1 Samuel 14:1-23
Monday, 13 September 2021
“---For nothing restrains the LORD from saving by many or by few.” -1 Samuel 14:6
The Israelites were facing the onslaught of their enemies- the Philistines and even their king Saul could not muster enough courage to face them. Toward the end of the previous chapter it is recorded that there were no weapons with the army except for Saul and his son Jonathan. We see Saul resting under the pomegranate tree, laid back with no course of action. It was at such a time that his son, Jonathan decides on a brave action of going against the enemy of his people along with his armour bearer.
In a time of complacency and fear, unable to understand what the Lord wanted them to do in the situation, the action of Jonathan opens up to us a few lessons:
Trust in God- It wasn’t a reckless act on the part of Jonathan to go over to the garrison of the enemy but an act of faith, putting a step forward in the right direction. It is said, ‘faith is the forward gear and fear the reverse gear.’ While Saul and the people with him were just “stuck” unable to move or do anything, Jonathan and his armour bearer take a step of faith, trusting God. His words of faith in V.6: “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.”
Facing a challenge: Besides facing the enemy, Jonathan and his friend had a sharp rock on either side to scale to get to the other side. That did not deter them; they crawled up on their hands and knees. While he took a bold step in faith, Jonathan also watched to see a sign from God to be sure he was moving in the right direction (Vs.9&10). As sure as the sign proved, the LORD was with them, as they successfully attacked the enemy.
The LORD intervenes: Jonathan stated: “…the LORD has delivered them into the hand of Israel” (V.12) as they attacked the Philistines— a demonstration of faith and action. The Lord worked with them, causing panic in the enemy camp, and an earthquake made the people tremble as people ran amok. Soon Saul and his men and others joined in the combat as they saw the defeat of the enemy right before their eyes. Yet at the end of the account it is written: “So the LORD saved Israel that day…” (V.23). The LORD helped them win!
God worked with two willing, obedient persons to get His job done.
The Christian life is no easy ride; we are constantly facing challenges from the enemy and from a fallen world. As Jonathan did, the Christian is to trust God, act in faith while facing the challenges and see the LORD bring deliverance. Isaiah 59: 19 says: “…When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.”
While Saul represents one who missed the mark in his failure to trust God and one who did things his way, thereby being rejected by God, his son Jonathan decided to go with God, seek His way with courage so that he was blessed in his endeavour. The same choice is yours –you can either choose to trust God, submitting to Christ and His lordship in your life or else reject His way and wander through life: “…the rebellious dwell in a dry land.” (Psalm 68:6).
The Lord still gets His work done through willing, obedient people who will listen to Him and walk in His way. Though the obstacles arise, He will act in time to deliver and the glory goes to Him! Remember: WITH GOD, you can!!
“For by You I can run against a troop,
By my God I can leap over a wall (Psalm 18:29)