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.
Saul felt moved to offer a form of sacrifice, as he knew the value and significance of the emblems, but the sacrifice could not be received by Heaven because Saul was not really connected to the true nature and spirit of those emblems. You may get some likes, some applause, but you know what you’re offering is not as it should be. Is it good to stand up for something, but it needs to come from the right place and out of the right spirit and understanding. There are many right now whose mouths are full with words, but whose ways are empty of the Spirit, and the kingdom of God is not really involved. Selah.
Confronting the real enemy
Jonathan knew that to break the oppression over Israel, the real enemy had to be confronted. Instead of offering unlawful sacrifices, he got up to focus on the battle that would change the story for Israel. There are real enemies before us, such as COVID, political confusion and various crises. To throw our own on the fire at a time like this is completely out of order. Jesus came and died to save the lost. It is Him that we serve, and so let us get back to His blueprint. Wholeheartedly.
In rising up to confront the real enemy of Israel, Jonathan had to climb up between two rocks. The name of one was Bozez, which means to shine and reflect, and the name of other was Seneh, something which cuts. If you’re ascending to the place where the real battle is, then you will begin to see things as they really are and cut away what needs to be removed. It is in the high places where the true battles are, that you will God’s supernatural intervention.
If you have been made mistakes under the pressure of the circumstances, it is not too late. In 1 Samuel 12:20-22, the prophet prayed for the people, saying:
“Do not fear. You have done all this wickedness; yet do not turn aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart. And do not turn aside; for then you would go after empty things which cannot profit or deliver, for they are nothing. For the LORD will not forsake His people, for His great name’s sake, because it has pleased the LORD to make you His people.”
Whatever has gone on until now, don’t turn aside from following Him, but serve Him with all your heart. It has pleased Him to make us all His people, and He will not forsake any that are His. Through unity, focus, loyalty and discerning the real battle, He will turn the tide and bring about the victory. In Jesus’ name.
Rev Betty King