Well-Placed Faith

1 Samuel 14:6 “The Lord is not restrained to save by many or by few.”

Observation: The setting is this: Israel was terrified of the Philistines, they were largely disarmed, and many of them were hiding in caves. Jonathan, Saul’s son, took his armor-bearer up a rugged pass toward a garrison of twenty Philistine soldiers. As they advanced, Jonathan reassured his armor-bearer with the above statement.

Application: What faith Jonathan had! The great men Eli and Samuel had sons who turned out badly. But here we see the reverse. Saul had not been king long, but he had already acted in presumption and disobedience, and had shown himself to be cowardly. His son, Jonathan, however, showed that he must have been cultivating a heart for God because his statement reflected perfect understanding of God’s character and power. It showed his faith in a God who can accomplish His purposes regardless of the human resources we bring to the table. Earlier in the verse for today’s reading, he referred to the Philistines as “these uncircumcised,” which was a foreshadowing of the shepherd David who would derisively call Goliath an uncircumcised Philistine. This wasn’t a comment on the enemy’s anatomy. It was a statement of recognition that the speaker belonged to God Almighty, while the uncircumcised had no power and authority to rely on other than their own resources. It was a confident assertion that God was going to win this fight, and that He could do it through a mighty fighting force or through just these two ordinary guys.

This is a wonderful verse to stir up faith in me by reminding me to keep my eyes on God, who is really the One carrying the battle. When I grow discouraged in the face of uncircumcised Philistines in my life, whether witnessing to people who need the Lord or caring for a dying spouse—whatever God has called me to do—I need to remember to leave the results in His hand. And when victory is achieved, all celebration should remind me that it’s Him I celebrate; the victory is His!

Prayer: Father, thank You for Jonathan’s example of faith in You. It takes God to make God known, and I ask that You would lead me into the kind of secret life in You that must have been Jonathan’s.

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