Today's Devotional Thought
January 29, 2013 by Rachel Piferi
One of my favorite characters in the Bible is King Saul's son Jonathan. He is best known for being David's best friend and soulmate and for helping David get out of a pretty sticky situation when King Saul became jealous of him. He is usually discussed in reference to David and for the amazing support he gave to the future king of Israel and they get a lot of attention for their friendship, which is probably the most intense friendship in the entire Bible.
But, what I want to talk about today is Jonathan the person, independent of David. I am a psychologist and naturally, I am intrigued by people's personalities. And, I really love Jonathan's personality. If I were to do a personality profile on him, I would describe him as confident, daring, giving, loyal, spiritually mature, extraverted, and a risk taker who goes after what he wants. I would also say that he stands up for what he believes in and defends what he believes is right.
Wendy and I have studied David and Jonathan at length and there is a verse in I Samuel that Wendy and I recite when we are going after something and we're not quite sure if God is in it (but feel like we should be going after it). And, this verse is from I Samuel 14. In this chapter, we read the story of how Jonathan killed 20 Philistines with just his armor bearer. But, the part of the story that I like is when Jonathan is trying to decide whether to attack the Philistines or not. And in verses 6-10, it says:
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."
"Do all that you have in mind," his armor-bearer said. "Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul."
Jonathan said, "Come, then; we will cross over toward the men and let them see us. If they say to us, 'Wait there until we come to you,' we will stay where we are and not go up to them. But if they say, 'Come up to us,' we will climb up, because that will be our sign that the LORD has given them into our hands." (NIV)
And, it is verse 6 that Wendy and I recite often: 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."
We have paraphrased this last verse a little (and borrowed from The Message version) and we find ourselves repeating it as, "Maybe God's with us, maybe he's not, but let's charge that mountain and find out."
What I like about this story and this verse is that I think it shows us Jonathan's personality. He knew that all things were possible for God (even killing 20 Philistines with just your armor bearer). He also was a man of action and didn't just sit back and take the safe route. He moved towards something and asked for God's provision along the way. And, as he was moving, he was keenly aware of God's voice. His ears were open to God's voice so that he could alter his route if he needed to. This connection to God is also how he recognized the future king of Israel in a simple shepherd boy who became his best friend.
Jonathan was confident enough to act. He was spiritually mature enough to be talking to God as he acted and was ready to revise his plans if God sent him in another direction. And once he believed in something or someone, he was committed and faithful to the cause. We should all be like Jonathan and move towards what God has for us and rest confident in the fact that God will reveal to us if He is in something. But, we just may have to start moving towards our goal to see if God is in it.
Reminds me of Ephesians 3:20: God can do anything, you know-far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! (The Message). Be a little like Jonathan and dare to go after big things. And, ask God to speak to you as you are chasing after these dreams, ready to alter your plan at his direction. And remember that God can do anything...far more than you could ever imagine.