(1 Samuel 14:8-12 ESV) 8 Then Jonathan said, “Behold, we will cross over to the men, and we will show ourselves to them. 9 If they say to us, ‘Wait until we come to you,’ then we will stand still in our place, and we will not go up to them. 10 But if they say, ‘Come up to us,’ then we will go up, for the LORD has given them into our hand. And this shall be the sign to us.” 11 So both of them showed themselves to the garrison of the Philistines. And the Philistines said, “Look, Hebrews are coming out of the holes where they have hidden themselves.” 12 And the men of the garrison hailed Jonathan and his armor-bearer and said, “Come up to us, and we will show you a thing.” And Jonathan said to his armor-bearer, “Come up after me, for the LORD has given them into the hand of Israel.”
I’ve always enjoyed reading this historical account of Jonathan and his armor bearer sneaking into the enemies camp. I encourage you to read the entire chapter so as to get the whole context, but for today I want to focus upon the importance of timing.
Surprise attacks are meant to catch the enemy off guard. President Trump is known partially for his philosophy that says, “If we are going to attack someone, we are not going to warn them in advance.” When it comes to warfare, that seems to make a lot of sense.
But, Jonathan takes a different approach in our Scripture text today. He and his armor bearer had positioned themselves in the hillside by climbing between two craggy cliffs. It was a difficult climb, but it gave them the opportunity to draw near the enemy without being noticed. Just as they were in sight of the unsuspecting enemy, Jonathan informs his armor bearer of the plan.
He said, “Behold, we will cross over to the men, and we will show ourselves to them.” After showing themelves, Jonathan was interested in the response of the enemy. Jonathan believed that God would reveal His will through the words of the enemy. If they answered, “Wait until we come to you,” then Jonathan and his armor bearer would stay put. But, if they said, “Come up to us,” that would be a sign from God that He would deliver them into their hands.”
If I had been Jonathan, I would have jumped off the rocks, screaming like a crazy man, trying to startle the enemy. If I’m going to fight, why not just get right to it and get it over with, right? But, Jonathan knew it was more important to hear from God before engaging the enemy in battle.
And that is my point. Sometimes we just need to be patient and wait on the timing of God. He will reveal His will and provide the confidence we need to face our enemies. Jonathan showed the enemy he was not afraid to fight, but he was not willing to fight without the assurance that God would secure the victory. What battles are you fighting today? Do you have confidence that God’s promises have you covered? If so… fight! If not… wait upon the Lord!
PRAYER: Father, I’m confident that any enemy can be defeated if You are with me. I will wait for Your direction, and will follow Your instructions implicitly. Victory is mine because of YOU! Amen.