Would you crawl on your hands and knees for God?
Posted by appolus on December 4, 2013
The scene set in 1 Sam 14 is quite a desperate one and serves well to highlight the difference between the religious man and the Spiritual man. The Philistines are encamped in great numbers on the high ground in this scene. They are multitude in number as opposed to Saul’s 600. Now this is far from a Gideon story. Saul’s ranks had been whittled down but not by God. And Saul is a man who has been rebuked by the prophet Samuel and so we can see, as we watch what Saul does, how the religious, those of the flesh, operate without the direction of the Holy Spirit. Even Ichabod’s brother is in their ranks ( the presence of God has departed)
Now it is interesting that while Saul is giving instructions to his troops “Cursed is the man that eats food until evening, so that I may be avenged on my enemies. So none of the people tasted any food,” Jonathon , the man of God, is already gone. You see Saul is afraid and fretting over what he sees as his enemies and how he can be avenged, we hear nothing about God from him. The religious man takes things personally and seeks to avenge himself on his enemies and he must try to work out all the details himself since he cannot converse with God. Now Jonathon on the other hand, so full of the Holy Spirit, decides to go to the enemy. He has a simple faith in God. He is so trusting that while all the other men are listening to instructions from religious men on how to gain victory, Jonathon is on the move. He is headed towards the enemy.
Now, from his much inferior position he challenges the Philistines because of this logic “Come, and let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised ones. It may be that Jehovah will work for us. For there is no restraint to Jehovah, to save by many or by few. (1 Sam 14:6) You see this faith, the same faith that David would show when he ran towards Goliath and for the same reason. David was indignant for God’s glory and trusted Him completely as did Jonathon as opposed to Saul who was there that day to fight his own battles for his own purposes. And here we see the same Spirit of God that was in David in Jonathon. When the Philistine’s gave the answer Jonathon was looking for that indicated God was with him ” Jonathan climbed up upon his hands and upon his feet, and his armour bearer after him: and they fell before Jonathan; and his armour bearer slew after him.” ( 1 Sam 14:13) Can you see brothers and sisters, Jonathon crawled up a steep embankment on his hands and knees towards an arrogant foe who had just laughed at him and his people. Do we have that kind of boldness?
Can you see Jonathon racing up that steep hill on all fours, scrambling up with great intent to the jeers and laughter of the enemy? The enemy was not laughing for long. For the Spirit of God was with Jonathon and indeed Jonathon and his armour bearer killed 20 men right away in a very tight space. Panic broke out amongst the ranks of the Philistines. The Spirit of God had come down and went before Jonathon. Then a great earthquake occurred and even the mercenaries who were Israelites and were fighting for the Philistines turned on them and a great slaughter broke out. And so the ranks were scattered in panic and confusion.
Now where were the religious men? Where was Saul? He was still far from the battle, making his plans, trying to hear from God, undecided, putting a heavy burden on the people by weighing them down by an oath not to eat. Even when he sees from afar what is going on, he still does not act. Is this not just like religious men of our days? All day long they study and talk and make plans and programs and study some more and all the while achieving little. And the men of God who are free in the Spirit are already in the battle with the Spirit of God going before them. Trusting solely on God to do what could not be done if He was not with them. God honors this faith.
And we see when Saul finally gets involved and sends in his troops that his troops are weakened by the burdens placed on them by the religious man. “How much more if the people had happened to eat freely today of the spoil of their enemies which they found? For would not there have been a much greater slaughter among the Philistines?” (1Sa 14:30) Jonathon was referring to the honey they had come across that God had miraculously provided for the people to strengthen them for the remainder of the battle. Now this was no ordinary honey, this honey was so abundant that it had poured down from the hives in the trees and covered the ground. God was at work and the man filled with God’s Spirit partook of the honey. He had no idea that Saul had forbidden any of them to eat because when men were listening to other men, Jonathon was already on his way towards the battle in order to honor God. Jonathon ate the honey and his faced glowed, he was strengthened. This is the tragedy of the religious man, he follows the dictates of his own wisdom and causes others to stumble as well and forbids them in his foolishness to partake of what God has provided to strengthen and empower the people.
Can we not see the spirit of Saul today where men follow doctrines forbidding their followers to partake in the Gifts of God? Is not Christendom greatly weakened by men who forbid other men to partake of what God has provided?Men are more afraid of their leaders than they are of God and His word. And then what do we see in this story in 1 Sam 14? The men are eventually so hungry, having by-passed God’s provision, that they eat the oxen and the calves with the blood. Is this not what happens when Christendom is not operating as it should, it eventually is led into great sin?
In a final irony, Saul eventually blames Jonathon because God would not speak to him. Jonathon is decreed to be the sin in the camp and Saul would have killed him had not the outcry of the people been so great. We see here the level of blindness of the religious man. What measures he is willing to go to rather than recognize that the problem lies with him. A great victory had been wrought that day by God through Jonathon yet Jonathon faces death by the religious man because he had inadvertently broken one of his rules. Of course this would happen to Jesus when the religious men sought to kill him for healing on the Sabbath. It is the same disease then as is now. The religious man is blinded by his own righteousness and inability to commune with God, his god becomes his rules, his doctrines, and he is willing to fight and die and kill for them.
God is raising up a generation of men and woman of the Spirit of Jonathon and David. Men and woman free to follow His Spirit. Indignant for His glory. Not fettered or burdened by the doctrines of men. Partakers of His provision, operating in the gifts of the Spirit and knowing that they are part of a Body, a body that needs its hands and feet and legs and eyes and ears, a Body designed to work together and in fact to give the greater glory to the lesser elements of that body so that there would be no division. Therefore a body that holds the head, and the head alone preeminent , Jesus. And if we have to run to the giant or scramble up a hill on our hands and knees for the glory of God then that is what we shall do for His honor and for His glory. Rev 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.