Monday, May 13, 2013

My Sanctified Imagination

I like to use what my pastor would call my "sanctified imagination". Have you ever used it? Have you ever been reading your Bible and just let your mind go?

For me, this tends to happen when I'm reading about people not too much is known about. And one of my absolute favorites is found in 1 Samuel 14.

Here's how my imagination goes for the story of:

Jonathan and his Armor-Bearer


If you've read my book, you know what an armor-bearer is. It's the original word for a squire. It's a young man who carries his master's armor and, in general, cares for his personal needs. Prince Jonathan definitely needed one and, by all accounts, he seemed to made a fabulous choice.

As always, the Israelite are at war with the Philistines. And Prince Jonathan is a man of valor who has boundless faith in his Almighty Jehovah God. Valiant as he is, his suggestion seems almost casual.

Now it came to pass upon a day, that Jonathan the son of Saul said unto the young man that bear his armour, Come, and let us go over to the Philistines' garrison, that is on the other side.

Not your every-day suggestion. "Come on, let's go check out our enemies' fort! No need for an army - just the two of us will go!"

Obviously, Jonathan's armorbearer was very confident in his master's impulses. Scripture gives no indication that he made the slightest protest to this rather daring idea.

But it gets worse.

And Jonathan said to the young man that bear his armour, Come, and let us go over unto the garrison of these uncircumcised: it may be that the LORD will work for us: for there is no restraint with the LORD to save by many or be few.

Wow! Prince Jonathan is a man of incredible faith! Most soldiers don't calmly suggest that they and a buddy run over to a well-fortified garrison and hint they might overthrow it.

Could you imagine our response to a command like that? If we were the armorbearer, our response would probably be a blank stare, followed by some pretty legitimate (and protesting) questions.

"What? You got to be crazy! Me and you? You want us to just go up to the garrison? Prince Jonathan, I think you are forgetting that I am just a youth! And there are only two of us!"

But....that wasn't the armorbearer's response! I get goosebumps, just reading his courageous and loyal response.

And his armorbearer said unto him, Do all that is in thine heart: turn thee; behold, I am with thee according to thy heart.

What a response! Plain and simple: "I am with you wherever you go. Whatever is in your heart, even risking our lives, is my desire. Lead and I will follow."

(In case you didn't know, Jonathan's armorbearer is one of the first people I want to meet when I get to heaven! I want to ask him what it was like, following his master into a battle of such tremendous odds.)

The rest of the story? Prince Jonathan and his armorbearer went up to the garrison and killed twenty men (in hand-to-hand combat!). In the chaos, the Lord sent an earthquake and the Philistines ended up turning on each other. Seeing what looked like an easy victory, Saul and the others assembled themselves to battle and, as Scripture says, So the LORD saved Israel that day.


Read the story for yourself and let your sanctified imagination go. Think about the valor of Prince Jonathan and especially of his armorbearer. Working in unity, with their hearts knit fully together, they overcame impossible odds and wrought salvation through the LORD for Israel. 

What little-known person in the Bible do you wonder about?


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11 comments:

  1. I am in 1 Samuel right now, and I too love that story! Good choice! It truly was God that rescued them. I love all the stories where the odds are against a certain person/s and how God brings them through. What an Amazing God we swerve!!!

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    1. How interesting that you are reading 1 Samuel right now! I think God chooses the little things as His tool for proving His power!

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  2. What a fascinating post!! I'm studying 1 Samuel now, too. I remember reading that story but I haven't studied it yet. One of my favorite little-known character is Jehosheba, the sister of King Ahaziah, who resuced her nephew Joash from the evil queen Athaliah's mass murder of King Ahaziah's sons. Her bravery amazes me. Her story is in 2 Kings 11 and 2 Chronicles 22:10-12. Joash was an important king of Judah. The odds were certainly against him but God used a brave woman to save him!

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    1. How interesting! I would like to know more about her as well. Imagine her life in the court and what she risked. She definitely wasn't feministic, yet she was a very strong, courageous woman. A good example!

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    2. Interestingly enough, the royal proclamation in Great Britain 'God save the King (or Queen)' is supposed to be taken from the passage which recounts Joash's taking the throne.
      I know some people have some.... odd ideas about the coronation ceremony, but some of it does seem to have Christian and Biblical origins and basis.

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  3. I've always had fun imagining what happened in the city to the two spies, (The two commissioned by Joshua), and what they did during that short period. After being in the wilderness for so long, what things would have stood out to them? Then, when the King found out about them, what action might the spies have encountered?

    Then to trust their lives in hiding to none other than a harlot? And in turn she had to trust them and trust God that her family's life would be spared by hanging a mere scarlet cord? What might her fellow Jericho-ians have said when they saw her choice of decor hanging from the outer window? :)
    Anyhow, interesting stuff!

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    1. That certainly is an interesting account, with many fun and deep thoughts connected to it! Personally, I've always wondered if perhaps Rahab had been sold into that life and the Lord was using this event to deliver her.

      That's kind of cute - Jericho-ians! Hah!

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    2. I think I read somewhere once that her culture practiced cult or ritual prostitution, so maybe she was forced into it in that sense...?

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  4. I think Jael is a very interesting, yet not as well known, person from the Bible. We hear about Deborah all the time but Jael, with much courage (And a strong stomach!) was actually the one the Lord used to kill Israel's enemy, Sisera.

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    1. No kidding! What a capable and brave woman! She certainly didn't believe in doing things half-way.... :)

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  5. Sounds akin to some of the deeds of daring- do in the Romances of old. Who knows maybe people in the sixteenth and seventeenth century were quite into that sort of think- it certainly demonstrates 'Chivalric values' (although I know they are anachronistic), prowess, loyalty, courage,honor.
    Wycliffe's New Testament even uses the word 'knight' one may be inclined to wonder if there are English glosses in some translations.

    I've always loved stories of David since I was small, and liked Johnathon too.

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