Today we look at another Old Testament character in our Best Supporting Actor series: Jonathan. As Prince of Israel, Jonathan took it upon himself to daringly attack the Philistine army with only the help of his armor-bearer. God used this surprise attack to bring about a great victory for the people of Israel that day. We will witness the incredible boldness and tremendous faith of Jonathan and will then draw several principles for how this story can apply to each of our lives.
God doesn’t bless us through our disobedience – I Samuel 14:1-23
“1 One day Jonathan son of Saul said to the young man bearing his armor, ‘Come, let’s go over to the Philistine outpost on the other side.’ But he did not tell his father. 2 Saul was staying on the outskirts of Gibeah under a pomegranate tree in Migron. With him were about six hundred men, 3 among whom was Ahijah, who was wearing an ephod. He was a son of Ichabod’s brother Ahitub son of Phinehas, the son of Eli, the Lord’s priest in Shiloh. No one was aware that Jonathan had left. 4 On each side of the pass that Jonathan intended to cross to reach the Philistine outpost was a cliff; one was called Bozez, and the other Seneh. 5 One cliff stood to the north toward Micmash, the other to the south toward Geba.”
Jonathan’s faith was remarkable, radical, and just a tad bit irrational.
“6 Jonathan said to his young armor-bearer, ‘Come, let’s go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised fellows. Perhaps the Lord will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the Lord from saving, whether by many or by few.’ 7 ‘Do all that you have in mind,’ his armor-bearer said. ‘Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul.’”
Psalms 16:8 – “I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”
“8 Jonathan said, ‘Come, then; we will cross over toward the men and let them see us. 9 If they say to us, ‘Wait there until we come to you,’ we will stay where we are and not go up to them. 10 But if they say, ‘Come up to us,’ we will climb up, because that will be our sign that the Lord has given them into our hands.’”
“11 So both of them showed themselves to the Philistine outpost. ‘Look!’ said the Philistines. ‘The Hebrews are crawling out of the holes they were hiding in.’ 12 The men of the outpost shouted to Jonathan and his armor-bearer, ‘Come up to us and we’ll teach you a lesson.’ So Jonathan said to his armor-bearer, ‘Climb up after me; the Lord has given them into the hand of Israel.’
13 Jonathan climbed up, using his hands and feet, with his armor-bearer right behind him. The Philistines fell before Jonathan, and his armor-bearer followed and killed behind him. 14 In that first attack Jonathan and his armor-bearer killed some twenty men in an area of about half an acre. 15 Then panic struck the whole army—those in the camp and field, and those in the outposts and raiding parties—and the ground shook. It was a panic sent by God.
16 Saul’s lookouts at Gibeah in Benjamin saw the army melting away in all directions. 17 Then Saul said to the men who were with him, ‘Muster the forces and see who has left us.’ When they did, it was Jonathan and his armor-bearer who were not there.
18 Saul said to Ahijah, ‘Bring the ark of God.’ (At that time it was with the Israelites.) 19 While Saul was talking to the priest, the tumult in the Philistine camp increased more and more. So Saul said to the priest, ‘Withdraw your hand.’
20 Then Saul and all his men assembled and went to the battle. They found the Philistines in total confusion, striking each other with their swords. 21 Those Hebrews who had previously been with the Philistines and had gone up with them to their camp went over to the Israelites who were with Saul and Jonathan. 22 When all the Israelites who had hidden in the hill country of Ephraim heard that the Philistines were on the run, they joined the battle in hot pursuit. 23 So the Lord rescued Israel that day, and the battle moved on beyond Beth Aven.”
The easiest way to accomplish nothing is to try nothing. Those who change the world are the ones who see a need and consider it their job to do something about it.
With God, all things are possible.
1. Pick a fight
2. Partner with friends
3. Put feet to your faith
4. Trust God with the results
1. If you could accomplish anything, what would you like to do?
2. What goals are you setting in order to accomplish it?
3. What sacrifices are you willing to make so you can accomplish it?
4. What price are you willing to pay?
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”
“The inability to do nothing.”