18th September 2023
Read - 1 Samuel 14:1-23 (focus v1-15)
Message Alan Burke
It’s Monday morning, now I know you may be reading this later in the day or the week but it doesn’t really matter so much, it’s Monday the second day of the week and how are you doing? Have you fallen out with the shadow yet, looked in the mirror and felt dissatisfied, looked at the house and the state of it and got cross with the wains, got annoyed because of something stupid, thought about what you’d do if you could get your hands on… it could be any number of things but I’m sure that no matter what face you try to put on today that there is one thing for certain you have already sinned in so many ways, known and unknown to you. The good news is that salvation is not about you, from beginning to end salvation is the Lord’s just as it was that day for Jonathan in our passage that we look at this week. As we pick up in chapter 14 we know that the people have a new king, Saul who was a full head taller than everyone else, the one that the people of Israel longed for to lead them, but he was a man who had ultimately rejected God’s ways and followed his own, whereas his son Jonathan relied on the Lord and would never reign as King because because of his fathers failure and the Lord had rejected his line.
The Philistines had assembled at Micmash, and as we are introduced to the events that now take place. Chapter 13 finished with us being told that a detachment of the Philistines had gone out to the pass at Micmash. The location of where the Philistines are camped is important, for it is in the centre of many Israelite population centres, the invading army are in this strategic position with numbers as numerous as the sand on the sea shore, with three thousand chariots, six thousand charioteers (1 Sa 13:5) things are not looking good. This detachment of the Philistines leaves and Jonathan decides that it would be a good idea to go on a scouting trip. What we learn of Jonathan is that he was a man of great faith, a man after God’s own heart unlike his father, he was one who was willing to act while others were filled with inaction, as the narrative goes on it is clear that Jonathan is a man who is nothing like his father.
Jonathan goes and notice what we are told about his father Saul, depending on the translation you have it will either read that Saul was under a pomegranate tree or in a pomegranate cave, either way he’s not doing very much, he’s either hiding from the heat of the day or he’s hiding in a cave from the Philistines. This is a great picture that is being given to us of the King of God’s people, the people wanted a king who would fight their battles but instead Saul is miles off, at an outpost with his men not far from his home turf. We’ll come back to Saul later in the week but I want to focus on Jonathan for today. For it’s what comes in v6. ‘Perhaps the Lord will act on our behalf’ Jonathan says, he isn’t presuming that the Lord will act, nor is he isn’t willing to go on ahead without the Lord, but his words are conveying his faith and it is displayed in what comes next, nothing can hinder the Lord from saving, whether by many or by few. The Philistines were as numerous as the sand on the sea shore and Jonathan was there with only had his armour bearer. Jonathan had confidence that his Lord could defeat the Philistines, even though the challenge that he faced is like going against the whole might of US army, him and his mate. Jonathan believed that if it was the Lord’s desire they would have the victory, Jonathan while the rest of Isreal was afraid took confidence in the very character of the Lord knowing that Salvation is the Lord’s.
For us, often in the situations we face it is not that our God is too big but that we have made him to small, we have made the situation that we find ourselves in too difficult for the Lord to help in. If it is the Lord’s will he will do amazing things in our day, he calls us to faith but how often is our natural disposition that it is too hard for the Lord, it can’t be done, but Jonathan knew better, for nothing is too difficult for the Lord (Jer 32:17). Throughout the scripture we see this truth, time and time again what seems impossible for man is possible with God, but do we get that? Do we understand that God is omnipotent, all powerful, because we are often in situations in this life where we are inadequate but God can use and work though inadequate people like us.
Q49 Which is the second commandment?
The second commandment is, Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thy self to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. (Exod. 20:4–6)