Useful Bible Studies > 1 Samuel Commentary > chapter 14

Evidence that Jonathanís faith was genuine

1 Samuel 14:7

Sometimes people imagine themselves to be acting in faith when really they are trying to control God. Jonathan had seen how his father, King Saul, had tried to force God to help him (13:7-13). Also, Jonathan would have known about the terrible troubles that such behaviour had caused in Israelís recent history (4:3-11). So, Jonathan knew that he must not behave like that.

Faith is the active belief and trust that Godís loyal servants show towards him. It comes from God, and not from a personís mind or desires. The person with faith does what God has guided that person to do. Jonathan knew that God had made promises to his nation, Israel. However, Jonathan still needed clear evidence that he really was acting in faith. Otherwise, Jonathanís plans would be foolish and dangerous.

So, firstly, Jonathan asked a young man whether he would support him in the battle. That young manís job was to carry Jonathanís military equipment. It seems that Israelís soldiers fought in pairs (14:13-14).

Jonathan needed that young manís help, and he could have given an order. However, he chose not to do that. Instead, he carefully explained what he proposed to do. He told the young man that he was trusting God to act on Israelís behalf. He wanted to see whether God would give that young man the faith to join him in the battle.

The natural reaction for that young man would be fear (13:6-7). However, God gave faith to that young man. In fact, his faith was so strong that it encouraged Jonathanís own faith.

Next part: Evidence that God was guiding Jonathan (1 Samuel 14:8-12)

 

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© 2014, Keith Simons.