BY GOD I RUN AGAINST THE TROOP
Saturday, 11 January 2020
1 Samuel 14 : 1-23
Then Jonathan said to the young man who bore his armor, “Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; it may be that the LORD will work for us. For nothing restrains the LORD from saving by many or by few.” -1Samuel 14:6
What most remember of Jonathan is that he was a faithful friend of David and humbly acknowledged David's calling to be the next king; Jonathan never demanded that the throne be passed down to him, though next in line. In our reading, we discover Jonathan as an extraordinary soldier who possessed amazing faith in the LORD. There came a day in his life when Jonathan decided that life was too precious to waste. If we are planning to climb new challenges like Jonathan, we need to keep the following steps.
I. Search for God’s way
In the defeated, depressed, and discouraging circumstances when Saul his father had not enquired of God to go against the enemies, Jonathan made a choice to go with God. Change begins and hope breaks forth one day when you realize like Jonathan that God does not dwell in the cave of arrogance, disobedience, and fearfulness. God is on the mountain. The Psalmist said, "I lift my eyes to the mountain. Where does my help come from? (Psalm 121:1).
One man of God puts it thus: "You can't go with God and stay where you are." We must be willing to go and search where God is active. Jonathan says to his armor bearer, "Come, let’s go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised men. Perhaps the Lord will act in our behalf. " (1 Sam. 14:6). The main point of the story is that Jonathan's actions reveal the godly principle of "going with God." In faith he stepped out, hoping to get God’s help against the enemy.
II. Select your friends wisely
Often the company/friends we keep determines success or failure. It’s good for us all to heed the warning in Prov. 12:26, "The righteous should choose his friends carefully, For the way of the wicked leads them astray." and 1Cor.15:33: “Bad company corrupts good morals.”
We can assume that Jonathan was surrounded by people with excuses: The enemy is too strong; We don’t have weapons; We are just following an arrogant king .... But there was one man who had a likeminded spirit; he recognized true courage, godly leadership and triumphant faith in Jonathan. His armor bearer said, “Do all that is in your heart. Go then; here I am with you, according to your heart.” (1 sam 14:7). We all need friends like Jonathan's armor bearer—friends who will build and not tear down; who instill confidence not inflict criticism; who encourage bold faith not discourage taking risks— friends who support wholeheartedly not just stick around when all is well.
III. Strive on for victory
Jonathan did not just want to escape the caves of Gibeah; he wanted victory over the enemy and desired success. Weakness was never an option, so Jonathan climbed the cliff- thus doing the unthinkable to achieve the impossible. Jonathan climbs the steps of victory (1 Sam 14:13). Those who desire to move to a higher faith, should be willing to be different from the rest and accept the call of God upon their life.
Victory is ultimately accomplished by God. Jonathan is clear on his stand- he will not fight unless he perceived, "that the Lord has given them into our hands." (14:10) When Peter walked on water, he stepped out of the boat only after Jesus commanded him. Both Jonathan and Peter knew the call of God because they took time to perceive/listen to His voice.
We were created to climb higher...to achieve the purpose of God by the power of God. We are called to be followers of Christ who look to the mountains and set our minds on things above.
“For by You I can run against a troop, By my God I can leap over a wall.”
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