Jonathan Climbs a Cliff to Fight for God
April 1 - Nº 91 1 Samuel 14:1–23
Most of the Israelite soldiers had scattered. Discouraged, King Saul, along with a priest named Ahijah, were camped under a pomegranate tree with the remaining 600 troops gathered around them. They were just waiting—not sure how they could possibly win against the much stronger, far better-equipped Philistine army. They seemed to forget that God was on their side. But Saul’s son, Jonathan, was ready to take action. He was aware that a Philistine outpost was at the top of a steep cliff and that the Israelites needed to destroy it. While exploring, he had discovered a strategic pass through some large rocks that would allow them to get closer. So, he spoke with his young armor-bearer, boldly suggesting that the two of them sneak through the pass to the far side of the cliff. “When we are at the base of the cliff, we will let the enemy soldiers see us,” he plotted. “If they tell us to stop, we’ll hurry back to our camp. But if they call us to climb up the cliffs to where they are, we’ll consider this a confirmation from God that He wants us to continue. If this happens, He will give us the victory.” Then he added, “God doesn’t need a whole army to accomplish His purposes. He can use just the two of us.” His armor bearer didn’t hesitate to join him. They left without telling anyone where they were going. When they reached the bottom of the cliff, the Philistines spotted them just as they had planned. The soldiers at the top thought that Jonathan and his armor bearer were Israelite deserters who had decided to surrender. “Come on up here,” they yelled, “and we will teach you a lesson.” This was the invitation Jonathan had hoped for. He knew God wanted them to continue. Using their hands and feet, Jonathan and his armor bearer scrambled up the steep cliff. As soon as they reached the top, they killed more than 20 men using Jonathan’s weapons. The news spread quickly, and the Philistines began to panic. Thinking there were traitors in their own ranks that must have helped the Israelites, they turned and started killing each other. To confuse things even more, God sent an earthquake! The Israelites, who were camped below, heard the sound of battle up on the cliffs and noticed that the Philistine army was in complete disarray. But instead of joining in the combat at that strategic moment, Saul decided to call the roll of all his troops to find out who had left without his permission. The only two missing were his son, Jonathan, and his armor bearer. When Saul finally led his men into the battle, many soldiers who had previously deserted the Israelites to join the Philistine army switched sides and fought with Saul again. Others came out of their hiding places in the rocks and caves to join in the battle. Because of Jonathan’s strong faith and great courage, God gave the Israelites a major victory that day.
Do you ever feel like you are the only one who wants to serve God while everyone else is just sitting around doing nothing? God doesn’t need a whole army of people to accomplish His purposes. He can do extraordinary things through one courageous person who decides to trust Him completely.