** I attended several Promise Keepers conferences when they started in Boulder CO and moved to Denver CO. I believe Men need to fight the Battle with one or more Men beside them or they will fail. So this story about Jonathan was one of the reasons I do Men’s ministry. **
I have had a few conversations lately about doing something (Matthew West’s song) and also a few changes in the format of the GMM Conference. The first year we put together the GMM Conference we had a couple of local Pastors do a 20 minute talk that focused on the GMM Theme. Pastor Jeff did one on Jonathan and His Armor Bearer that really brought back doing something as a major item.
Here is the story:
1 Samuel 14: 1>14 – 1. One day Jonathan son of Saul said to his young armor-bearer, “Come, let’s go over to the Philistine outpost on the other side.” But he did not tell his father. 2. Saul was staying on the outskirts of Gibeah under a pomegranate tree in Migron. With him were about six hundred men, 3. among whom was Ahijah, who was wearing an ephod. He was a son of Ichabod’s brother Ahitub son of Phinehas, the son of Eli, the Lord’s priest in Shiloh. No one was aware that Jonathan had left. 4. On each side of the pass that Jonathan intended to cross to reach the Philistine outpost was a cliff; one was called Bozez and the other Seneh. 5. One cliff stood to the north toward Mikmash, the other to the south toward Geba. 6. Jonathan said to his young armor-bearer, “Come, let’s go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised men. Perhaps the Lord will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the Lord from saving, whether by many or by few.” 7. “Do all that you have in mind,” his armor-bearer said. “Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul.” 8. Jonathan said, “Come on, then; we will cross over toward them and let them see us. 9. If they say to us, ‘Wait there until we come to you,’ we will stay where we are and not go up to them. 10. 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.” 11. So both of them showed themselves to the Philistine outpost. “Look!” said the Philistines. “The Hebrews are crawling out of the holes they were hiding in.” 12. The men of the outpost shouted to Jonathan and his armor-bearer, “Come up to us and we’ll teach you a lesson.” So Jonathan said to his armor-bearer, “Climb up after me; the Lord has given them into the hand of Israel.” 13. Jonathan climbed up, using his hands and feet, with his armor-bearer right behind him. The Philistines fell before Jonathan, and his armor-bearer followed and killed behind him. 14. In that first attack Jonathan and his armor-bearer killed some twenty men in an area of about half an acre.
As Jeff had stated in his talk: “We need to be one or the other – A “Jonathon” or A “Armor Bearer” = but we cannot sit back and do nothing. What does each of these roles look like?
Jonathon: As you see – he is the one that got tired of sitting under the tree and said “let’s go over to the Philistine outpost”. He needed to be doing something – and doing nothing was not an option – even if it meant failure.. One of the major things that hit me was – he was not going to do it alone, he wanted someone to go with him. As Jonathon we also need to go forward with someone beside us to watch our back and give us a hand when it is needed. (The Armor Bearer Responded “Go Ahead: I am with you heart and soul”)
The Armor Bearer: His role was a support role and like Jonathon – it was not an option to sit back and do nothing. He was there to be Jonathan’s right hand man and he would have died along side of him doing God’s work.
**As you can see at the end – they were successful and God did his work through them because of their Obedience of going forward.
So my question is: What are you doing in going forward? Sometimes as Jonathon we do not have a very clear picture of what God is calling us to do… But sitting back and doing nothing is not an option… Also the next question is: Who is going along side of you or who are you going along side of in doing God’s work? But as you see – we need to be in the position of one or the other…. We need to be a Jonathon or the Armor Bearer.
***I really enjoy helping someone in going forward with their vision of what God is working through them… There is nothing more fulfilling to help someone be successful as God is working through them… I could be an Armor Bearer all the time….
So go forward as a Jonathan or a Armor Bearer – even if you are not sure of the outcome!!
Sitting under a tree is not an option – and obedience requires that we do something….