Monday, June 15, 2009

Bold Belief

"Jonathan said to the young man who carried his armor, 'Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; it may be that the LORD will act for us; for nothing can hinder the LORD from saving by many or by few.'"
(1 Samuel 14:6)

The Israelites have just been soundly defeated. Their enemy, the Philistines, have set up a camp nearby... asserting their intimidating presence. Only 600 soldiers remained ready to fight for King Saul. The rest had gone home or fled. Jonathan, Saul's son, decides to take matters into his own hands... and personally ventures over to engage the Philistines in combat. No one, other than his armor bearer, knows what he's about to do. It turns out that Jonathan & the armor bearer kills 20 Philistine soldiers themselves! Then the rest of the Philistine camp were thrown into a panic. Saul noticed... and decided to press the advantage & attack with his troops (plus more came out of the woodwork to join in the battle, now that they had an advantage). It's a great "underdog" story.

But what interests me tonight especially is what Jonathan said prior to going over himself. "It may be the LORD will act for us; for nothing can hinder the LORD from saving by many or few" (1 Sam. 14:6). First of all, Jonathan didn't know for sure whether God would protect and bless him or not. "It may be..." he simply said. He knew God COULD... but didn't know if God WOULD. Second, he believed that God was able to work with a big army or just a few. So size was not an issue. Power of the enemy was not an issue. Military skill & solider effectiveness was not an issue. What WAS the issue? God. Period.

Too often we get overwhelmed by "the facts" of a situation. Numbers, statistics, rankings, budgets, size, experience, accolades... you name it, we study it. Sometimes, though, we study ourselves into inactivity - like Saul's army did ("We can't attack the mighty Philistines, they're too powerful!"). But Jonathan believed God was able. He didn't know if God would... but he knew God could.

What situations in your life do you need to apply this principle of both faith? Not assuming or expecting God to save you... but believing He can?!? Bold belief. It can do amazing things.

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