The Israelites are going up against the Philistines but the men of Israel run and hide in caves bc they are scared since they don’t have any swords or spears. Now Saul, afraid of losing his men, doesn’t wait on Samuel to arrive at the camp but instead offers a burnt offering to the Lord, an act only the Levites were to perform (Numbers 8). Because Saul was more concerned about the men leaving than obeying the Book of the Law, God says he is going to take the kingdom from him and give it to a man after His own heart. “The fear of man lays a snare but whoever trust the Lord is safe.” (John 5:44)
Today we meet Saul’s son Jonathan who, unlike his dad, has great faith in the Lord! Jonathan decides to sneak into the Philistines’ camp with his armor-bearer. He tells him, “For nothing restrains the Lord from saving by many or a few”. 💪 The men hiding in caves hear the commotion of Jonathan and his armor-bearer defeating the Philistines and they come out to fight with them. “So the Lord saved Israel that day, and the battle shifted to Beth Aven.”
There Saul has the men make a stupid oath that they will not eat until the Philistines have been defeated. 🤨 Jonathan didn’t hear the oath and he eats some honey which revives him and gives him more energy for battle. Saul’s foolish oath had 3 consequences:
1) Israelites could have had a greater victory if they had more energy.
2) The men sinned bc they were so starving when they could finally eat that they didn’t handle the meat properly and ate the blood (Gen 9:4, Lev 17).
3) Saul almost killed his son Jonathan but the people stepped in to save him.
See, Saul has a position and a title but Jonathan has the respect and influence of the people. Tomorrow Saul continues to show his disregard for the Book of the Law which he should be reading everyday per Deut. 17:18-20. Don’t be like Saul, keep reading! 😁
(1 Chronicles 9:35-39, 1 Samuel 13:1-5, 19-23, 6-18, 1 Samuel 14:1-52)