1 Samuel 14

1 Samuel 14 has Jonathan deciding to get adventurous and see if he can attack the Philistines and take some of them out.  He tells his armor bearer “Come, let us go over to the Philistine garrison on the other side”.  Just the two of them, climbing up the rocks on their own, to face the enemy head on.  Seems like a crazy plan but Jonathan had faith that God would direct their path.  They did it under the radar so that “the people did not know that Jonathan had gone”.  He and his armor bearer snuck off to face the Philistines.

Jonathan wasn’t just blindly going in though.  He asked God to make it clear what should happen. He wasn’t going to attack without clear direction from God.  “It may be that the Lord will work for us, for nothing can hinder the Lord from saving by many or by few”.  God made it clear that they were to proceed so they climbed up and faced the enemy. At “that first strike, which Jonathan and his armor-bearer made, killed about twenty men”.  Doesn’t seem like that great a victory until you consider that they climbed up with the enemy knowing they were coming and it was two against a bunch.  It was God’s hand at work.

The victory over those Philistines was good, but it was the “panic in the camp, in the field, and among all the people” that really changed things.  God caused “the garrison and even the raiders trembled, the earth quaked, and it became a very great panic”.  Confusion reigned and Saul sees what is happening and rallies his troops to continue the fight that Jonathan had begun and they routed the enemy that day.  “So the Lord saved Israel that day”.  All because one man listened to God agains great odds and took a chance.

It almost ended in tragedy for Jonathan as Saul had ordered the people not to eat anything until the battle was over.  God provided honey in abundance and Jonathan ate some, not knowing the order Saul had made.  Saul is going to kill him for his disobedience but the people intervened and said “Shall Jonathan die, who has worked this great salvation in Israel”?  So he is spared and life continues.  The Philistines are a continual pain in the neck to Saul as “There was hard fighting against the Philistines all the days of Saul”.

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