1 Samuel 14:1-14

Screenshot 2015-01-29 21.46.16 (2)


    While Saul and the men remaining with him hide out in a cave, Jonathan decides to take on the Philistines. He makes a deal with his armor bearer that is much like a verbal casting of lots. If A happens then God is not telling us to do this, and if B happens He is. So, because the Philistines invite Jonathan up, God has handed them over. And Jonathan and his armor bearer start a battle, and are doing quite well at it.


Jonathan the son of Saul, Saul, Jonathan’s armor bearer, the Philistines, Ahijah (the priest descendant of Eli), the Lord

Key Verse

Verse 6 “Jonathan said to the young man who carried his armor, “Come, let us go over to the garrison of those uncircumcised. It may be that the Lord will work for us, for nothing can hinder the Lord from saving by many of by few.”

Cross References

1 Samuel 17:26 “And David said to the men who stood by him, “What shall be done for the man who kills this philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?””

Judges 14:3 “But his father and mother said to him, “Is there not a woman among the daughters of your relatives, or among all our people, that you must go to take a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines?” But Samson said to his father, “Get her for me, for she is right in my eyes.””

Judges 7:4, 7 “And the Lord said to Gideon, “The people are still too many. Take them down to the water, and I will test them for you there, and anyone of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall go with you,’ shall go with you, and anyone of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ shall not go.”…And the Lord said to Gideon, “With the 300 men who lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hand, and let all the others go every man to his home.””

2 Chronicles 14:11 “And Asa cried to the Lord his God, “O Lord, there is none like you to help, between the mighty and the weak. Help us, O Lord our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this multitude. O Lord, you are our God; let not man prevail against you.””


    I have been reading 1 Corinthians and Galatians at the same time that I am reading through this section, and it talks about the circumcision. I think that this is a part that can throw people off. The point is not just the physical act of circumcision, but also the promise involved. God has given us a promise as His people, and He asks that we follow His way to receive the promise. Therefore, we must trust Him, as Gideon does with the 300. Asa trusted and God routed the Ethiopians. Instead, Saul does not trust and is hiding in a cave, the Cross Reference to Judges 14 brings forth Samson who instead of trusting thought only of his romantic life and intimacy, and so he ends up weak and dead. We must not do what seems right in our own eyes, but what is right by God. Because God said so really is a good enough reason to do something. God can do anything with nothing. Hence all of Creation, you, me, Jesus, everything!

Jesus in the Old Testament

“Unlike his father in the preceding chapter, for whom loss of troop strength outweighed the necessity of waiting for the prophet Samuel and hearing from God, Jonathan is convinced that “nothing can hinder the Lord from saving by many or by few” (v. 6). This conviction, however, does not by itself propel Jonathan into action; he first waits to discern God’s will (vv. 8-12). Having received a clear sign from the Lord, Jonathan and his armor-bearer go out in faith and, though greatly outnumbered, win a great victory (vv. 13-14). A consistent theme, not only in the books of Samuel but throughout Scripture, is that God’s strength “is made perfect in weakness””.*

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

2 Corinthians 13:4 “For he was crucified in weakness, but lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but in dealing with you we will live with him by the power of God.”

1 Corinthians 1:25-27 “For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong;”

Hebrews 11:34

“As we fill our minds with the truths of the gospel that are secured in Christ, we come to see that God is bigger than anything life can throw against us. When God calls us to step out in faith, with the help of God’s Spirit we can face any odds.”*

*Note: I am using the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible for the Jesus in the Old Testament section, so these are paraphrases and quotes from the commentary with my own ideas sprinkled in.

Thank you for reading. I am excited to hear your key verses, observations, and thoughts! Please take a moment to leave a comment to share them with us.

Next Week: 1 Samuel 14:15-46

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Author: Annie Liss

Currently a mother and a wife who loves reading. Formerly a middle school math teacher who kept too busy and stressed out to read. My husband and I are missionaries in Lebanon.

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