Today we are going to take a look at these two passages from 1 Samuel. This is a passage that has spoken to Godfrey, and he has chosen to share some thoughts on it with us.
At the start of 1 Samuel 13, we see Jonathan going out and attacking the Philistines. It then clearly says in verse 4 that as a result, Israel had become 'an offence to the Philistines.' The Philistines were OK as long as the Israelites were keeping quiet and subject to them. However, as soon as Jonathan came forward and struck, the Israelites were an offence to the Philistines, and the Philistine army assembled (verse 5), and for the Israelites, it would have looked a mighty army that was coming against them. Does this sound familiar at all?
I once heard it said that the enemy has an unwritten contract with believers; 'You leave me alone, and I'll leave you alone.' However, once we step out in faith into the things that God would have us do, when we choose to walk the path that God has directed for us, the enemy doesn't like it, and he would put things in our way to stop us, to hinder us, to get us off that path. And it may seem to us that there is a huge army in our way, coming up against us, and coming to attack us. What is our response going to be?
Have a read of 1 Samuel 13:6. There are two things here for me in this verse. First of all, it appeared to the Israelites that they were in a critical situation. Things looked bleak! We all go through difficulties, and we all go through what we would consider a critical situation. The question is, how are we going to respond? Are we going to be like the Israelites in verse 5, running to hide wherever we possibly can, or are we going to be like Jonathan in Chapter 14, stepping out in boldness, remaining close to the Lord, and hearing out for His voice in the situation? And secondly, the army was 'hard pressed'. Do you feel hard pressed today? Let me leave you with 2 Corinthians 4:8-10: "We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body." We will have another look at this verse tomorrow.