1 Samuel 14 Ė 15 part 7

 

Tonight we are continuing our O.T. series and we are currently in the book of 1 Samuel. Last week we ended with the Philistines have huge advantage of over Saul and the children of Israel. Saul and his men were down to 600 men with only 2 swords in their camp while the Philistines had huge army with all kinds of weapons. So, tonight we pick up our story starting in 1 Sam. 14 and will find out what Paul said in Rom. 8:31 is very true.

 

Romans 8:31If God is for us, who can be against us?

 

1 Samuel 14:1 Now it happened one day that Jonathan the son of Saul said to the young man who bore his armor, "Come, let us go over to the Philistines' garrison that is on the other side." But he did not tell his father.2 And Saul was sitting in the outskirts of Gibeah under a pomegranate tree which is in Migron. The people who were with him were about six hundred men.

 

Now we are not told why Jonathan decided to sneak off without telling his father but apparently he felt like his father would not have let him go if had know his sons plans. Now the Philistines that he was going to see had located themselves in very strategic position because they could not be attacked from all sides because they were located up high and a person would have to climb up to get to them and that is exactly what Jonathan and his armor bearer are going to do. If you will look on the map you will see that all of these events were happening within this circle.

 

1 Samuel 14: 6 Then Jonathan said to the young man who bore his armor, "Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; it may be that the LORD will work for us. For nothing restrains the LORD from saving by many or by few."7 So his armorbearer said to him, "Do all that is in your heart. Go then; here I am with you, according to your heart."

 

In Heb. 11 there is a list of men and women who accomplished great things because of their faith in God. Well in our text here we can see that Jonathan has this same kind of faith in God. Now he wasnít sure if God would help him but in knew in his heart that it God was on his side that he could defeat this might army of the Philistines and armorbearer was right their with him. This is the same kind of faith that every Christian should have today. We should face all the battles and struggles of our life trusting in God and that he will bring about the best result for us.

 

1 Samuel 14:8 Then Jonathan said, "Very well, let us cross over to these men, and we will show ourselves to them.9 "If they say thus to us, 'Wait until we come to you,' then we will stand still in our place and not go up to them.10 "But if they say thus, 'Come up to us,' then we will go up. For the LORD has delivered them into our hand, and this will be a sign to us."

 

This would be their proof if God was with them or not. Well lets find out if he was.

 

1 Samuel 14:11 So both of them showed themselves to the garrison of the Philistines. And the Philistines said, "Look, the Hebrews are coming out of the holes where they have hidden."12 Then the men of the garrison called to Jonathan and his armorbearer, and said, "Come up to us, and we will show you something." Jonathan said to his armorbearer, "Come up after me, for the LORD has delivered them into the hand of Israel."13 And Jonathan climbed up on his hands and knees with his armorbearer after him; and they fell before Jonathan. And as he came after him, his armorbearer killed them.14 That first slaughter which Jonathan and his armorbearer made was about twenty men within about half an acre of land.

 

Sure enough when the Philistines see these 2 men they ask them to come to them. Now can you imagine in your own mind just how scary that would be if were in Jonahthan shows. Think about it your standing at step at bottom of a step cliff and you only have one other person with you and you only have sword. You look up that step cliff and you see your enemy looking down on you yelling at you to come up to see something. They have a great advantage over you. In the back of your mind you would be thinking if I climb up all they have to do is start throwing things at me and could easily kill me or you would also have to consider the fact that your arms and legs would be like jelly by the time you scaled the side of the cliff leaving you very little energy to fight your enemy. So when really think about what Jonathan and his armorbearer were about to do you can really appreciate the amount of faith they had in God. Their faith paid off because between the 2 of them they kill 20 of these Philistines. But now we are going to see that God is going to help them even more.

 

1 Samuel 14:15 And there was trembling in the camp, in the field, and among all the people. The garrison and the raiders also trembled; and the earth quaked, so that it was a very great trembling.16 Now the watchmen of Saul in Gibeah of Benjamin looked, and there was the multitude, melting away; and they went here and there.17 Then Saul said to the people who were with him, "Now call the roll and see who has gone from us." And when they had called the roll, surprisingly, Jonathan and his armorbearer were not there.18 And Saul said to Ahijah, "Bring the ark of God here" (for at that time the ark of God was with the children of Israel).19 Now it happened, while Saul talked to the priest, that the noise which was in the camp of the Philistines continued to increase; so Saul said to the priest, "Withdraw your hand."20 Then Saul and all the people who were with him assembled, and they went to the battle; and indeed every man's sword was against his neighbor, and there was very great confusion.21 Moreover the Hebrews who were with the Philistines before that time, who went up with them into the camp from the surrounding country, they also joined the Israelites who were with Saul and Jonathan.22 Likewise all the men of Israel who had hidden in the mountains of Ephraim, when they heard that the Philistines fled, they also followed hard after them in the battle.23 So the LORD saved Israel that day, and the battle shifted to Beth Aven.

 

As think about what takes place here I cant help but think about what Jesus told his apostles in,

 

Matthew 17:20Ö for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.

 

You see the Philistines army was like a mountain and because Jonathanís faith that mountain was moving. God caused this earthquake that continued to shake the camp of the Philistines and scared them and confused them so much that they started killing themselves and when Saul and the other children of Israel realized what Jonathan had started they came of the wood works and the few destroyed the many because of Godís help. Now every thing was going well but Saul decides to make a rash oath.

 

1 Samuel 14:24 And the men of Israel were distressed that day, for Saul had placed the people under oath, saying, "Cursed is the man who eats any food until evening, before I have taken vengeance on my enemies." So none of the people tasted food.25 Now all the people of the land came to a forest; and there was honey on the ground.26 And when the people had come into the woods, there was the honey, dripping; but no one put his hand to his mouth, for the people feared the oath. 27 But Jonathan had not heard his father charge the people with the oath; therefore he stretched out the end of the rod that was in his hand and dipped it in a honeycomb, and put his hand to his mouth; and his countenance brightened.28 Then one of the people said, "Your father strictly charged the people with an oath, saying, 'Cursed is the man who eats food this day.' " And the people were faint.29 But Jonathan said, "My father has troubled the land. Look now, how my countenance has brightened because I tasted a little of this honey.30 "How much better if the people had eaten freely today of the spoil of their enemies which they found! For now would there not have been a much greater slaughter among the Philistines?"

 

First of all Jonathan wasnít aware of his father oath and so he ate some of this honey that the Philistines had dropped and it gave in renew strength. We can also learn from our texts that he did not agree with is fathers oath and he considered it to be a mistake. Now watch what happens.

 

1 Samuel 14:31 Now they had driven back the Philistines that day from Michmash to Aijalon. So the people were very faint.32 And the people rushed on the spoil, and took sheep, oxen, and calves, and slaughtered them on the ground; and the people ate them with the blood.33 Then they told Saul, saying, "Look, the people are sinning against the LORD by eating with the blood!" So he said, "You have dealt treacherously; roll a large stone to me this day."34 And Saul said, "Disperse yourselves among the people, and say to them, 'Bring me here every man's ox and every man's sheep, slaughter them here, and eat; and do not sin against the LORD by eating with the blood.' " So every one of the people brought his ox with him that night, and slaughtered it there.35 Then Saul built an altar to the LORD. This was the first altar that he built to the LORD.

 

You see because of the rash oath of Saul the people were so hungry when came time to eat that they broke Gods law by not allowing the animals blood to be drained. Saul tries to correct the problem by preparing some other food the correct way. For the very first time Saul build an alter to the Lord.

 

Now in verse 36 Ė 46 we find out that Saul learns about Jonathan eating of honey and he decides to make an example of his son. He was going to put him to death. But the people would not have it because they understood that Jonathan didnít intentionally break his father oath because he did not know about and they also knew that it was because of Jonathanís faith in God that caused them to have this victory over the Philistines. So the people rescued Jonathan that day from death.

 

1 Samuel 14:47 So Saul established his sovereignty over Israel, and fought against all his enemies on every side, against Moab, against the people of Ammon, against Edom, against the kings of Zobah, and against the Philistines. Wherever he turned, he harassed them.48 And he gathered an army and attacked the Amalekites, and delivered Israel from the hands of those who plundered them.†††

 

This is just a brief summary of the battles that Saul was involved in. One writer said if all the battles were written down in detail that it would take thousands of pages to hold the information. Verses 49-51 gives us the names of Saul family. It mentions 3 of his sons, his 2 daughters, his wife and his father. However it interesting to note that his youngest son is not mentioned here. However we find his youngest sons name in 1 Chronicles 9:39 which is Esh-baal. He would later become King after Saulís death.

 

Now in Chapter 15 once again we are going to see that Saul is going to fail miserable in the site of God.

 

1 Samuel 15:1 Samuel also said to Saul, "The LORD sent me to anoint you king over His people, over Israel. Now therefore, heed the voice of the words of the LORD.2 "Thus says the LORD of hosts: 'I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he ambushed him on the way when he came up from Egypt.3 'Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.' "4 So Saul gathered the people together and numbered them in Telaim, <te-la'-im> two hundred thousand foot soldiers and ten thousand men of Judah.5 And Saul came to a city of Amalek, and lay in wait in the valley.6 Then Saul said to the Kenites, "Go, depart, get down from among the Amalekites, lest I destroy you with them. For you showed kindness to all the children of Israel when they came up out of Egypt." So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites.7 And Saul attacked the Amalekites, from Havilah all the way to Shur, which is east of Egypt.8 He also took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword.9 But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were unwilling to utterly destroy them. But everything despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed.

 

Here we see that Godís instructions were clear Saul was to destroy everything including the King. But did Saul follow these simple directions. NO he did not. Once again he choose to do things his way and there is always consequences when a person goes against Godís will. Notice what happens next.

 

1 Samuel 15:10 Now the word of the LORD came to Samuel, saying,11 "I greatly regret that I have set up Saul as king, for he has turned back from following Me, and has not performed My commandments." And it grieved Samuel, and he cried out to the LORD all night.

 

Now you can tell that Samuel dearly loved Saul and it must have been hard to hear God say that he regretted setting Saul as King because of his disobedience. We can see that Samuel was greatly distressed and he prayed to Lord all night long for Saul. I think many of us in this room can relate to what Samuel was going through because many of us have people that we love and care for who are not doing the will of God and I am sure many of have been greatly distressed and have spent many hours in prayers for them. Well, as much as it must of pained Samuel of this news he goes Saul and tells him the word of the Lord.

 

1 Samuel 15:12 So when Samuel rose early in the morning to meet Saul, it was told Samuel, saying, "Saul went to Carmel, and indeed, he set up a monument for himself; and he has gone on around, passed by, and gone down to Gilgal."13 Then Samuel went to Saul, and Saul said to him, "Blessed are you of the LORD! I have performed the commandment of the LORD."14 But Samuel said, "What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?"15 And Saul said, "They have brought them from the Amalekites; for the people spared the best of the sheep and the oxen, to sacrifice to the LORD your God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed."

 

Do you see the transition Saul has made? He started out very humble but know his powerful position and his pride has gotten in his way. Did you notice that now he was setting up a monument for himself. You see he has went from giving glory and honor to God to giving glory and honor to himself. He was so full of himself that he only followed part of Godís instructions but in his own mind he felt that he had done what God had asked him to do.

 

1 Samuel 15:16 Then Samuel said to Saul, "Be quiet! And I will tell you what the LORD said to me last night." And he said to him, "Speak on."17 So Samuel said, "When you were little in your own eyes, were you not head of the tribes of Israel? And did not the LORD anoint you king over Israel?18 "Now the LORD sent you on a mission, and said, 'Go, and utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are consumed.'19 "Why then did you not obey the voice of the LORD? Why did you swoop down on the spoil, and do evil in the sight of the LORD?"20 And Saul said to Samuel, "But I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and gone on the mission on which the LORD sent me, and brought back Agag king of Amalek; I have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.21 "But the people took of the plunder, sheep and oxen, the best of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice to the LORD your God in Gilgal."22 Then Samuel said: "Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams.23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He also has rejected you from being king."24 Then Saul said to Samuel, "I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice.

 

There is great lesson for us to learn here and that is God cares about the details. I have heard many people in the religious world tell me that all this important is that we love God and not to sweat the details. This is the type of attitude that Saul had developed and we can see very clearly that this saying is not true because God does care about the details, he does care the we obey all his instructions and not just part of them. Jesus makes that clear to us that the only way a person will make it to heaven is by obeying the fatherís will in Mat. 7:21. Now Jesus didnít say those who follow part of it no he talking about all of Godís will. Now Saul started making excuses by passing the blame on to the people but his excuses didnít work and he finally admitted to his sin. Now lets finish up the chapter as continue on in:

 

1 Samuel 15:25 "Now therefore, please pardon my sin, and return with me, that I may worship the LORD."26 But Samuel said to Saul, "I will not return with you, for you have rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD has rejected you from being king over Israel."27 And as Samuel turned around to go away, Saul seized the edge of his robe, and it tore.28 So Samuel said to him, "The LORD has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today, and has given it to a neighbor of yours, who is better than you.29 "And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor relent. For He is not a man, that He should relent."30 Then he said, "I have sinned; yet honor me now, please, before the elders of my people and before Israel, and return with me, that I may worship the LORD your God."31 So Samuel turned back after Saul, and Saul worshiped the LORD.32 Then Samuel said, "Bring Agag king of the Amalekites here to me." So Agag came to him cautiously. And Agag said, "Surely the bitterness of death is past."33 But Samuel said, "As your sword has made women childless, so shall your mother be childless among women." And Samuel hacked Agag in pieces before the LORD in Gilgal.34 Then Samuel went to Ramah, and Saul went up to his house at Gibeah of Saul.35 And Samuel went no more to see Saul until the day of his death. Nevertheless Samuel mourned for Saul, and the LORD regretted that He had made Saul king over Israel.

 

As we come to close of this lesson once again we see that we have learned God demands obedience to all his word and not part of it. So anyone who teaches that you donít need to sweat the details has not fully understood the Word of God.