1 Samuel 14:11 – And both of them discovered themselves unto the garrison of the Philistines: and the Philistines said, Behold, the Hebrews come forth out of the holes where they had hid themselves.
Hello readers, new blog today. It’d be great to read the passage 1 Samuel 14, the first 23 verses, as this is what the blog will deal with today. Coming out… but not quite the way you think when you first hear those two words… coming out God’s way. You see, something is coming out, it’s just a matter of who and what is. Coming out is a common term these days to refer to when someone “comes out” as a homosexual. It seems funny today that while homosexuals are coming out, there’s another category of people that’s gone into hiding. And so it was in the text today. In this passage the Israelites had been in hiding, hiding in caves and dens, because the Philistines were in control.
In our lives personally, there’s only one that can sit on the seat of your life… the devil or the Lord Jesus. We know that the kingdom of Jesus Christ is over all, but as Jesus said, you cannot have two masters. In a time when the homosexuals are coming out, it’s because another group have gone into the closet. They were in the closet when the Christians were out and about, obeying God’s word, living in repentance and faith. But now Christians are in the dens and caves of the earth, hiding, while the Philistines march the streets. When the Christians were out the homosexuals were in the closet, but not just homosexuals, even unsaved people had an understanding of sin and reverence for God… but now it’s very much reverse. It’s pretty much like in Proverbs 28:28 – When the wicked arise, men hide themselves; But when they perish, the righteous increase. A similar passage… Proverbs 29:2 – When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.
People no longer feel shame for their sin. Shame is in fact one of the biggest indicators of someone that has God consciousness. God put a conscience in all of us, God put the knowledge of himself in all of us. But that conscience can be defiled in us as we go about sinning and rejecting God’s witness of himself in our lives. When you aren’t even ashamed of your sin, you’re very far from God. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Adam and Eve were instantly ashamed when the sinned in Genesis… yet in Isaiah we read of a people that could not even blush when they committed abomination – Jeremiah 8:12. It has been suggested by some (reprobates) that Jonathan was a homosexual because that he loved David and David loved him, and that their love surpassed the love of women. This is not true at all. Homosexuality is not even love to begin with, it’s lust, and it’s perverted and distinctly ungodly. David and Jonathan’s friendship, their love, is very much a picture of the love between Jesus Christ and a believer, and that believers can consequentially have for other believers… we cannot love others until we love God first. To truly love, we must have God first, God is love, and both these men had a heart for God first… which their friendship was based upon.
In fact, Jonathan’s only “coming out” was in this scripture here in 1 Samuel 14. He certainly came out, for God, God’s way. His coming out enabled Israel to win a great victory that day, a victory that would seem impossible, all because of the faith of one man. He would inspire other’s to the battle for the Lord’s cause, and so any of us can stand for God and make a difference that not just wins a victory, but rallies other Christians. The rest of the Israel army were at a standstill… nothing was happening… nobody was moving. The Philistines were in control, there was a battle to be had, but Saul wasn’t up to it, and the whole army was stalled. Jonathan decided to do something. He took him armorbearer over the fight the Philistines. When the Philistines saw them coming over, they said behold the Hebrews come forth out of the holes where they have hid themselves. Could this be a greater picture of Christianity today? Christians today are hiding themselves in holes… just like in the times of Gideon, they were in the caves and dens of the earth. When are we going to come out our holes where we have hidden ourselves? We all have battles to fight, things we know according to God’s word in our life we should do, and there may be opposition, there may be Philistines occupying land in your life that they don’t belong in… if you just trust God and obey him, you can be like Jonathan.
Why should Christians be hiding while the ungodly are coming out? Why should the Philistines be in control? Saul was Israel’s best, but he was doing nothing. He was head and shoulders above everyone else, but he was chilling under a pomegranate tree. There was battle to be done and victory to be had, but nobody was moving. It goes to show how a bad leader can really affect others. Saul’s fear and inaction and procrastination was reflected in his troops. When David came to the camp of Israel when Goliath was going out to defy them, all of David’s brothers were in Saul’s army, and they were just as fearful, discouraged and defeated as Saul. And furthermore they tried spreading it to David as well… don’t expect others to approve of you or understand… and odds are if they cant do it, they wont want you to do it, as that’ll show them up. David’s oldest brother tried “putting him in his place”, but David just shook it off. After all, David wasn’t in Saul’s army, he was a servant of God first and foremost. He had won battles before. Before Goliath, he beat a lion and a bear… he knew that God would deliver him. He had proved God.
Jesus said if we ask anything in his name that he would do it. We have so many promises for answered prayer and so on in the Bible, but we just don’t believe them. James does give us a hint why our prayers don’t seem to get answered… because we ask not according to God’s will, but for things that are really for our lust. You see, God wants us to get with his program, but we want him to just be our genie, our Santa Claus. If we finally get in God’s will, don’t just wonder, but expect God to answer prayer. How do we know God’s will? Get in his word… that’s where his will for our lives is outlined, and the Holy Spirit will minister his will to our hearts… and we can expect answered prayer. Just so often, we are living so carnally, and our prayers are based on our carnality. If you get in Christ, and abide in him, and get in line with his will for your life, he has to answer your prayer and has to give you power to do what he requires you to do. He promises to, and he is the God of promise. He keeps his promises… our word might not mean much, but his Word means everything. It is the most sure thing in existence.
Jonathan is a great man in the Bible. He believed that God could use just him and his armorbearer because God is big enough to win no matter the number. You can win even if it’s just you, you can overcome even if nobody else is with you. The rest of the army, people that should’ve been fighting, weren’t, and they would discourage him to go over to fight the Philistines. We can’t wait around like others are, stalled, tarrying, compromising, following Saul. And it’s quite some faith. Jonathan’s armorbearer is another great man, he bore Jonathan’s armor. And we all have a place in God’s army. We don’t have to be a Jonathan, we can be an armorbearer who goes with him and slays as you follow behind him. Jesus said his yoke is easy and his burden is light. The armor that we bear is not our own, but God’s armor, which he gives us. It is not our responsibility to make our armor, but instead to bare God’s armor. Saul tried giving David his armor, but Saul’s armor won’t give you victory… but God’s armor will protect us and enable us to overcome by faith. The Bible says to take on the whole armor of God… and in Ephesians 6 we can find out what God’s armor consists of. Jonathan lead the way, because he had a sword… none of the Israelite army had swords, because they had been disarmed by the Philistines. So many Christians today have been disarmed, and without a sword you cannot lead the way… and the sword of the Spirit is the Word of God.
The Bible says they discovered themselves to the Philistines. The Philistines said come up and we’ll show you. The enemy can get pretty confident, and they were confident because they had been dominating fearful, rebellious, weak Israel. But they hadn’t run into someone like Jonathan and his armorbearer before. Jonathan went up and he slaughtered them. The Philistines fell before Jonathan and his armorbearer and we read that there was a great trembling in the camp of the Philistines. They just melted away before Jonathan and his armorbearer. You see when the Spirit of God is moving, the enemy can only melt before his Holy Spirit. He is God. We forget the power that we have through Jesus Christ. The gospel is the POWER of God unto salvation. The sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. There is so much authority with holding to God’s word, with walking in truth… the Lord God honors those who honor him. We have been so cowered down by the enemy, we don’t realize the battle is the Lord’s. We serve the God who created the heaven and the earth by the word of his mouth.
Just by standing and going forth in the power of the Spirit of God, the enemy cannot stand before you. Jonathan came out, and the enemy melted away before him. Saul and his army had some watchers… they’d been watching from a safe distance as most people generally do, and they saw the Philistines melting away. Jonathan inspired not only the Israeli army, but he also inspired those who had been helping the Philistines… Hebrews who were in alliance with the Philistines… to join the battle. We sometimes don’t realize the impact our simple little life can have, and the flow on effects it can have on other people. The Bible says the Lord saved Israel that day… because it wasn’t Jonathan’s strength, he was nothing, but God was in it. When we start fighting the Lord’s battles, not pursuing our own rubbish, but getting in the Bible and following the Lord in our lives… God will go before. All it took was some faith. Jonathan didn’t see the huge army, and the impossible odds, and the difficult passage, and the strong position of the enemy, and the lack of support, and the Hebrews that helped the Philistines… he was just single minded on God. He relied on God, God was central to his thinking… he walked the troubled seas focused on the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s not what we know, it’s not circumstances, it’s not the noise… it’s looking unto Jesus author and finisher of our faith. He had a sword, he was there to fight, there was no reason to stall, there was ground to take, victory to be had… we need to get moving in our lives rather than being like Saul sitting under his pomegranate tree. There is so much we cannot control, but what we can control is our relationship and response to God’s word.
We live in a time where Christians are in the dens and caves in fear. We live in a time when the Christians are helping the Philistines. We live in a time of Christians tarrying under a pomegranate tree, and people signed up in the service who are stalled in their walk with God. Very few are like Jonathan and his armorbearer. 2 Chronicles 16:6 says… For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Individually and corporately, the battle is before us, but the battle is the Lord’s. There are many battles, the battle for your soul, and then for your service. The world opposes you, the devil opposes you, your own flesh opposes you. Just like Ishmael who persecuted Isaac, your flesh doesn’t want you to pass over to the garrison… it just doesn’t. It wants to be like Saul, watching someone else do it from safety. It’s time to come out and fight, and when you get to the fight, you’ll realize that the enemy will melt away. And you just exercising some faith, who knows the impact that will have on others around you.
We all are in the Lord’s army, if you are saved, and hopefully you aspire to fall into the category of Jonathan… hopefully you’re not on the Philistines side as so many Christians are, or just messing around and stalled under a pomegranate as Saul and his army was. And whether a Jonathan or his armorbearer, whatever your role, just do what you can, do your bit. If you are not saved, you are on team Philistine, and that side is doomed, the Philistines ended up killing each other, stop being so involved in a world that hates you and following the pursuits of your flesh which opposes your very soul. The truth is, a world that celebrates coming out, doesn’t care about you at all. Samson had a Philistine wife who betrayed him for her people, and they ended up burning her and her father with fire. The world doesn’t care for it’s own, they use and abuse and you’ll just be spat out the other end. If the ungodly are so active in coming out in the name of their sin, how much more should Christians come out for Jesus Christ? Moses came out for God, he was raised as an Egyptian, and taught in Egypt, and in line to be king of Egypt… but he chose to suffer with the people of God than the enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season in Egypt. John the Baptist came out of the wilderness and preached repentance of sin and pointed to Jesus Christ. Do what you can. Do what you know God wants you to do. Get saved, get serving, and come out for Jesus Christ!