I Samuel 14:6b
…it may be that the LORD will work for us: for there is no restraint to the LORD to save by many or by few.
Jonathan is an intriguing character in the Old Testament. His future was taken away from him through no fault of his own, yet he did not become bitter. In fact, he chose to make the lives of others better. Jonathan stands out in Scripture as great example of a true friend. While others were in the spotlight, he was content with being in the background supporting and encouraging them.
In I Samuel 13 and 14, he overcame three major obstacles and chose to step out by faith and witness a miracle. He overcame his father’s rebellion. King Saul disobeyed the commandment of the Lord. Because of that, Jonathan had to overcome the Lord’s rejection. The kingdom would be stripped away from his family forever. Jonathan was not going to be the next king of Israel. The third obstacle he had to overcome was the enemy’s restriction. Israel had a very powerful and intimidating enemy that had taken control over their way of life. The Philistines had taken all the swords and spears away from them. They had also removed the smiths out of the land so they could not make any weapons. The only two swords that existed in our text was possessed by Saul and Jonathan. Jonathan decided to put his to use. In making that decision, he did three things that each of us can do in ministering to people.
- He Extended an Invitation. In I Samuel 14:1+6, Jonathan says to his armor bearer, “Come”. He made a choice to take what he had and use it and invite someone else to come along. We can do that. We can take what God has given us and benefit from it personally and then invite someone else to do the same. Faith is meant to be shared. Invite someone to be apart of what God is doing.
- He Encouraged with Information. He told him about a person. The Lord can save with a few just like He can with many. There is no restraint upon our God. Then he told him about his plan. In verses 8-10, Jonathan explained what he was going to do and how. We can be like Jonathan. We know and serve a powerful Savior and through His Word we can have a plan. Let us go encourage someone with information about Jesus and His plan.
- He was an Example by Inspiration. “Do all that is in thy heart. I am with thee according to thy heart.” What a telling response from his armor bearer. Jonathan inspired him with his words. They were spoken from his heart and he had a heart to do something for God Not only were his words inspiring, his actions were as well. Against all odds, he went to fight the enemy with only one sword. His armor bearer climbed up the mountain with him and entered the battle. He even got into the action. He picked up a fallen enemy’s sword and began fighting too. If you want to inspire others to do great things for God, speak to them from your heart and then let them see your faith in action.
I Samuel 14:23 says it best. “So the LORD saved Israel that day:” As you read this story, you realize that a miracle was performed. Jonathan took on twenty men and was victorious, but God defeated all of the enemy. There was an earthquake and mass confusion in the enemy’s camp. They turned on themselves. The Hebrews who had already surrendered started fighting again, and those that were in hiding came out and began fighting as well. All of this happened because Jonathan made a decision. He decided to take what God had given him, use it by faith, and see what God would do. Church, let’s be Jonathans!
Photo credit Kelly Morton