1 Samuel 14: 15-20…. God supports Jonathan.

And there was a panic in the camp, in the field, and among all the people. The garrison and even the raiders trembled, the earth quaked, and it became a very great panic.
And the watchmen of Saul in Gibeah of Benjamin looked, and behold, the multitude was dispersing here and there. Then Saul said to the people who were with him, “Count and see who has gone from us.” And when they had counted, behold, Jonathan and his armour-bearer were not there. So Saul said to Ahijah, “Bring the ark of God here.” For the ark of God went at that time with the people of Israel. Now while Saul was talking to the priest, the tumult in the camp of the Philistines increased more and more. So Saul said to the priest, “Withdraw your hand.” Then Saul and all the people who were with him rallied and went into the battle. And behold, every Philistine’s sword was against his fellow, and there was very great confusion.

Comment: I am not a linguist but my Bible says that the words ‘great panic’ are possibly translated a ‘panic from God’. And the fear caused in the huge Philistine army seems inappropriate to the small episode in which they lost only 20 men. No doubt the fact was upsetting but the earthquake or whatever caused the earth tremor was enough to frighten them and the passage indicates that it began a great ‘God instigated panic’. They began to run away.

Quickly Saul did a head count – remember he only had a small group possibly a bit over a thousand. I can’t see why he did it but it was his son and his armour bearer who were missing. Maybe he was checking for people seeking to take over his leadership. Who knows? No doubt he was encouraged that it was his son who won the little but very significant fight. There was quickly a ‘prayer meeting’ with the officiating priest leading the prayers. Apparently the priest was a bit longwinded and was told to ‘withdraw his hand’. That is, finish praying with your hands raised in supplication to God, I want to get into the fight!

Prayer: Teach us when to pray and when to act, O Lord. We often need wisdom from above.

One thought on “1 Samuel 14: 15-20…. God supports Jonathan.

  1. Thank you Barry for your comments on this passage. I feel sure that God still uses earth quakes or tremors to shake up people. We had one here in Mansfield, Victoria just a few weeks ago and I for one felt very “shaken” and was most thankful to God when it stopped. It is an unnerving sensation, and certainly makes one thankful that it wasn’t worse. God bless you.


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