Bible Study Minute 4/12/18

1 Samuel 13-14

Is your faith more like Saul or Jonathan?

In 1 Samuel 13-14 we are once again shown a contrast of biblical characters. This time we are shown the contrast in faith between a father & son, king Saul & Jonathan.

First up is king Saul. At best, we can describe his faith as shaky. Throughout the course of this narrative he makes rash decisions based on fear and selfish ambitions. 1 Samuel 13 begins with Saul in Gilgal waiting for Samuel to arrive. Apparently he doesn’t arrive when expected, so Saul takes matters into his own hands & “forced” himself to offer a sacrifice to God. His rash decision showed both a lack of faith & patience.

Chapter 14 shows another of Saul’s rash decisions. This time he is zealous & headstrong in pursuing the Philistines in battling. He knows his army is spent, but he presses on & makes them vow to not eat anything until evening. Unfortunately Jonathan didn’t get the message. When it comes time to hear from the Lord, God doesn’t answer & Saul assumes it’s because of sin in the camp. He then vows to kill the man who sinned, not knowing it was his son. Thankfully the people intervened & spared Jonathan’s life.

In contrast, Jonathan is shown to be a man of faith in these chapters. While Saul was nervous about his army shrinking, his son knew it wasn’t numbers that gave the victory, but God’s favor. So, he went ahead into battle, instead of walking in fear. Then, when he encounters the enemy, he waits for the Lord’s confirmation before acting in battle. Every step of the way he sought & trusted the Lord. As a result, he was successful in his mission.

Today, look at these two men & compare their lives to your own. What do these men teach you about how you should approach & trust God?