Arising in the right spirit
In Samuel 14, Jonathan left his father’s camp to go to the garrisons of the Philistines. Saul and his camp were clearly outnumbered by the enemy, having just 600 men, and the Philistines were well armed. Under the pressure of these circumstances, Saul gave in to a spirit of politics and religion and offered an unlawful sacrifice, somehow thinking he could bring the Lord to his aid by it, but managed only to disobey God and earn a rebuke from Samuel. This compounded the fear in the camp and things were worse because of it, rather than better.
It was in this atmosphere that Jonathan decided to arise in a completely different spirit, based on values of loyalty, focus and a dedication to the deliverance of Israel. Jonathan recognised the real enemy, the source of the spirit of intimidation that had infiltrated Israel and he went after it.
Unlawful sacrifice in the Body of Christ
The Body of Christ can learn some timely lessons from this. It is time for the Church to stop making unlawful political sacrifices. In the current turmoils and troubles, it seems that some in the Church are willing to sacrifice their own to the politics of this age. They criticise, discredit, cut down, somehow thinking it pleases God. But such ‘sacrifices’ are not unto God, but unto a political spirit. For a moment, such things may even feel good and seem to be working. When people have come away from the things of the Spirit, popular opinion and a few likes here and there can temporarily fill a void. And it may be the case, that like Saul, those that such people are in agreement with are actually sons of Ichabod, from whom the glory of God has already departed.