“Jonathan said to the young man who carried his armor, ‘Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised. It may be that the Lord will work for us, for nothing can hinder the Lord from saving by many or by few.’ And his armor-bearer said to him, ‘Do all that is in your heart. Do as you wish. Behold, I am with you heart and soul.’ Then Jonathan said, ‘Behold, we will cross over to the men, and we will show ourselves to them. If they say to us, ‘Wait until we come to you,’ then we will stand still in our place, and we will not go up to them. But if they say, ‘Come up to us,’ then we will go up, for the Lord has given them into our hand. And this shall be the sign to us.’


So both of them showed themselves to the garrison of the Philistines. And the Philistines said, ‘Look, Hebrews are coming out of the holes where they have hidden themselves.’ And the men of the garrison hailed Jonathan and his armor-bearer and said, ‘Come up to us, and we will show you a thing.’


And Jonathan said to his armor-bearer, ‘Come up after me, for the Lord has given them into the hand of Israel.’ Then Jonathan climbed up on his hands and feet, and his armor-bearer after him. And they fell before Jonathan, and his armor-bearer killed them after him. And that first strike, which Jonathan and his armor-bearer made, killed about twenty men within as it were half a furrow’s length in an acre of land. And there was a panic in the camp, in the field, and among all the people. The garrison and even the raiders trembled, the earth quaked, and it became a very great panic.” 1 Samuel 14:6-15 (ESV)


Jonathan snuck away from Saul and the rest of the army with a crazy idea. He and his armor bearer would go fight the Philistines. Jonathan was either curious, crazy, or courageous. He understood that the battle was the Lord’s battle to win. He knew that God did not require lavish fanfare to defeat their enemy. The first step out from hiding from the Philistines would have seemed like a bad strategy. What if they were attacked from all sides? Jonathan and his armor bearer had no backup plan and no reinforcements. They had a clear disadvantage and were outnumbered. Yet, Jonathan, full of faith, took the sign from God as the answer and forged ahead. He knew that the Philistines were coming against God’s chosen people. He wasn’t willing to sit around and wait for his circumstances to change before he believed God. The result was nothing short of a miracle. God empowered two men to cause an entire army of Philistines to tremble in fear.


In our lives, we keep looking for the big answer and the big deliverance while holding onto dear life to our backup plan. Jonathan had faith to believe God could work through an army or one person. How often do we forsake believing God for victory because we don’t have the wealth, connections, or other resources we think we need to walk in God’s will? We rely so much on our backup plans that it’s difficult to believe God for anything. You don’t need all the extra resources to move forward that you think you need.  In Matthew 17:20 (ESV), Jesus said, “If you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” It starts with believing that it is God who brings the victory. When God is for you, no army can stand against you and defeat you.

Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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About Hona Amer

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