Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 14.1-15
Now the day came that Jonathan, the son of Saul, said to the young man who was carrying his armor, “Come and let us cross over to the Philistines’ garrison that is on the other side.” But he did not tell his father. Saul was staying in the outskirts of Gibeah under the pomegranate tree which is in Migron. And the people who were with him were about six hundred men, and Ahijah, the son of Ahitub, Ichabod’s brother, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eli, the priest of the Lord at Shiloh, was wearing an ephod. And the people did not know that Jonathan had gone. Between the passes by which Jonathan sought to cross over to the Philistines’ garrison, there was a sharp crag on the one side and a sharp crag on the other side, and the name of the one was Bozez, and the name of the other Seneh. The one crag rose on the north opposite Michmash, and the other on the south opposite Geba. Then Jonathan said to the young man who was carrying his armor, “Come and let us cross over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; perhaps the Lord will work for us, for the Lord is not restrained to save by many or by few.” His armor bearer said to him, “Do all that is in your heart; turn yourself, and here I am with you according to your desire.” Then Jonathan said, “Behold, we will cross over to the men and reveal ourselves to them. If they say to us, ‘Wait until we come to you’; then we will stand in our place and 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 hands; and this shall be the sign to us.” When both of them revealed themselves to the garrison of the Philistines, the Philistines said, “Behold, Hebrews are coming out of the holes where they have hidden themselves.” So the men of the garrison hailed Jonathan and his armor bearer and said, “Come up to us and we will tell you something.” And Jonathan said to his armor bearer, “Come up after me, for the Lord has given them into the hands of Israel.” Then Jonathan climbed up on his hands and feet, with his armor bearer behind him; and they fell before Jonathan, and his armor bearer put some to death after him. That first slaughter which Jonathan and his armor bearer made was about twenty men within about half a furrow in an acre of land. And there was a trembling in the camp, in the field, and among all the people. Even the garrison and the raiders trembled, and the earth quaked so that it became a great trembling. 1 Samuel 14.1-15
As I read this story I am seeing it through the lens of a father rather than from a son’s perspective. Now that I have kids I often think back to why in the world my parents let us do some of the things we did. We would be gone riding our bikes all day miles from the house, like Jonathan we did not tell our parents where we were going. Now days, we barely let our kids out in the front yard without supervision.
Furthermore, I could not imagine being Saul and finding out that my son had just gone out without permission to fight the Philistine army on his own. However, at second glance I see it from a different perspective and I am hoping you can too. While everyone else was afraid to tackle the Philistine army, Jonathan found the courage to reach out to do what God was calling him to do. He did not play it safe. He did not stay in the front yard but got out in the streets as God had directed.
Obviously, there is discernment in not letting your four-year-old play in the street without supervision. However, don’t we want to equip our children with courage and bravery to take to the streets. In one way maybe, Saul was a little nervous that his son was on the front lines for God but in another way, I am sure he was a proud father because his son chose God above all else. Isn’t that what God wants for us and our kids, to choose Him over comfort?
Praying we are encouraged when we see people choose God even when it maybe a little uncomfortable. Hoping we too get out of the front yard to go across the street or miles away……. for Him! Be brave!
Weekly Memory Verse: And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4.7