1 Samuel 14:1-15

Jonathan’s Victory

14 Now the day came that Jonathan, the son of Saul, said to the young man who was carrying his armor, “Come and let us cross over to the Philistines’ garrison that is on the other side.” But he did not tell his father. Saul was staying in the outskirts of Gibeah under the pomegranate tree which is in Migron. And the people who were with him were about six hundred men, and Ahijah, the son of Ahitub, Ichabod’s brother, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eli, the priest of the Lord at Shiloh, was [a]wearing an ephod. And the people did not know that Jonathan had gone. Between the passes by which Jonathan sought to cross over to the Philistines’ garrison, there was a sharp crag on the one side and a sharp crag on the other side, and the name of the one was Bozez, and the name of the other Seneh. The one crag rose on the north opposite Michmash, and the other on the south opposite Geba.

Then Jonathan said to the young man who was carrying his armor, “Come and let us cross over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; perhaps the Lord will work for us, for the Lord is not restrained to save by many or by few.” His armor bearer said to him, “Do all that is in your heart; turn yourself, and here I am with you according to your [b]desire.” Then Jonathan said, “Behold, we will cross over to the men and reveal ourselves to them. If they [c]say to us, ‘Wait until we come to you’; then we will stand in our place and not go up to them. 10 But if they [d]say, ‘Come up to us,’ then we will go up, for the Lord has given them into our hands; and this shall be the sign to us.” 11 When both of them revealed themselves to the garrison of the Philistines, the Philistines said, “Behold, Hebrews are coming out of the holes where they have hidden themselves.” 12 So the men of the garrison [e]hailed Jonathan and his armor bearer and said, “Come up to us and we will tell you something.” And Jonathan said to his armor bearer, “Come up after me, for the Lord has given them into the hands of Israel.” 13 Then Jonathan climbed up on his hands and feet, with his armor bearer behind him; and they fell before Jonathan, and his armor bearer put some to death after him. 14 That first slaughter which Jonathan and his armor bearer made was about twenty men within about half a furrow in an acre of land. 15 And there was a trembling in the camp, in the field, and among all the people. Even the garrison and the raiders trembled, and the earth quaked so that it became a [f]great trembling.

Jonathan is quite the contrast to his father (both here and in the future). Saul was afraid he would lose his army and not have enough men to fight the Philistines. Because of his fear, he disobeyed the word of the Lord via Samuel and took it upon himself to offer sacrifices.

Yet here he was now, Samuel had come and gone, and Saul was still camped out with his 600 remaining soldiers, and two swords to go around. Jonathan shows remarkable courage and trust in God in spite of the dire outlook.

Jonathan takes his sword and his armor bearer (who had no sword), and says, “the Lord is not restrained to save by many or by few.” We often hear this idea in the phrase “don’t put God in a box”.

The result of Jonathan’s leap of faith is that he begins a rout of the Philistines. His armor bearer is so inspired that the man “put some to death after him” without a sword! Then God jumps into the fray, and strikes the Philistines with fear.

Next time you think the odds are crazy, just check to see whose side you are on. If you are working for and following God, nothing can stand against the task He has put in your hand.

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