I am going through the book of Samuel and yester I read this amazing story of how Jonathan goes to war with Philistines just accompanied by his armor bearer. Yep, he was walking into a war just by himself, pretty shady move if you ask me. Let’s take a few steps back to see what leads a man to such ‘madness’.
Israel is under attack. They have been harassed by the Philistines big time.
1 Samuel 13 records, ‘The men of Israel saw what a tight spot they were in; and because they were hard pressed by the enemy, they tried to hide in caves, thickets, rocks, holes and cisterns’ . These guys were under serious attack. By the time you are hiding in caves you have been seriously crushed. It means you have fought back, gotten beaten, fought back again, gotten beaten again and the only help you can see now is hiding! Infact the mental picture of these guys trying to hide in holes and rocks is actually hilarious!
As if this was not already enough, the rest of this chapter records the military disadvantage the Israelites were in, ‘There were no blacksmiths in the land of Israel in those days. The Philistines wouldn’t allow them for fear they would make swords and spears…”So whenever Israelites needed to sharpen anything, they had to go to a Philistine blacksmith and be charged an arm and a leg. “So on the day of the battle none of the people of Israel had a sword or spear, except for Saul and Jonathan.” This must be as desperate as it gets.
Yet I feel as a nation we are headed there, to a place where we need to look for holes to hide in from these Al Shabab attacks.
I got a message yester; the message indicated that there are plans to carry out terror attacks in traffic on our highways; the planned attacks would be at peak hours. Then this morning I got another message that the attacks are imminent, to malls and schools. When you have received all these messages, when in the past you have seen these messages come to pass, you actually feel like doing what the Israelites were doing, TRY TO HIDE IN CAVES. I am tempted to keep off malls. Then again with all these attacks I probably need to just find a corner in my house and stay there.
Hard pressed in every way
We live in that kind of a world. We are hard-pressed by the enemy. I read the story of how 200 girls were kidnapped in a school and my blood boils with anger. Who does that? Who kidnaps innocent girls and converts them to their religion and does God knows what else. Who throws grenades at a public market? Who puts grenades in public buses? Who?! We truly are hard pressed from every angle. And it is easy to feel overwhelmed and just look for the closest corner to hide.
Worse still, like the Israelites we even lack the weapons we need for this war. Have you met the immigration department in this our country, a department that has been reported to have sold passports to the highest bidder, including the men who are busy killing us now. Have you met our financial system, it has become so difficult to narrow down who is financing all these and cut the source of funds. Yet still have you met our security system, with all due respect we had about 4 or 5 guys terrorize a whole nation for several days a while back if the public reports are to be taken as accurate. We are as clueless as it comes. Where is that hole again?
Yet this morning as I read about this seemingly ‘foolish’ guy called Jonathan. Dude decides I will fight these Philistines by myself. Yep, we have people hiding in caves but this guy tells his armor bearer let us go fight these guys. And no he does not mobilize an army; it is just the 2 of them.
The other interesting fact I see is that reaching the target was not easy. You see in my fancy world, the faith it took to even start this journey could have led the Lord to drop horses and take them to the Philistines camp in supernatural ways. Yet 1 Samuel 14:4 records “to reach the Philistine outpost Jonathan had to go down between two rocky cliffs that were called Bozez and Seneh”. What I read from this is that it was not an easy journey. It had its challenges yet this guy keeps on.
Why you may ask would he do this, what brings about such ‘foolishness’, “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”! This move is not build on foolishness, or a desire to be the star, this walk was built on a knowledge of a God who is never defeated, a God who does not need 10,000 people to win a battle, a knowledge that truly “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm.”
So yes, they won this battle. “Suddenly panic broke out in the Philistine army…And just then an earthquake struck and everyone was terrified.”
Isn’t the God we serve awesome! He does not only fight for Jonathan, He does it in style, confusing the camp of the enemy, causing earthquakes. He truly is faithful!
We are in this same situation, hopeless, desperate, all such names. Yet God is asking who will stand in the gap for this nation. Who will stand in the gap for Kenya? Who will stand in the gap for Nigeria? This war is no longer war for the governments or the politicians or even the armies! It is not even a war against these our nations, this is a war against everyone who calls themselves Christians. The Lord is asking who will have the kind of faith Jonathan had and seek my face for these nations.
What encourages me is this Lord does not 10,000 people to fight for us. He needs one man who stands in faith. I will stand in faith Lord. I will pray for this nation. I will call on Your name. Lord, rescue us. For like Jonathan, this is my conviction “NOTHING can hinder the Lord. He can win a battle whether he has many warriors or only a few”.
Let us be on our knees, let us take up the machetes of our day. Each time you get that forward that makes you feel overwhelmed, say a prayer. Dedicate this week to fast and pray for this nation. We are the chosen generation, called forth to speak a blessing to this nation. We shall not burn!