Whole lotta shakin’ going on


Here’s another part of the story about Prince Jonathon and his little sortie against the hillside Philistine party.  In fact, it’s probably a bit of an overlooked, but really important segment of the account. 

Once the prince and his side-kick armor bearer finished off the enemy soldiers on the hill, (which was 2 against 20, BTW), God then sends an earthquake, which had to be pretty scary to everyone, including our two heroes who had just put themselves in great peril for their nation and, more importantly, their God.  

Seems like a pretty unconventional way of saying “well done”.

[I find it mildly amusing, or sad, probably both, when we call a natural disaster an “act of God”.  Primarily because so many people in our society no longer even believe in God, (although one hears His name thrown around repeatedly in various ways), but also as if He is to blame for acts of His creation, (any more than a parent can be blamed for their adult children’s decisions, as much as we like to do that these days.)  But I digress…]

The result of this act of God was that a large portion of the Philistine army was eradicated by this “natural disaster”, providing additional overwhelming victory for the Israelite army.  So, as scary as surfing on what was originally terra firma was for our two, their persistence and faithfulness (gotta love that old-fashioned word!) paid off big.  The earthquake needed to be properly interpreted as God’s intervention rather than an unfortunate interruption in Jon’s plan

The point: what seems like a setback, a disappointment, or even a disaster may just be God’s rearrangement of our otherwise comfortable terra firma for a greater “victory”. 

Check it out for yourself at:

1 Samuel 14

Romans 8:28

Ephesians 3:20-21

Start with what you have, not what you think you need


It’s tempting to be discouraged when there is a formidable task at hand and (seemingly) not the appropriate resources to accomplish that task.  Most of us have been there, are there, and/or will be there in the near future.  Such was the case with King Saul’s son, Prince Jonathon.

Context:  His father having just failed his first spiritual test by not waiting on the prophet Samuel, the Israelite army was now in severe disarray and facing the menacing Philistine nation.  Less than a thousand Jewish soldiers remained.  Thankfully, one of them was Jonathon.

Make that two: Jonathon AND the nameless guy who carried his armor (as well as his own, I might add. I love nameless people in the Bible and the important role they play!  But that’s for another story.)

Jonathon was undoubtedly aware of his father’s blunder, but saw the task at hand, counted the resources he had, and chose not to shy away from honoring God.  He says decidedly:

 “Let’s go across to the outpost of those pagans,” Jonathan said to his armor bearer. “Perhaps the Lord will help us, for nothing can hinder the Lord. He can win a battle whether he has many warriors or only a few!” (1 Samuel 14:6, NLT)

Here’s the thought: when the battle is truly God’s, the circumstances pale in comparison to God’s power and provision, and most of all, His character.  The young prince and his assistant began with what they had, and God provided the rest, in some pretty amazing ways as it turned out.

It gives me pause, as well as encouragement, to ask myself what things God is putting in my sphere of influence to accomplish—in a relationship that seems broken beyond repair, or in a financial situation that was tanked by recent economic downturns, or any other number of things that seem (and are) impossible for me…

…but not for Him.

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