1 Samuel 14:1-15 – How Much Do You Really Trust in the Lord – A Jonathon-Sized Trust?

Posted: January 11, 2018 in Book of 1 Samuel
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1 Samuel 14:1-15
Jonathon’s Daring Plan

So many decisions in life always come down to money. Choosing between alternatives. Weighing options. What’s the best choice both for the short term and for the long term? Sometimes the choices are obvious and the answers are no brainers. When reading this passage this morning, that’s the thing I thought of. Sure, the passage is about choosing to go into battle as an undermanned and ill-equipped contingent of two against a whole garrison of Philistines. Jonathon went into battle because he trusted the Lord to give them victory. What’s more he chose to step out and take the battle to the Philistines because God led him to do so. He could have said to the Lord that he had weighed the options of what God was leading him to do and said no, I don’t think that is wise. But, that was not what Jonathon did. God called him to do what seemed crazy and insane and he said yes, Lord, I will do it. By horizontal, human standards, he was absolutely nuts to do what he did. It made no sense at all. It was just him and his armor bearer. Those two against a garrison of hundreds of Philistine warriors. By horizontal standards, it did not seem like a fair fight. By human standards, they were fools to do what they did. However, as Jesus stated, in Matthew 19:26, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible!”

How much do you trust the Lord? How much do I? How much do we trust the Lord when He calls us or leads us to do something that just seems absolutely crazy by human standards? The real question is though how often do we shy away from what God has called us to do because it seems too hard, too difficult, too scary, too much, too whatever the excuse may be? God may have called you with your wife and young kids in elementary school to Africa to be missionaries. You choose not to because (1) you would be pulling your kids out of American schools with their structure and comparatively higher academic standards than in the country in Africa that you being called to. You choose not to because (2) you don’t know how you are going to make it financially. You choose not to because (3) you would have to give up our two story house with all its modern conveniences, cable TV, video games, sound system and so on plus your brand new cars with equally awesome entertainment and technology features as you house. You chose not because (4) you’d love do it because you love the Lord but you think you will fold under the pressure of the calling and being so far from home and just feeling totally inadequate to the task.

Your calling may not be as radical as going to a third world country in Africa, but yet still many of us cower away from what God has called us to do because it just seems too hard and too radical of a lifestyle change. Maybe you have cowered away from something here at home in the US like leaving your current job, moving to Connecticut, taking any job you could find because the main reason that you are there is to plant a church in New England – what is now one of the most spiritually dead place in America where only 2% of the population attends church on a regular basis. The home of the Great Awakening that spread and renewed gospel fervor in the United States two centuries ago is now hard soil in which to plant a church. I have friends that have done just that. My friend is the pastor of a church plant in Manchester, CT because he felt called to be a part of the church plant team there. He was not the lead pastor at first. He was just part of the original team. But he has such a passion for sharing the gospel, the lead church planter groomed him to take over the pastoral duties so that he could be Paul and move on to the next thing that God led him to do. My friend is not some preacher’s kid that grow up in the church. He was a wild child that barely made it through high school because he was all about having a good time. He was a wild child as a adult too until he ran into Jesus Christ. He says that he would be dead now if it were not for Jesus Christ. He knows what he has been saved from both physically and spiritually. That fuels his passion on a daily basis to spread and share the gospel news of Jesus Christ in a dark spiritual place. He is a wild child for Jesus Christ now. But even for him, leaving Upstate South Carolina to go to what seemed like a foreign land in New England after having lived in the Lyman, SC area all his life just seemed crazy. Why do this? You have a good paying job right here in the area. You have a great church in LifeSong. You have many, many Christian friends and you are known as a man on fire for Jesus. People respect you here so why do it? It’s crazy! You are going to go broke. You are going to fail. You will come back home with your tail tucked between your legs. You are going to lose everything you’ve worked so hard for. You are just plain stupid to do this. If my friend had listened to all the naysayers, they would still be here in Lyman wondering what might have been. And maybe just maybe there would have been people in New England that would have not come to know Christ (or it would have been delayed in some way) if it were not for the passion for evangelism that my friend, Jason Edwards, possesses. He did not listen to those that thought he was a fool for leaving South Carolina with its security of a known job, plenty of family and plenty of security. He only knew that God was calling him to Connecticut. He had doubts I am sure. It took two years from the call to the time they actually left. It took two years for them to be ready to make the move. Doubts I am sure crept in during the prep time. But with Jason, it was more about pleasing God than family or friends. But with Jason, it was about trusting God. But with Jason, it was about having faith that God would give provision and protection to his family. He trusted that God would make a way for he and his wife, daughter, and son to thrive in Connecticut. He probably could have given you 100 reasons why the move was crazy but only 1 reason why he HAD to go – God called him there.

What is God calling you to do that seems completely crazy, stupid, radical, a complete departure from the safety and security of your current life? That is what I thought about this morning – why we so often cower away from what we know to be a God-calling on our lives because it seems like it would be too hard, too difficult, too something to follow it. With that in mind, let’s read this passage, 1 Samuel 14:1-15, together right now:

Chapter 14
1 One day Jonathan said to his armor bearer, “Come on, let’s go over to where the Philistines have their outpost.” But Jonathan did not tell his father what he was doing.

2 Meanwhile, Saul and his 600 men were camped on the outskirts of Gibeah, around the pomegranate tree[a] at Migron. 3 Among Saul’s men was Ahijah the priest, who was wearing the ephod, the priestly vest. Ahijah was the son of Ichabod’s brother Ahitub, son of Phinehas, son of Eli, the priest of the Lord who had served at Shiloh.

No one realized that Jonathan had left the Israelite camp. 4 To reach the Philistine outpost, Jonathan had to go down between two rocky cliffs that were called Bozez and Seneh. 5 The cliff on the north was in front of Micmash, and the one on the south was in front of Geba. 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!”

7 “Do what you think is best,” the armor bearer replied. “I’m with you completely, whatever you decide.”

8 “All right, then,” Jonathan told him. “We will cross over and let them see us. 9 If they say to us, ‘Stay where you are or we’ll kill you,’ then we will stop and not go up to them. 10 But if they say, ‘Come on up and fight,’ then we will go up. That will be the Lord’s sign that he will help us defeat them.”

11 When the Philistines saw them coming, they shouted, “Look! The Hebrews are crawling out of their holes!” 12 Then the men from the outpost shouted to Jonathan, “Come on up here, and we’ll teach you a lesson!”

“Come on, climb right behind me,” Jonathan said to his armor bearer, “for the Lord will help us defeat them!”

13 So they climbed up using both hands and feet, and the Philistines fell before Jonathan, and his armor bearer killed those who came behind them. 14 They killed some twenty men in all, and their bodies were scattered over about half an acre.[b]

15 Suddenly, panic broke out in the Philistine army, both in the camp and in the field, including even the outposts and raiding parties. And just then an earthquake struck, and everyone was terrified.

In this passage, we must ask the question, “Why would Jonathon go alone to attack the Philistines?” Jonathon may have been weary of the long, hopeless standoff in the battle, but it is evident that he trusted God to give victory and wanted to act on that trust. He also knew that the number of the Philistine warriors was no problem for God. Jonathon and his armor bearer weren’t much of a force to attack the huge Philistine contingent of warriors. However, while everyone else was afraid, they trusted God, knowing that the size of the army they faced would not restrict God’s ability to help them. God honored the faith and brave action of the two men with a tremendous victory. Have you ever felt that you were facing overwhelming odds or that you were being called to do something that seems impossible or even crazy to do by the standards of other people? God is never intimidated by the size of your enemy or the obstacles that He has called you to overcome or by the complexity of your problems. With Him, there are always enough resources to resist pressure and win the battle. If you God has called you to action, then bravely commit what resources you have to God and rely upon Him to lead you to victory.

What is the seemingly crazy thing that God has called you to do? Are you willing to trust the Lord? Is it to move across the country or across the world to spread the gospel? Is it to leave your cushy and secure life that you have right now to do something that will require you to live off half or less than what you are making now? Are you being called to stay right here, give up your great job with a great salary to start some type of helps ministry right here in Upstate South Carolina or wherever you live. Is God calling to radically change your lifestyle, your safety and security of the things that you’ve known for a lifetime, to serve him where you are just going to have to pray that and believe that God will provide for you? Are you willing to trust God that much? Do you have the trust of Jonathon that God will make a way for you?

Sometimes, it comes down to that? How much do you trust the Lord? Do you trust him enough to just contribute to mission work and feel good about that or do you trust him enough to be out there doing God’s work into a place that He has called you, or a job that is radically less financially rewarding that what you are currently doing? Just how much do you trust in the Lord? He does not call all of us to be radical and doing something that crazy, radical. He does call us to trust Him and follow His lead even in the small stuff – sharing the gospel with people we meet, doing things God’s way even in the face of a culture who rejects him. He does call some to do the crazy over the top stuff like moving away from everything you know and the security that you know to be on the front lines of the battle. In either case, how much do you trust the Lord? Do you have Jonathon trust?

Amen and Amen.

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