Monday, December 21, 2015

Warriors and The Armor-Bearer

Power of God

Every now and then there are stories in the Bible that cause me to pause and think about their application to life. Today I was reading a story in 1 Samuel about a man named Jonathan. I don’t know much about him except that he was the son of King Saul and eventually becomes a good friend to King David. Part of me believes that he must have been somewhat rebellious; that he wanted to do his own things and not be questioned about it. But the other part of me thinks that Jonathan must have been a very confident and brave warrior for God.

When I read the story I started thinking that Jonathan must have been one that believed if God put something on his heart that he needed to do, he was going to take care of it, and get it done. He didn’t need to tell his father, he didn’t need to tell his other brothers, he didn’t need the approval of others…. no one... except his armor-bearer.

I don’t know what time it was, my imagination makes me think it was in the middle of the day, but Jonathan leans over to his young armor-bearer and says,

“Come, let’s go over to the Philistine outpost on the other side.” But he did not tell his father.” 1 Samuel 14:1

Jonathan, tells his armor-bearer that they are going to cross the pass where the enemy is on the other side. And he goes knowing he has only one of two swords in the whole Israeli army. The Philistines had previously taken away all of the blacksmiths to prevent the Israelites from having the ability to obtain any weapons. All they had were clubs and sickles. Saul and Jonathan were the only ones in the entire Israeli camp that had swords. (1 Samuel 13:16-22)

This story made me pause and think about all the warriors out there who believe you are on a mission for God. You believe God has specifically laid it on your heart to complete a task and just like Jonathan, you are completely confident and driven to get it done. So, without needing the approval of others, you take the initiative and begin your task….you have but one sword and an armor-bearer.

Jonathan said to his young armor-bearer,
“Come, let’s go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised men.” 1 Samuel 14:6a

It is apparent here that Jonathan doesn’t care much for the Philistines as he speaks with disdain calling them the “uncircumcised men”. Which to me says, he wasn’t afraid of them. He is not worried about them even though he knows there are more of them on the other side of the pass then just him and his armor-bearer, but he is going anyway. He is on a mission.

I love his attitude about it. Verse 6 continues with Jonathan saying,
Perhaps the Lord will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the Lord from saving, whether by many or by few.” 1 Samuel 14:6b 

He trusts God completely! If God is calling him to complete a task, he knows God will carry them through no matter how bad the odds may look; no matter the obstacles, no matter how high the cliff.

Now, with Jonathan is this unnamed servant, a young armor-bearer. When I looked up what this person’s job was, I learned that they are generally servants who carried additional weapons for commanders. Abimelech (Judges 9:54), Saul (1 Samuel 16:21), and Joab (2 Samuel 18:15) also had armor-bearers. In these scriptures, the armor-bearers would carry armor for their masters and finish off the enemy after they were wounded.

When Jonathan told his servant what they were about to do, he said,
“Do all that you have in mind,” his armor-bearer said. “Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul.” 1 Samuel 14:7

It is the two of them against 20 Philistines. The enemy has them 10 to 1 and the servant says…. Let’s go.. We’ve got this! Now, I have to take this to mean the servant, though young, has a great deal of love and respect for his master. He is willing to put his life on the line for the warrior. He basically says, I have your back and I am with you all the way... heart and soul.

We have an unnamed servant on our side as well. When God assigns us a task, gives us opportunities to do His work, or places a mission on our hearts to further His kingdom, we have a helper on our side. We have the Holy Spirit. He is our armor-bearer. He has our backs when we need Him so that we can carry out the mission God places on our hearts to do.

Jonathan tells the armor-bearer,
“Come on, then; we will cross over toward them and let them see us. If they say to us, ‘Wait there until we come to you,’ we will stay where we are and not go up to them. But if they say, ‘Come up to us,’ we will climb up, because that will be our sign that the Lord has given them into our hands.” 1 Samuel 14:8-10
So when we are called to a task by God, we may have to climb a cliff. It may not be the easiest road, but we can be confident that God's will... will prevail. Since the Philistines see Jonathan and tell him to come up to them and that they will "teach them a lesson", I believe Jonathan and the servant are boldly pursuing them in the middle of the day. They wanted to be seen! Jonathan knew he had the power of God on his side! (1 Samuel 14:12)

Jonathan told the armor-bearer,
“Climb up after me; the Lord has given them into the hand of Israel.” 1 Samuel 14:12

So, they climb the cliff and defeat the Philistines.

We are all commissioned by God to spread the good news of the gospel. Some of us are called to do specific work by God to complete a task, go on a mission, or pursue an opportunity to further His kingdom and make Him famous. We can walk around as if we are powerless, or we can walk around with BOLDNESS as if we have the power of God with us. Galatians 2:20 says,

"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."

If we have Jesus in our hearts, we have the power of God inside of us! As a warrior for God, we can confidently (and with boldness) complete the task that God has placed on our heart to do. The Holy Spirit, our armor-bearer, is there to have our backs. We have our sword, and if we listen close, our armor-bearer reminds us of when to use our weapon (the Word of God); when we need to fight back against the enemy. 

When we strike a blow to the enemy by completing the task we are assigned, our armor-bearer is there.... to finish the job. 

So GO! You WARRIOR for God! Go confidently and bravely with the armor-bearer by your side, and complete the task you have been assigned!


  1. I love this! It's so true: "We can walk around as if we are powerless, or we can walk around with BOLDNESS as if we have the power of God with us."

  2. Great study in Samuel Amanda. Your thoughts and words reminded me of a definition I have often used regarding FAITH & HOPE--which Jonathan & his armor-bearer certainly displayed in these verses.

    FAITH is the practical expression of the confidence in God and His Word.
    HOPE is a heartfelt expectation of a thing, with an outstretched neck.

    Jonathan and his armor-bearer both, expressed their confidence and expectations, especially with the odds they were facing--"with outstretched necks"!!!

    [ Reference Hebrews 11:1]

    1. Thanks for stopping by and sharing a comment! God bless!


  3. Excellent post. Its all about confidently trusting God. Jonathan had the same attitude that David had when he faced Goliath, both David & Jonathan had complete confidence in God, so there was no room for fear.

    1. Both confidently and with great boldness completed their tasks! Thanks for sharing a comment and for stopping by Matthew!


  4. This story has come up in several blogs I've read today. I'm thinking I need to spend some time with God and this story. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Thanks for sharing a comment Amy! Be blessed!


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