I am currently reading 1 Samuel. It’s a book full of highs and lows, of contrasting characters and God’s mercy and plans. Yesterday I read a story about Jonathan, Saul’s son and David’s future best friend. In chapter 13 we are told only the Philistines had blacksmiths and they controlled the production of swords and spears. I have no idea what the Israelites fought with because v22 says:
22 That meant that on the day of the battle, none of the forces of Israel owned swords or spears, except for Saul and his son Jonathan.
Onto chapter 14 where Saul is sitting under a pomegranate tree with 600 of his men maybe enjoying some juicy fruit, maybe sheltering from the heat of the day. Jonathan had had an idea and not told his father. He’d taken his armour bearer and headed towards a group of Philistine soldiers at some distance from where his father rested.
Jonathan(to his armor-bearer):6 Come on! Let’s cross over to this force of Philistines, these uncircumcised, these idol-worshipers. Maybe the Eternal One will fight for us. If He wants to save us, then no force is too big or too small.
One sword and a man trained to carry his armour were all Jonathan physically took. But he was looking up not down, he was looking at the Lord. He didn’t know for sure but he was going to put himself in a place where if God said yes he was ready. The armour bearer – no name is given – was in it with him.
Armor-bearer:7 Do whatever you think is right, and I will follow you. My decision will be your decision.
To summarise Jonathan says if the enemy calls them over they will fight, if they tell them to stay they will stay and not fight. The enemy calls them over and the two men with one sword kill 20 of them. The news of this slaughter caused an intense reaction.
15 When the news of this slaughter spread, it caused trembling in thePhilistine camp, among the soldiers in the field, even among the whole nation. The garrison of troops was confused and afraid, and the raiding parties who had terrorized Israel trembled. Soon the earth itself quaked, and an awesome trembling abounded.
The earth itself quaked…
One man had an idea that may or may not have been from God. He inspired someone else and they went and made ready to do what God said – if He said it. They heard. They obeyed and the earth itself trembled -2 men, 1 sword and an Almighty God outweigh any number of enemies and make the very earth move.
The lesson? Get ready, take a friend, check with God, act and see the earth move. God is the same now as He was with Jonathan, with David and his sling, with Jesus and the disciples, with the early church. His mathematics still make perfect sense.