F A I T H
F A I T H
1 Samuel 13:15 - 1 Samuel 14:23
This week we heard from the Pastor of The Fields church in Carlsbad, David Fandey. He brought us some thoughts on the amazing story of Faith in 1st Samuel 13 and 14.
In the story we're about to read, the Israelites overcame unbelievable odds, over 6000:1!
In any area of your life, what were the greatest odds you have overcome?
Let's read the story and discuss:
1 Samuel 13:15 - 1 Samuel 14:23
And Samuel arose and went up from Gilgal. The rest of the people went up after Saul to meet the army; they went up from Gilgal to Gibeah of Benjamin.
And Saul numbered the people who were present with him, about six hundred men. And Saul and Jonathan his son and the people who were present with them stayed in Geba of Benjamin, but the Philistines encamped in Michmash. And raiders came out of the camp of the Philistines in three companies. One company turned toward Ophrah, to the land of Shual; another company turned toward Beth-horon; and another company turned toward the border that looks down on the Valley of Zeboim toward the wilderness.
Now there was no blacksmith to be found throughout all the land of Israel, for the Philistines said, “Lest the Hebrews make themselves swords or spears.” But every one of the Israelites went down to the Philistines to sharpen his plowshare, his mattock, his axe, or his sickle, and the charge was two-thirds of a shekel for the plowshares and for the mattocks, and a third of a shekel for sharpening the axes and for setting the goads. So on the day of the battle there was neither sword nor spear found in the hand of any of the people with Saul and Jonathan, but Saul and Jonathan his son had them. And the garrison of the Philistines went out to the pass of Michmash.
One day Jonathan the son of Saul said to the young man who carried his armor, “Come, let us go over to the Philistine garrison on the other side.” But he did not tell his father. Saul was staying in the outskirts of Gibeah in the pomegranate cave at Migron. The people who were with him were about six hundred men, including Ahijah the son of Ahitub, Ichabod’s brother, son of Phinehas, son of Eli, the priest of the LORD in Shiloh, wearing an ephod. And the people did not know that Jonathan had gone. Within the passes, by which Jonathan sought to go over to the Philistine garrison, there was a rocky crag on the one side and a rocky crag on the other side. The name of the one was Bozez, and the name of the other Seneh. The one crag rose on the north in front of Michmash, and the other on the south in front of Geba.
Jonathan said to the young man who carried his armor, “Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised. It may be that the LORD will work for us, for nothing can hinder the LORD from saving by many or by few.” And his armor-bearer said to him, “Do all that is in your heart. Do as you wish. Behold, I am with you heart and soul.” Then Jonathan said, “Behold, we will cross over to the men, and we will show ourselves to them. 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. 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.” 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.” 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.” Then Jonathan climbed up on his hands and feet, and his armor-bearer after him. And they fell before Jonathan, and his armor-bearer killed them after him. And that first strike, which Jonathan and his armor-bearer made, killed about twenty men within as it were half a furrow’s length in an acre of land. 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 armor-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. Now the Hebrews who had been with the Philistines before that time and who had gone up with them into the camp, even they also turned to be with the Israelites who were with Saul and Jonathan. Likewise, when all the men of Israel who had hidden themselves in the hill country of Ephraim heard that the Philistines were fleeing, they too followed hard after them in the battle. So the LORD saved Israel that day. And the battle passed beyond Beth-aven.
Was there anything that stood out to you from the passage? Something you liked? Found challenging? Didn't like?
What do we learn about God from this passage? What do we learn about Man from this passage?
There were a few things that Pastor David wanted to highlight about faith demonstrated here:
1 Samuel 14:7-8: Faith leads to action
Jonathan knows that God has tasked the Israelites with clearing the land of Philistines, though he doesn't have a specific promise that God will help them win this particular battle. Even in the face of unbelievable odds he knows that being a part of God's work means that he could be part of something unbelievable, he has faith that God will bring them success and acts on that faith.
How did Jonathan know that God would be with him?
What has God told us to do in San Diego?
What actions should we be taking to demonstrate our faith in God's work here?
1 Samuel 14:22 Faith encourages others to have faith
Word of Jonathan's actions spread throughout the men of Israel. Even the men that were in hiding were suddenly encouraged and acting on faith and pursuing the Philistines to be apart of God's work.
Why do you think the men were encouraged? The odds had not really changed.
When was a time that you joined in a work because you were encouraged by someone else's faith?
Who do you hope comes alongside you with your work in San Diego?
1 Corinthians 1:22-25: You can't do better than placing Faith in God
Pastor David took us to 1 Corinthians 1, and in verse 25 we see that "the foolishness of God is wiser than men." giving us an unbelievable promise that God is far and away a good place to put our faith. He cares more for us and cares for our concerns more than we could ever hope.
If God's "foolishness is wiser than men", why do we still put our faith in other men and women?
What is a concern that you need to give to God this week?
Pray with your group that God would give us the faith that leads to actions here in San Diego, raising up others to join alongside us, and allow us to place our concerns with Him.