March 6, 2022 Famous and Nameless: Jonathan's Armor-Bearer
March 6, 2022
Famous and Nameless: Jonathan's Armor-Bearer
“Let’s go across to the outpost of those pagans,” Jonathan said to his armor bearer. “Perhaps the LORD will help us, for nothing can hinder the LORD. He can win a battle whether he has many warriors or only a few!”
“Do what you think is best,” the armor bearer replied. “I’m with you completely, whatever you decide.” (1 Samuel 14:6-7, NLT)
Even the toughest of men can’t get it done alone. One of the toughest men to ever live, Davy Crockett fought alongside Jim Bowie & William Travis for freedom at the Alamo. Daniel Boone, who could range alone through the wilderness of North America, needed the brotherhood and teamwork of his fellow frontiersman, Simon Kenton. Even the “Lone” Ranger had Tonto for crying out loud! You’re not going to be able to walk in this world or serve Christ by yourself. Get yourself a brother!
In this portion of Scripture, we’re reading about King Saul of Israel. He had a son named Jonathan. Jonathan was tough-as-nails, not some spoiled brat. Jonathan had a famous friend, David. But he also had a comrade in his life of which very few have heard. Even the most die-hard Bible students don’t know his name. None of us do! All we know is that he’s “Jonathan’s armor-bearer.”
The Kingdom of Israel is at war with Philistia, and Israel’s army is vastly outnumbered. Even worse, they are split into two divisions: one with Saul and the other with his young son, Jonathan. You can find this incredible story of faith and daring in 1 Samuel 14.
But things got idled because of King Saul’s foolishness. Then his soldiers started slipping away from the army and returning home.
Have you ever been bored… to the point that you get tired of sitting around and you just feel like starting something? Usually, in young men, this is when trouble starts, right?! I mean, this is the part where we get the phone out and make Tik-Toks or Reels! We go after siblings or get into dares or pranks. Jonathan and his armor-bearer were sick of sitting around doing nothing, so they decided to “get somethin’ started!” Something unheard of…
The Philistine army of at least 9,000 was divided into several factions, and Jonathan felt that he and his armor-bearer could take on one of them by themselves. Not good odds, even on a level playing field. But Jonathan expresses his faith in God’s ability to win when he says, “Let’s go to the cliff below them and show ourselves. If they tell us to stay where we are, that’s the sign we’ll lose. BUT, if they tell us to climb up and fight them, THAT’S the sign that God will give us the win!” His armor bearer listened to all of this and his response? “Do what you think is best. I’m with you whatever you decide!”
I know what I would have been thinking: “Are you NUTS?! There’s twenty of them up there and only TWO of us! AND… there’s thousands more RIGHT BEHIND THEM!!!”
And it hit me! Young Jonathan (most likely a teenager) and his Ride-or-Die armor bearer (most likely slightly younger) are brave. Bold. Daring. Loyal.
It’s not because they were stupid. It’s not because their brains were jacked up from chemicals, steroids, smoke, or even liquids. It’s because they had an unswerving faith in the ability of their God, despite how vulnerable they were in this strategic situation. They weren’t brave because they had a tactical advantage or superior firepower/weaponry. They knew what their God is capable of!
Read the chapter. They wound up defeating 20. Then panic set in over the entire Philistine army, and it turned into a victory for Israel. All because a guy said, “No, yeah! Let’s do it. I’m with ya!”
What about me? What about you? You might say, “I don’t have a friend like that, a “ride-or-die” buddy.
Ok, I hear you. Then be one! I’ve learned in my life that if I want a friend, I have to be a friend… and friendships are for nothing if they don’t increase our faith in God’s ability to win the day. The overwhelming odds you and I face in life are the same as the cliffs Jonathan & his armor-bearer climbed. So, come on, there are heights to be scaled.
There are battles to be won: for God, not for us! For our lives. For God’s Kingdom!
By Brad Price, Pastor Connect Church, Alum Bank PA
Today’s Scripture: “Let’s go across to the outpost of those pagans,” Jonathan said to his armor bearer. “Perhaps the LORD will help us, for nothing can hinder the LORD. He can win a battle whether he has many warriors or only a few!”
“Do what you think is best,” the armor bearer replied. “I’m with you completely, whatever you decide.” (1 Samuel 14:6-7 NLT)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.