It was a battle this morning, as I struggled to hold on to the glorious glimpse He had provided of Himself at the outset of this chapter.
“…for the Lord is not restrained to save by many or by few,” (14:6).
But then there were so many other competing forces…
I found myself easily sidetracked from considering Him, in the wake of Saul… and the Philistines… and the foolish yet mandated oath… and the horrific sin in eating the blood… and the pitting of a father’s pride against the valor of his son… and the continuous warfare…
They seemed endless, the rivalries… But isn’t that the way of life? There is always plenty to draw us away, to pull at our thoughts, to saturate us in the quagmire of circumstances running amuck, to submerge us in situations resulting from decisions we may have had little or nothing to do with.
But in His grace, He initiated this account with a solid view of His omnipotence, with one man’s words of faith; reminding us He is on the throne, unable to be thwarted, as if to say, “If you would but fix your minds on the truth you know, if you would but follow Jonathan’s lead and move ahead in bold faith, perhaps…”
Then Jonathan said to the young man who was carrying his armor, “Come and let us cross over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; perhaps the Lord will work for us, for the Lord is not restrained to save by many or by few,” (14:6).
Jonathan’s use of “perhaps” was not in any way questioning God’s ability; rather he was boldly declaring his faith as he placed the outcome in the hands of his Sovereign and Capable God.
It was to be the LORD’s decision as to the outcome. It would be Jonathan’s decision to move ahead in faith, convinced no matter what, he knew nothing could hinder the LORD, his God. Jonathan interpreted the surrounding events through the truth he knew of his God, through the lens of a dogged faith, a faith willing to attempt the preposterous, a faith placed exclusively in Him Who Is Not Restrained to Save.
Consider Him Who Is Not Restrained to Save
- No matter our resources, He Is Not Restrained to Save.
- Now no blacksmith could be found in all the land of Israel, for the Philistines said, “Otherwise the Hebrews will make swords or spears.”… 22 So it came about on the day of battle that neither sword nor spear was found in the hands of any of the people who were with Saul and Jonathan, (1 Samuel 13:19, 22).
- No matter the seeming odds against us, He Is Not Restrained to Save.
- Then Jonathan said to the young man who was carrying his armor, “Come and let us cross over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; perhaps the Lord will work for us,” (14:6).
- No matter the flawed authorities, He Is Not Restrained to Save.
- Now the men of Israel were hard-pressed on that day, for Saul had put the people under oath, saying, “Cursed be the man who eats food before evening, and until I have avenged myself on my enemies,” (14:24).
- No matter the troubling injustice of ignorance, He Is Not Restrained to Save.
- Then one of the people said, “Your father strictly put the people under oath, saying, ‘Cursed be the man who eats food today.’” And the people were weary. 29 Then Jonathan said, “My father has troubled the land,” (14:28-29).
- No matter the sinful disobedience of man, He Is Not Restrained to Save.
- Then they told Saul, saying, “Behold, the people are sinning against the Lord by eating with the blood,” (14:33).
- No matter the foolish acts of men committed in the name of the LORD, He Is Not Restrained to Save.
- Saul said, “May God do this to me and more also, for you shall surely die, Jonathan.” 45 But the people said to Saul, “Must Jonathan die, who has brought about this great deliverance in Israel? Far from it! As the Lord lives, not one hair of his head shall fall to the ground, for he has worked with God this day,” (14:44-45).
- No matter the relentless warfare, He Is Not Restrained to Save.
- Now the war against the Philistines was severe all the days of Saul; (14:52).
How do we respond to Him Who Is Not Restrained to Save?
Some days the stress, the injustice, the overwhelming burdens threaten to overwhelm. It is then our faith must take hold. Faith does not claim to know the outcome, but faith knows Him and trusts His “perhaps;” and no matter what… trusts He Is Not Restrained to Save.
“…perhaps the Lord will work for us, for the Lord is not restrained to save by many or by few,” (14:6).
He is not restrained in our limitations nor is He supported by our strengths. It is always exclusively and only Him. And though we cannot predict the future, we can stand boldly by faith against the enemy, assured our future is safe in the hands of Him Who Is Not Restrained to Save.
Let us pray He would grow our faith in the knowledge of Him to quell the competing forces when they rear their ugly heads. It is imperative we train our thinking, to know Him Who is Not Restrained to Save, and be convinced He is exactly Who He has revealed Himself to be.
Paul prayed much for the early church to know... to know His hope and power; His love; His will; Him, their God and Savior, as He really is.
We can pray the same thing for our loved ones.. and ourselves.
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe, (Ephesian 1:18-19).
so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love,18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, (Ephesians 3:17-19).
For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, (Colossians 1:9),
And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; (Philippians 1:9).
(Please spend some time reading the entire prayer in each of the four chapters listed above.)
Let us commit to saturate ourselves, not in our circumstances, but in the knowledge of God through His Word as we depend on His Holy Spirit.
Let us pray we would grow in the knowledge of Him Who Is Not Restrained to Save. May we grow to trust His will, leaving the perhaps in His very capable hands.