Summary: Jonathan and Saul are great examples for those who will rise up and do battle for God against the enemy or hide under the shade in comfort.
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Pastor James May
ARE YOU HIDING IN COMFORT OR FIGHTING THE BATTLE?
We live in a time when there is a marked difference between churches and the methods that are used in worship and service to the Lord. The spiritual condition of the leaders of each church, i.e., Pastors, Worship Leaders, Teachers, etc., determines the spiritual condition of those who follow them.
If you find a church where the leadership is indifferent toward winning lost souls, you will find a church that is introverted and concerned only with its own programs and mostly entertaining those who attend in an effort to keep them.
If you find a church where the leadership is focused on evangelism and reaching out to the hurting and lost souls of their communities, you will find a church that may not have many social amenities. This church is not as concerned about keeping those who are on the rolls as it is about adding new converts to the Kingdom of God and, in the process, just as it is said in Acts 2:47 they go about, "Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved."
I want us to look into the Word of God this morning and examine one incident in the Bible where we can get a clear picture of what is happening in the church world today. If you examine these verse closely you will also see that there is a very personal application for each of us too, for it is the heart of each individual Believer that ultimately determines the spiritual nature and condition of the Body of Christ. Each of us has a great impact upon the kind of church we have and how much the Holy Spirit can move and use us for His purpose.
1 Samuel 14:1-3, "Now it came to pass upon a day, that Jonathan the son of Saul said unto the young man that bare his armour, Come, and let us go over to the Philistines’ garrison, that is on the other side. But he told not his father.
Jonathan was the son of the first King of Israel, Saul. We all know that Saul if often shown as an example of just how bad a king can become when they turn their back on the Lord. I want you to know that Jonathan did not follow in his father’s footsteps because he still had a heart after God. Jonathan is remembered as a hero of the Bible and is known for his great friendship, love and loyalty to King David, even above that of his own father.
As this passage begins, Israel is once again in the midst of a war with the Philistines. (It is interesting to note that Israel, and indeed the whole world to some degree, are still fighting those people who live in the Arab lands that were once part of the Philistines)
Jonathan was not one to sit back for very long. He desired to be on the move and doing something rather than sitting around and waiting for something to happen.
Jonathan reminds me of a cartoon I once saw where there were two skinny old vultures sitting on a dead limb in the middle of a hot, burning desert. They sit there for a long time just waiting and waiting for something to come along and die so they could have something to eat. Finally one of them looks over at the other and says, “Phooey on waiting for something to die, let’s go kill something.”
It also reminds me of an old Chinese Proverb that I heard once, “Man will stand on top of mountain with mouth open for a long time waiting for duck to fly in. Must go out and find duck before opening mouth.”
Jonathan was tired of waiting around for something to happen so he decided to strike out on his own and go against the Philistines.