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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Beth Shemesh—The Pentecost at an Unlikely Place

Most people familiar with the Pentecost—or Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks—associate the Jewish holiday with the Book of Ruth. After all, the most exciting events of Ruth’s story occurred during the time of Shavuot at Bethlehem’s wheat harvest (Ruth 2:23). It’s no wonder today that many people include reading of the Book of Ruth as part of their celebration of Shavuot.

Beth Shemesh—The Pentecost at an Unlikely Place

(Photo: Samson was born between Eshtaol (left) and Zorah (right). Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

Although I absolutely love the Book of Ruth, Shavuot more often causes my mind to wander further west of Bethlehem—down into the Shephelah.

It’s unlikely anybody celebrates the Pentecost at such an unlikely place as Beth Shemesh.

But a practical application urges us to do so.

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