"And Jonathan said to the young man that bare his armour, Come, and let us go over unto the garrison of these uncircumcised: it may be that the LORD will work for us: for there is no restraint to the LORD to save by many or by few."
For all of Saul's faults, he must have been a good father. Either that, or Jonathan had great character despite his father. That happens sometimes. Although parents are important figures in children's lives, not everybody is blessed with Godly parents who teach their children from the Bible. Yet, some children can overcome this by finding the Lord themselves and living for Him despite the opposition in their home. I find these young people remarkable. That can't be an easy task. It shows something though. It shows that despite the odds, God can overcome any situation.
In the last several verses of Chapter 13, Samuel tells Saul that his disobedience has cost him the throne for future generations. Now, I'm guessing Jonathan would have heard about this. I'm thinking he was none too pleased with his father's willfullness, because his disobedience had actually brought the punishment more on Jonathan than on Saul himself. Maybe Jonathan wonders if he can change God's mind? I'm not saying he is trying to, but maybe he wants to prove to God that he would be a worthy king. And he most definitely would. Jonathan has so many good qualities, you kind of have to wonder how he came by them. Not saying Saul did not have any, but this young man is just brimming with possibilities. Jonathan has a pure heart, free of vengeance or jealousy (we see that when he befriends the future king who will take his place). He has a confidence without pride. He has a heart to serve God, and has faith that God will deliver him. After Jonathan enlists his armor bearer alone to go and fight the Philistines, God allows him to defeat hundreds of men. Who would go on a mission like that? The armor bearer tells Jonathan, "Whatever you think, I'm with you." What? Jonathan had charisma (like his father). But he had something his father did not have, he had a conviction that they were God's people and that God would deliver them. Jonathan did have a plan first, a testing of the waters to see if God wanted them to do this thing. He didn't just assume God was on their side, because after all, God had not been exactly pleased with Saul's actions as of late. He told his armor bearer that once they showed themselves to the Philistines, if the Philistines said to wait for them to come over and fight, he would know that God was not in this. But if they said, "Come over here." then that would be their cue that God wanted them to fight. Sounds completely opposite from what I would have determined. I would think, "If they say they are coming over, then I have backup with the Israelite soldiers. If they say, you come over here, I'm doomed." Jonathan's bravery allowed him to convince this lone armor bearer to go with him and engage the Philistines in a one-sided battle that led to an Israelite victory. That's amazing!
|Jonathan and his armorbearer attack the Philistines--Taken from Standard Bible Readers, Book Four|
By Lillie A. Faris, Illustrated by O.A. Stemler and Bess Bruce Cleaveland
The Standard Publishing Company, 1927
What situations have I grumbled about, what opportunities have I lost that I thought I deserved? My real character shows when I lose.