1 Samuel 14:6 - A Lesson on Presumption.

1 Samuel 14:6 - A Lesson on Presumption.

1 Samuel 14:6 (NIV)  Jonathan said to his young armor-bearer, 
"Come, let's go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised fellows. 
Perhaps the LORD will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the LORD 
from saving, whether by many or by few." 

1 Samuel 14:6 (NLT)  "Let's go across to see 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!" 


Jonathan, not Saul, was the true leader in Israel. The contrast 
between the two is striking. Saul was sitting while Jonathan was 
attacking the enemy. Saul trusted his growing army, but Jonathan trusted 
God and did not depend on numbers (v. 6). Saul watched things 
happen, but Jonathan "made" things happen. 
Saul tried to impress people with an oath, but Jonathan did what 
was necessary to fight the battle. Saul weakened the army; Jonathan 
strengthened the army and challenged it to new victories. 
Saul was great on words but weak on deeds. (See Matt. 7:21-29.) 
[Chapter by Chapter Bible Commentary by Warren Wiersbe re 1 Samuel 14] 

Most of what we read about Jonathan is in the context of his 
role as David's trusted friend and ally. This story in 1 Samuel 14 
reveals that Jonathan was a great man of faith in his own right. He 
believed that whatever God called him to do was possible. Who would have 
thought that two soldiers could set in motion the defeat of a whole 
army? But Jonathan followed God step by step. First he decided to go. 
Then he recruited the logical assistant, his armor-bearer who had 
accompanied him in the heat of battle before. Then he watched for the Lord's 
guidance: "That will be the LORD'S sign that he will help us defeat them" 
(14:9-10). Jonathan was right. With each step he followed God's guidance, 
and he found the strength to do what was required.  Jonathan took 
action and relied on God for guidance and power. It is not the strength 
that you find in yourself that carries you through the challenges. 
Instead, it is the strength of God's presence that enables you to face 
life, as precarious as it can be, and accomplish great things. [The 
One Year Bible for New Believers re 1 Samuel 14:6-10] 

Jonathan and his armor-bearer weren't much of a force to attack 
the huge Philistine army. But while everyone else was afraid, they 
trusted God, knowing that the size of the enemy army would not restrict 
God's ability to help them. God honored the faith and brave action of 
these two men with a tremendous victory. Have you ever felt surrounded 
by the "enemy" or faced overwhelming odds? God is never intimidated 
by the size of the enemy or the complexity of a problem. With him, 
there are always enough resources to resist the pressures and win the 
battle. If God has called you to action, then bravely commit what 
resources you have to God, and rely upon him to lead you to victory. [Life 
Application SB] 

   Because of the sin of Saul in his presumptuous offering, the 
Lord would not give to him the honor of commanding the armies of 
Israel in battle with the Philistines. The Lord would have his name 
alone magnified lest the armies of Israel should exalt themselves as 
though it were on account of their righteousness, valor or wisdom, that 
their enemies were overcome. He moved upon the heart of Jonathan, a 
righteous man, and his armor-bearer, to go over to the garrison of the 
Philistines. Jonathan believed that God was able to work for them, and save 
by many or by few. He did not rush up presumptuously. He asked 
counsel of God, then with a fearless heart, trusting in him alone, he 
moved forward. Through these two men the Lord accomplished his work of 
subduing the Philistines. He sent angels to protect Jonathan and his 
armor-bearer and shield them from the instruments of death in the hands of 
their enemies.    
   Angels of God fought by the side of Jonathan, and the 
Philistines fell all around him. Great fear seized the host of the 
Philistines in the field and in the garrison. And the spoilers that had been 
divided into separate companies, and sent in different directions, ready 
for their work of slaughter, were terribly afraid. The earth 
trembled beneath them, as though a great multitude with horsemen and 
chariots were upon the ground prepared for battle. Jonathan and his 
armor-bearer, and even the Philistine host knew that the Lord was working for 
the deliverance of the Hebrews. The Philistines became perplexed. 
There appeared to them to be men of Israel among them, fighting 
against them; and they fought against one another, and slaughtered their 
own armies.  {4aSG 70}   

In Jonathan, the son of Saul, the Lord saw a man of pure 
integrity,--one to whom He could draw nigh, and upon whose heart He could move. 
. . .   
Jonathan and his armor-bearer gave evidence that they were 
moving under the influence and command of a more than human general. To 
outward appearance, their venture was rash, and contrary to all military 
rules. But the action of Jonathan was not done in human rashness. He 
depended not on what he and his armor-bearer themselves could do; he was 
the instrument that God used in behalf of His people Israel. They 
made their plans, and rested their cause in the hands of God. If the 
armies of the Philistines challenged them, they would advance. If they 
said, Come, they would go forward. . . . Jonathan and his armor-bearer 
had asked a sign of the Lord; and the challenge had come, the sign 
was given. These two men placed their hope in God, and went forward. 
It was no easy passage for the brave adventurers. They had hard 
climbing to reach the top. . . .   
It would have been an easy matter for the Philistines to kill 
these two brave, daring men; but it did not enter into their minds 
that these two solitary men had come up with any hostile intent. The 
wondering men above looked on, too surprised to take in their possible 
object. They regarded these men as deserters, and permitted them to come 
without harm. . . . "And they fell before Jonathan; and his 
armour-bearer slew after him." . . . This daring work sent a panic through the 
camp. There lay the dead bodies of twenty men, and to the sight of the 
enemy there seemed hundreds of men prepared for war. The armies of 
heaven were revealed to the opposing host of the Philistines. {SD 208} 

Spiritual victories often come from small steps taken for God. 
When you are facing a difficult situation that is beyond your 
control, ask yourself, What steps can I take now to work toward a 
solution? A few small steps may be just what is needed to begin the chain 
of events leading to eventual victory. [Life Application SB] 

Jonathan's bold plan is undertaken as an act of faith (Heb 
11:33-34) founded on God's promise (9:16). [NIV SB] 

1 Samuel 9:16 (NLT) "About this time tomorrow I will send you a 
man from the land of Benjamin. Anoint him to be the leader of my 
people, Israel. He [God] will rescue them from the Philistines, for I 
have looked down on my people in mercy and have heard their cry."  

Zech. 4:6 (KJV)  Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, 
This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, 
nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.  

Philip. 3:3 (KJV)  For we are the circumcision, which worship 
God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no 
confidence in the flesh.