Ep. 082: Jonathan’s Victory

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Ep. 082: Jonathan’s Victory

Jonathan looked at the Philistines’ camp on the other side of the pass. He said to his armor bearer, “Let’s go there and kill a few Philistines. The Lord just might help us. He’s not limited by how many of us there are.”
The man said, “If you go, I’ll go with you.”
Jonathan said, “Here’s my plan. We’ll go across to the rear of the Philistine camp. We’ll let them see us at the bottom of their cliffs. If they tell us to stop, we’ll come back here. But if they tell us to come up, we’ll consider that a sign from God. We’ll know that the Lord will give us victory.”
They decided not to tell the king where they were going. When they got to the cliffs, the Philistines saw them. They said, “Look, the Hebrews are coming out of their hiding places!” They yelled down to Jonathan. “Come on up, and we’ll teach you a lesson!”
Jonathan laughed, “Follow me. The Lord has given them to us.” The two men climbed up the cliffs and killed twenty Philistines.
News quickly spread through the rest of the Philistine camp. This caused panic. They said, “The Israelites have attacked us from behind.” Suddenly the earth shook, and their panic turned to terror. They ran in every direction.
Men in Saul’s camp saw this and told the king. He looked around. “Call the roll and find out who’s missing.” They found that Jonathan and his armor bearer were gone.
As Saul assembled his troops, the panic in the Philistine camp intensified. When Saul’s army marched into battle, he found that the Philistines were fighting each other.
The Israelites that had joined the Philistines now rallied around Saul. Those who hid among rocks and caves came out and joined the battle.
Saul wanted his men to completely focus on winning the battle, so he shouted, “I put a curse on anyone who eats food before we win this victory.” His men obeyed, but soon they became hungry and tired.
Jonathan didn’t know what his father had said. He found some honey in the forest and ate it. Others immediately told him about the king’s order. He said, “The king shouldn’t have said that. Look at me. I ate some honey, now I’m ready to fight again. Our men should eat all of this food that the Philistines have left behind. Then they would fight harder.”
Saul finally realized his army was famished! He had a meal prepared and allowed his men to eat. The king then wanted to go back into battle, but suddenly realized something was wrong. He called everyone together and said, “Something is wrong, and I’m going to find out who’s behind it. Once I know who it is, he’ll be put to death, even if he’s my own son.”
He then drew lots, and it fell on Jonathan. The king asked him, “What did you do?”
“I ate some honey. If I’m to die for that, then I’m ready to die.”
Saul said to his son, “I took an oath, therefore you must die.”
The people shouted, “Jonathan won’t die! God used him to give us victory today. As the Lord God lives, not one hair of his head will fall to the ground.
So the people saved Jonathan’s life. With that, the battle was over and the Philistines returned to their own territory.

 

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