“And Jonathan said to the young man that bare his armour, Come, and let us go over
unto the garrison of these uncircumcised: it may be that the LORD will work for us:
for there is no restraint to the LORD to save by many or by few. And his armourbearer
said unto him, Do all that is in thine heart: turn thee; behold, I am with thee according
to thy heart” (1 Samuel 14:6,7).
While king Saul and six-hundred of his men rested under a pomegranate tree
in Migron, Jonathan and his armorbearer attacked and defeated a Philistine garrison,
killing twenty men (14:14). This they did by themselves. This attack by these lone
warriors spearheaded a confrontation in which the Hebrews so smote the Philistines
"from Michmash to Aijalon," that they were pushed back to their "own place" (14:31,46).
Had it not been for Jonathan and his armorbearer courageously attacking the Philistines
alone, Saul would probably have continued under the pomegranate tree and no victory
would have been wrought that day.
Standing alone is neither an enviable nor comfortable position. Sometimes the
enemy seems too numerous and too strong to overcome. Sometimes feelings of fear and
doubt often swell and cloud the view of victory. Sometimes it seems the battle is
too sore or too costly to be worth the peace that will prevail when the war clouds
dissipate. Nevertheless, sometimes, standing alone is the only course of godly action.
It is sad fact, but true, that fewer Christians are standing for the truth.
More Christians are giving in and giving ground. Many members of the Lord's church
have either thrown down the weapons of spiritual warfare in a fit of pacifism or
have joined the ranks of the enemy. Ironically, this means that more and more faithful
Christians are left to stand alone facing the enemy. Paul knew what it was to stand
alone. "At my first answer," he wrote," no man stood with me, but all men forsook
me" (II Tim. 4:16,17). What does one do when he finds himself in this position? He
must develop the attitude of Jonathan who stated: "There is no restraint to the Lord
to save by many or by few" ( I Sam. 14:6), and then, with sword in hand, he must
pursue the enemy. Would to God that there were more men who exhibited the spirit
Too, may God grant unto us more men who exhibit the attitude of Jonathan's
armorbearer who assured Jonathan, "Behold, I am with thee" (14:7). If you cannot
or will not lead, then at least follow. If some members would only muster the loyalty
to Christ that the armorbearer gave Jonathan, then the enemy would be pushed back
to their "own place." It is not how many that stand but for whom they stand that
Where are you now? Are you with Saul resting underneath the pomegranate tree
or are you with Jonathan and his armorbearer pressing the battle? Are you worried
about how many will fight with you? Then know that there is no restraint to the Lord
to save by many or by few. --ELP