1 Samuel 14: Jonathon causes trouble but also saves everyone


They are at Michmash waiting for the fight with the Philistines. Jonathon and his armor bearer go and sneak up on a Philistine garrison. They enter it and slay 20 men in a ½ acre of land. And this caused the Philistines to freak out and retreat in a rather disorderly fashion.  Saul took the opportunity to press the fight. And even those Israelis who had supported the Philistines came to his aid. Saul commanded that no one eat until all their enemies had been defeated, but Jonathon didn’t hear the order. So when he came upon some honey – he ate it. At the end of the day the people flew upon the spoil and started eating all the sheep and oxen in sight, WITH the blood. Saul was horrified. At least come to the alter I build so we can slaughter and drain them properly. Saul considered going after the Philistines. He tried to ask God, but god didn’t answer him. Assuming someone had sinned, they drew lots and it was clear it was either Saul or Jonathon who had sinned. The next lot – it was clear it was Jonathon. Saul was prepared to kill his son but the people intervened, how can you kill the man who saved us all?  Jonathon is spared. Saul goes on to fight with pretty much everyone around them and his entire reign was one big ongoing battle.

In other words:

Saul and his son go to battle against everyone.

Favorite bit:

1 Samuel 14:6-14 – Jonathon and his armor bearer sneak off and start a war. It doesn’t sound cool – but it kind of is because in 8 -11 – they decide to show themselves to the Philistine garrison and depending on how they are received, dictates what their response will be.

2nd favorite bit:

1 Samuel 14:45 – Don’t kill Jonathon!! He saved us all!!!

Least favorite bit:

That Saul declares war on pretty much everybody. (1 Samuel 14:47&52)

Overall impression:

Saul is originally a pretty upstanding guy – but give him a little power and he goes crazy. Constant pre-emptive war against HIS enemies. Not the enemies of Israel – his enemies. Clearly the power went to his head. This guy literally becomes the worst sort of king ever.

Moral Lesson Learned:

If you want peace, don’t appoint a man of war to rule over you. (1 Samuel 14)