Jonathan, son of Saul. 1 Samuel 14
Jonathan- the Son of Saul
1 Samuel 14
This morning I want to walk you through part of 1 Samuel 14. 1 Samuel 14 features King Saul's son,
Jonathan. Saul was Israel's first king-- While he was tall, strong, and handsome, he turned out to be a
very poor king. Despite this, he son Jonathan was pretty awesome.
Many folks know the name Jonathan and remember him as being David's best friend. While his friendship
with David was tender he was also a fierce warrior. This account features Jonathan before he met
David-- and as we shall learn he was pretty much everything his father wasn't in terms of character,
faith, and conduct.
Today's text is 1 Samuel 14:1-23 and it features Jonathan taking on the entire Philistine army by himself
(They were in the process of invading)
READ 1 SAMUEL 14:1-23
Imagine taking on an army by yourself-- when everyone else is in hiding and freaking out. Imagine
saying "This is doable! Nothing is too hard for God!"
To some that sounds like a suicide mission, yet it didn't turn out that way for Saul's son Jonathan (while
Saul and his men were having a panic attack at the prospect of being over run by the Philistines) goes
(with just his armor bearer in tow) and inflicts a great defeat on the Philistines.
LESSONS AND PRINCIPLES OF THE TEXT
1. Who we "roll with" says a lot about us
Question: Who was Saul with? Look at v.3 "Ahijah the son of Ahitub, Ichabod's brother, son of Phinehas,
son of Eli"
Ichabod was the son born to Eli's daughter in law on day the Israelites were defeated by the Philistines.
Ichabod means "no glory" in reference to the glory of the Lord departing due to the Israelite
abandonment of God and the loss of the Ark to the Philistines.
Further: On the line of Eli's sons was a curse for their wickedness "no one in your family line will ever
reach old age" 1 Samuel 2:31-32
Point: Saul had aligned himself with a person whom God had rejected- and indeed, for his disobedience
he had been rejected by God. He had surrounded himself with the wrong people
1 Corinthians 15:33 says; "Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character."
Be careful who you take up with. Love all. Serve all. Share Christ with all- but don't enter into close and
binding bonds with those who do not know and love Christ.
2. Courage, bravery, zeal-- these are things we need when it comes to serving the Lord
Note the courage and bravery of Jonathan in v.1
Romans 12:11 says; "Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord."
When it comes to serving and speaking for Christ we are not to be intimidated or allow ourselves to be
bullied into silence. We are Christ's ambassadors. We are not to be ashamed of the Gospel-- as so we
pray as they did in Acts 4:29-30 -- after the brothers had been warned not to speak in the name of
"Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.
Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant
3. With God all things are possible! Nothing is too hard for God!
The key verse of 1 Samuel 14:1-23 is found in v.6 wherein Jonathan says to his armor bearer "Come,
let's go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised men. Perhaps the Lord will act in our behalf. Nothing
can hinder the Lord from saving, whether by many or by few."
A few things
-What GREAT FAITH-- the kind of faith we are to have in Christ!
-What a great reminder to us that nothing too hard for God and that we must trust Him
-There is a great call in here for us to look to Christ for his power and supply - for with Him nothing is
impossible and apart from him we can do nothing of true consequence
See Zechariah 4:6 "This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: 'Not by might nor by power, but by my
Spirit,' says the Lord Almighty."
Psalm 20:7 says; "Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our
Note the result of the faith of Jonathan and his armor bearer v.14-15. READ V.14-15**
God is a miracle working God who does things beyond are imagination and beyond odds. Nothing is too
hard for God!
Are you in a hard spot? Trust God. Look to Him. Keep on seeking His face. Don't give in to temptation.
Be patient. Take a longer view. We need also to learn "Not my will but yours be done"
4. What an encouragement it is when we have people who are on our side- serving the Lord with
Take a look at v.7 and what Jonathan's armor bearer said to him "Do all that you have in mind. go
ahead; I with with you heart and soul"
I got your back bro! Let's do this.
Serving Christ is not meant to be a solitary endeavor. Jesus sent his disciples out two by two. We are to
serve together as a team-- this brings joy, it also is more effective and binds us together.
We have a mission from the Lord-- follow Christ, tell others about Him, live for him, serve in his name.
We too support each other, pray for each other, hold one another up, forgive each other, carry each
other's burdens, rejoice with those that rejoice and mourn with those that mourn.
Special note: If you married-- the first thing to remember is that you are to have your "spouses back"
We are to support the one with whom we have entered into covenant with-- (by encouraging them,
praying for them, helping them to follow Christ, protecting them, serving with them)
5. Knowing your Bible can help you in more ways than you might imagine- and so keep in the Word!
Psalm 119:105 says "Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path"
Psalm 119:97-99 also says; "Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long. Your commands are
always with me and make me wiser than my enemies. I have more insight than all my teachers, for I
meditate on your statutes.
During World War I, British forces under the command of General Allenby were to face the Turks at the
same location as Jonathan and his armor bearer were at. Major Vivian Gilbert of the British army relates
the story of an unnamed brigade major who was reading his Bible while contemplating the situation
against the Ottoman forces. The brigade major remembered a town by the name of Michmash mentioned
somewhere in the Bible. He found the verses, and discovered that there was a secret path around the
town. He woke the brigadier general, and they found that the path still existed (the one Jonathan and
his armor bearer used) and was very lightly guarded. The British forces used this path to outmanoeuver
the Ottomans, and so took the town.
The Turks woke up and took to their heels in disorder since they thought they were being surrounded by
Allenby's army. They were all killed or taken prisoner. And so, after thousands of years British troops
successfully copied the tactics of Saul and Jonathan. (Keller, The Bible As History, pages 179-180) Also:
The Romance of the Last Crusade, 1923, Major Vivian Gilbert, pages 183-186.
Jonathan a great example for us -of courage, bravery, zeal, faith, trust in God.
Let's be found in the Word this week, supporting each other as we serve Christ together!