Whew! What a chapter!
I thought I was in the middle of the screening of the Hobbit or fighting along with Aragon in the Lord of the Rings. The epic fight scenes in this chapter can certainly be made into a movie.
But what can we learn? I do not want to repeat the story again as it is pretty long but a few things struck me as I was reading this chapter…
Where was Saul & What was he doing?
Before we read about the exploits of Jonathan, it was interesting for me to see where Saul was.
Saul was sitting under a pomegranate tree.
Do you remember what happened earlier?
He had an army of 3000 soldiers but as he was gung-ho and impatient (and disobedient), the unexpected happened! He lost the majority of his army – who deserted – and now, he and his army was not keen to go against the vast army of the Philistines – which included thousands of chariots and soldiers as numerous as the sand on the sea shore.
So here we find Saul, sitting under a pomegranate tree.
Not stirring up any trouble.
He was being comfortable.
Where was Jonathan & What was he doing?
Jonathan was quite different.
He did not want to be comfortable in the shade.
He did not want to sit idly.
He did not want to wait in fear.
He wanted and was ready to take on the entire Philistine army!
Not by himself.
He had his armour-bearer with him.
But he knew he also had God with him!
When he got the signal from God that it was okay to take on the Philistines, it was like watching Legolas and Gimli (ok… this is the last of the movie references, I promise) wading into battle against insurmountable odds.
Climbing up a cliff to the waiting Philistines.
The earth quaked.
All because God was with Jonathan. And it’s amazing what you can do when God is on your side.
Armies flee. Ground shakes. Victory from the jaws of defeat.
All this happened because Jonathan chose to believe in the power of God and obey Him.
He did not sit and wait for things to happen. He knew that as long as he was in the will of God, he could make things happen.
Even if there were only a few with him….
“Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised. It may be that the Lord will work for us, for nothing can hinder the Lord from saving by many or by few.”
~ 1 Samuel 14:6 (ESV)
Today we are facing a crisis of faith in our church.
Deviant and strange teachings not according to biblical truth have been taught. The enemies are surrounding us, taunting us.
But let us stand firm.
Let us be brave and go over to the garrison of those who oppose the truth and seek to break down the people of God.
We must not be like Saul – sitting comfortably, hoping that everything will work out but doing nothing to change the situation.
We must be like Jonathan – knowing how critical the situation is, and relying on God, went into battle, even though they were few in number.
The final few words in the letter of Jude has never been more real and appropriate. Read and contemplate today… am I like Saul or am I willing to be like Jonathan?
17 But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. 18 They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” 19 These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.
20 But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.
22 Be merciful to those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.
~ Jude 17-23 (emphasis mine)
May God have mercy on all of us.