1 Samuel 14:4 (NLT)
To reach the Philistine outpost, Jonathan had to go down between two rocky cliffs that were called Bozez and Seneh.
1 Samuel chapter 14 relays a story where the king’s son takes bold and decisive action in order to reach deep into enemy territory and bring about God’s judgement upon Israel’s enemy living in the land- the Philistines. The proceeding chapter tells us that the Philistines occupied the land claimed by Israel and dominated key trades like metalworking. This oppressive domination made it impossible for Israel to fulfill God’s destiny for them- so Jonathan was willing to take action where his father Saul was not.
Jonathan’s actions are seen as bold and confident whereas Saul’s are portrayed as overly cautious and untrusting in God’s power to act on their behalf. Throughout this story, Jonathan is praised for his confidence in the Lord and his bold action. God seems to put his stamp of approval on Jonathan’s faith and accompanying action by sending a divinely inspired fear throughout the enemy camp causing them to flee.
As modern day Christ-followers, our task is radically different- but it will require no less faith and courage!
Whereas Jonathan and Israel were bearers of God’s judgement- Christ compels us to reach the world with his message and demonstrations of love, grace and forgiveness. I suspect that often we are more like Saul than Jonathan- we’re too often overly cautious and unwilling to trust in God’s ability to come through as promised. In this story, Jonathan had neither the authority nor the numbers of troops under his command to realistically achieve his objectives; however, Jonathan’s faith and trust in God made up for what he was lacking, and as a result, God stepped in and more than compensated for Jonathan’s deficits.
Where is God calling you to reach out? What are your perceived deficits? What small step of faith might you take in reaching out where God could prove his faithfulness? Would you be willing to bravely commit your resources towards reaching the world and then be willing to step back and watch God’s provision come in at just the right time?
God, today I ask you to help me get moving in my journey towards Christ-likeness. Help me to be aware if the serving opportunities that you place before me to help me move from be selfish and orienting my life around me- to becoming a person who is centered and focused on Christ and your purpose for my life.
May I serve in the power given to me by the Holy Spirit, in ways that also bring life and meaning to my soul.