Jonathan’s Breakthrough

6 “Let’s go across to the outpost of those pagans,” Jonathan said to his armor bearer. “Perhaps the Lord will help us, for nothing can hinder the Lord. He can win a battle whether he has many warriors or only a few!”
1 Samuel 14:6 (NLT)

This article continues the story of Saul. In the previous article, we have seen how King Saul, when he was under intense pressure made a mess of himself. He performed the sacrifices, which were restricted to prophets. As a result, he had forfeited God’s guarantee of an everlasting kingdom. His dynasty had been reduced to a single term government.

However, despite all these, Saul was still the anointed King of Israel. Let us review the situation Saul was in. As we have read in the previous chapters, Saul was facing the largest and the most advance army at that time. The Bible tells us that the Philistines had 3,000 chariots, 6,000 charioteers and many foot soldiers. It does not state the amount of foot soldiers but that does not stop us from making a rough guess.

Among the people in the army at that time, the foot soldiers were the cheapest and the least skillful. Therefore their numbers were always the largest. If we are to assume the ratio of one charioteer to five foot soldiers, then the amount of foot soldiers will be 6,000 X 5 = 30,000. Add them up with the charioteers, there were 36,000 men in the Philistine force.

On the Israel side, King Saul started with 3,000 foot soldiers. However, they got scared and started to run away. In the end, there were only 600 left.

Not only that the Philistines knew how to make iron weapons. Israel did not have the knowledge at that time. The only people in the Israel’s camp who had iron weapons were King Saul and his son Jonathan. The rest of the soldiers must have bronze or wooden weapons.

In short, Saul was in a situation that was impossible to overcome. His disobedience to God did not help either. Have you ever found yourself in the same type of situation? You may be facing some serious problems right now. The problems could be in the form of a terminal disease, financial lack or in any other area. You have looked in every area and tried every way but nothing worked. You may feel like giving up now.

If you happen to be in the above situation, God is telling you not to give up. He will make a way even if there seems to be no way. He is not limited to our idea of “impossible”. Our God is more than capable in doing the impossible. All you need to do is to believe.

In this story, we shall see how God delivered King Saul from the situation where he was out-numbered and out-gunned.

The Philistines must have noticed that the Israelite soldiers had been deserting their camp. So, time was on the side of the Philistines. The longer they camped, more and more Israelites would flee. They could have been looking forward to an easy win, win without fighting. They must have thought of the Israelites as cowards. They were right except for 2 men in the camp, Jonathan and his armor bearer.

Jonathan must have decided that rather than staying with the rest of the 600 men to defend against the 36,000, he might as well take his chances in going to the enemy’s camp.

6 “Let’s go across to the outpost of those pagans,” Jonathan said to his armor bearer. “Perhaps the Lord will help us, for nothing can hinder the Lord. He can win a battle whether he has many warriors or only a few!”
1 Samuel 14:6 (NLT)

What gave him the courage to approach the enemy? The above verse tells us that it was Jonathan’s faith in the Lord. I like the last part of this verse: “for nothing can hinder the Lord. He can win a battle whether he has many warriors or only a few!”

Jonathan believed that the Lord could help him to win the battle regardless of the size of his army. This was the exact opposite of his father’s mentality. King Saul panicked when he saw his own people running away from him that he did the unthinkable. After that he did nothing because he was in fear.

Fears and worries paralyze. They stopped us from taking actions to help ourselves. What is fear in the first place? Fear is nothing more than a safety mechanism designed by God. When a deer sees a panther running at it, its fear will cause it to run as fast as it can to safety. The deer would have been eaten if not for its fear. This is what fear is meant to be. Fear gives us the additional energy to run toward safety.

However, an overdose of fear will cause the opposite effect. Too much fear can paralyze us and prevent us from running. Lions’ roar has such effect. Lions roar to paralyze their prey, thus cause them to remain where they are, until they are eaten alive.

The Bible describes Satan as a roaring lion looking for people to devour. Please note that Satan was only described as a “roaring lion” and not a “lion” because he is only capable of doing the roaring part. He only knows how to roar and talk big but lack the ability of a real lion to launch a real attack. This is why Satan has to actively looking for his prey. Not every one of us can be his prey. If we choose to believe in the Word of God and refuse to respond in fear, Satan’s roar will have no effect on us. Consequently, we will not be his prey.

So, if Satan has been telling you that he is going to harm you, make you poor, cause you to fail or any other threats, you have just heard some roars. Nothing but roars. At the Cross, Jesus had removed Satan’s power over us. Satan can never cause us harm. The only way Satan can harm us is to get us to respond in unbelief and fear. Once we are at that stage, we will be at his mercy. However, if we continue to stay in faith, Satan can never harm us.

This is why churches that preach on faith are under constant persecution from Satan. Satan has been using his religious people to persecute Christians who choose to believe in God. Terms like “Prosperity Gospel”, “Health And Wealth Gospel” and “Me First Gospel” should be quite familiar to us now. The bottom line is, since Satan has been working so hard to persecute faith, he must be very afraid of it. We as Christians should spend more time on it.

Unlike his father, Jonathan chose faith over fear. He and his armor bearer crossed over to the enemy’s camp with nothing other than faith in God. He even dared to attack them. Both Jonathan and his armor bearer managed to kill 20 people. That is 2 against 20 and win. Such is the power of faith.

Not only that, God followed up by creating an earthquake and caused panic to break out in all the Philistines’ camps. The Philistines army started to kill each other. When Saul got to know about it, he found himself some reinforcements from the Israelites prisoners of war in the Philistines’ camps and the Israelites who were earlier hiding. King Saul had an easy victory and gained honor from the victory all because of Jonathan’s faith.

What can we learn from this story? God could have started the earthquake much earlier. Yet he didn’t. What was he waiting for? He was waiting for someone to act in faith. No one in the Israel’s camp, other than Jonathan and his armor bearer dared to do anything. Only Jonathan had the faith to make the first step. God loved it. Not only had God helped Jonathan and his armor bearer to defeat 20 men, he gave them an earthquake.

This mean, if it really takes an earthquake for you win, God will give it to you. The question is, are you willing to take the first step of faith like Jonathan? What should your first steps be?

No matter what troubles you are facing right now, the first priority must always be God. After all, he is God. He has all the answers to our problems and he is willing to give them to us. However, he will not force his deliverance to us because he respects our rights. We need to trust in him, be in faith and thus give him the permission to deliver us. The questions we have to ask ourselves are:

 Are we willing to trust in God to deliver us?
 Are we willing to stay in faith?
 Are we determined to refuse to give up no matter how bad the situation looks like?
 Are we willing seek him for the answers?

Next, we have to take action.

If you are poor, go out and get a job. If you cannot get the type of job you want, then get whatever legitimate job that is available. That job may be terrible but you have to trust God to turn the situation around. Jonathan only had one man with him but together they killed 20 others. If God could help him, he can do the same to you. Likewise, you may be only serving burgers but God can still make you a millionaire. Do you work faithfully even though you cannot see any good prospect in it. God will never abandon you. As long as you keep believing and don’t give up, success and prosperity are yours. Your breakthrough will come.

Soon, there will be an earthquake that will cause your enemies to fight among themselves and you will have allies appearing to help you.

In conclusion, trust God and move to the other side. Your earthquake will come.

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