There is a story in 1 Samuel 14 about a king’s son named Jonathan. One day, he took his armor bearer and went out on a recon mission to see where the enemy was encamped. Jonathan and his companion were in a valley between two ridges. They saw the enemy garrison at the top of one of the ridges. Jonathan told his companion in my paraphrase: “There’s only you and I but God can save by many or few. Let’s let the enemy see us. If they say, ‘Wait until we come down to you and we will fight you’, then we will know that we are not to engage them. But, if they say to us, ‘Climb up and we will fight’, then we will take that as a sign that God wants us to fight and will give us the victory.” Jonathan’s companion said to him, “Do all that is in your heart for I am with you heart and soul.”
In this set of passages, there are four central characters:
- Jonathan – Son of royal blood. Man in covenant with David – the father of the Messianic line.
- His armor bearer – This young armor bearer had a purpose: to be with Jonathan in battle.
- Philistines – The warrior enemy of God’s people.
- God – The King of Kings.
Jonathan was the son of King Saul but was distinctly different from his father. He did not carry the desire to be recognized – but carried a desire to please God.
Saul’s son Jonathan went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength in God. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “My father Saul will not lay a hand on you. You will be king over Israel, and I will be second to you. Even my father Saul knows this.” 1 Samuel 23:16-17
Saul knew the prophesies regarding David and he sought to kill him because of them. But, Jonathan cared more about God’s plan than his position. He recognized his place and embraced it.
Are you in your place?
His acceptance of his purpose in God positioned him to be used in mightier ways than sitting in the seat of a king.
Jonathan moved out without his father knowing that he was even gone. I believe Jonathan understood that his father made plans based upon fear and selfishness rather than the audacious plan of God.
Jonathan and his armor bearer encounter the enemy garrison. It is here that Jonathan makes a decision that I believe is a word from God for us. Jonathan tells his armor bearer:
“Come on, then; we will cross over toward them and let them see us.”
Say that to yourself: Let the enemy see you!
So many have been hiding out – afraid of what the enemy might do – afraid of his attacks and his backlash. It is time for the people of God to come out of hiding and allow the enemy to see them! It’s a shame that the army of God has been hiding for so long. Even the enemy was surprised when they saw Jonathan and his armor bearer:
“Look!” said the Philistines, “The Hebrews are crawling out of the holes they were hiding in.”
We, the people of God are coming out of our holes and making ourselves known to the enemy!
When Jonathan told his armor bearer his plan the armor bearer said to Jonathan:
“Do all that you have in mind. Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul.”
Everyone needs a companion in the spirit willing to go into battle with you at the word of God!
But, Jonathan did not act foolishly. He told his armor bearer that they would depend upon God’s leading to decide what to do.
If they say, “We’ll come down” we will know that God is saying don’t fight. If they say, “Come up to us” we will know that God is saying to join the battle.
Use a word from God as strategy not some foolish feeling.
Here’s where it gets cool.
Jonathan and his armor bearer climb up – two against a garrison. Every move they are making is crazy in the natural but a part of the strategy of God.
As a member of the army of God, you know something significant:
There is nothing to prevent the Lord from saving by many or by few.
Then, you wait for the specific strategy for your situation.
Faith in God’s power teamed with strategy from God’s throne will result in miraculous victory.
The Philistines fell before Jonathan and his armor bearer. In that first attack they struck down twenty enemy fighters in a half an acre. But, because of their boldness and obedience, another warrior joined them in the field.
Suddenly, the ground shook and panic struck the entire Philistine army – not just in that one outpost but in all the outposts! Do you want to be a warrior who strikes terror in the entire enemy army?
When you obey God without fear, you release a terror upon the enemy!
Want to be a “holy terror?”
- Let the enemy see you.
- Believe in God’s power to save by many or few.
- Follow the strategy of God.
- Have faith that the Lord of Hosts will join you on the battlefield.