This is my second entry in my kids’ messages series on “Sports in the Bible” that I am presenting in our AWANA program this fall. This time, the lesson comes from 1 Samuel 14.1-14.
It is the story of Jonathan, son of King Saul, and his armor bearer. We learn at the end of chapter 13 that the Israelite army does not have weapons, because it is too expensive for them. Only Saul and Jonathan have swords. The Philistines are strong against them, and Saul decided that the best plan is to wait under a pomegranate tree and wait for something the happen.
Jonathan gets tired of waiting around, and set out with his assistant. Look at the end of verse 6.
“It’s just the two of us against all those godless men,” Jonathan said. “But the Lord can help a few soldiers win a battle just as easily as he can help a whole army. Maybe the Lord will help us win this battle.”
I love his drive to action in this. The Lord CAN do it, maybe he will. Let’s go.
So off they go, and they have a plan. They will climb the mountain and show themselves to the enemy. If the enemy, mockingly, calls them closer, that is the sign that God is giving Jonathan and his assistant the victory.
So they start up the mountain and they show themselves to the enemy. They call them up so they can “teach them a thing or two”. The 2 Israelites crawl up the hillside and engage in battle, that they win with God’s help.
What can we learn from this story, and from mountaineering about our walk with God.
Important things that mountaineering needs:
1- Hand holds. A place to grasp on to to help climb, and to hold on to for dear life when everything else slips or begins to fail. – We have the word of God – the bible that is filled with verses that we are learning in AWANA. That is the foundation for what we know about God. It is full of stories of his faithfulness and promises that He makes to his followers. We can hold on to our bibles, literally and we can hold on for dear life to the truth that we find in the Word of God. When everything around us fails, we can hold on to the promises of His Word.
2- Footholds. This is a place to set ourselves on so we can move up the mountain. If our feet are on solid rock, then the chances of us slipping are very slim. Our chances of slipping away when God is the foundation of our life in slimmer than slim. It is non-existent. He invites us to make Him the foundation of our lives. Like we read in Matthew 7.24-27, with God as our foundation, our Solid Rock as he is called in Psalms, then even when we face the wind and the rain that life brings our way, we will be able to stand firm.
3- Boldness – To reach the top of a mountain, we need to believe that it is possible. We also know that “with God, all things are possible” (Matthew 19.26) Jonathan and his assistant are just 2 people against the outpost of an army. There is no way that they should advance against the army when they are so outnumbered, but they listened to God and followed even when it seemed crazy. That boldness of Faith allowed them to see God deliver an amazing victory. When we live for God whole-heartedly, and follow Him even when it seems crazy, we will see Him do the impossible.
Thank you God for who you are. Help me to hold on to the truth of your Word, to stand strong with You as my foundation and move boldly where You lead me, knowing that you can do all things!