sent some government agents, who arranged a meeting. At the meeting, they sat Naboth between some known criminals, who were told to accuse Naboth of conspiring with them (Man, does that sounds familiar?). Naboth was arrested and killed.
- Entrapment to meet government goals has existed as long as man has established governments.
- The more tyrannical the government becomes, the more it uses informants and undercover agents (Read that again. Then again.)
- Don’t trust “new “ people that no one else knows.
- Vet anyone who wants to be affiliated with you.
- If anyone starts talking about taking illegal action or building illegal items, RUN. Cut them off completely.
Thanks for bearing with me and listening to the tale of Elijah and his band of subversive agents. There is much more to the story, but this is the part that applied to our topics. I hope these tales gave you a couple of ideas to help you prepare.
If you have any feedback, leave me a comment.