1Samuel 14 - Prayer Tents



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1Samuel 14
The Message
14Later that day, Jonathan, Saul's son, said to his armor bearer, "Come on, let's go over to the Philistine garrison patrol on the other side of the pass." But he didn't tell his father.H3117H3129H1121H7586H559H5288H5375H3627H3212H5674H6430H4673H5676H1975H5046H1 2Meanwhile, Saul was taking it easy under the pomegranate tree at the threshing floor on the edge of town at Geba (Gibeah). There were about six hundred men with him.H7586H3427H7097H1390H7416H4051H5971H8337H3967H376 3Ahijah, wearing the priestly Ephod, was also there. (Ahijah was the son of Ahitub, brother of Ichabod, son of Phinehas, who was the son of Eli the priest of GOD at Shiloh.) No one there knew that Jonathan had gone off.H281H1121H285H350H251H1121H6372H1121H5941H3068H3548H7887H5375H646H5971H3045H3129H1980 4The pass that Jonathan was planning to cross over to the Philistine garrison was flanked on either side by sharp rock outcroppings, cliffs named Bozez and Seneh.H4569H3129H1245H5674H6430H4673H8127H5553H5676H8127H5553H5676H8034H259H949H8034H259H5573 5The cliff to the north faced Micmash; the cliff to the south faced Geba (Gibeah).H8127H259H4690H6828H4136H4363H259H5045H4136H1387 6Jonathan said to his armor bearer, "Come on now, let's go across to these uncircumcised pagans. Maybe GOD will work for us. There's no rule that says God can only deliver by using a big army. No one can stop GOD from saving when he sets his mind to it."H3083H559H5288H5375H3627H3212H5674H4673H6189H3068H6213H4622H3068H3467H7227H4592 7His armor bearer said, "Go ahead. Do what you think best. I'm with you all the way."H5375H3627H559H6213H3824H5186H3824 8Jonathan said, "Here's what we'll do. We'll cross over the pass and let the men see we're there.H559H3083H5674H582H1540 9If they say, 'Halt! Don't move until we check you out,' we'll stay put and not go up.H559H1826H5060H5975H5927 10But if they say, 'Come on up,' we'll go right up—and we'll know GOD has given them to us. That will be our sign."H559H5927H5927H3068H5414H3027H226 11So they did it, the two of them. They stepped into the open where they could be seen by the Philistine garrison. The Philistines shouted out, "Look at that! The Hebrews are crawling out of their holes!"H8147H1540H4673H6430H6430H559H5680H3318H2356H2244 12Then they yelled down to Jonathan and his armor bearer, "Come on up here! We've got a thing or two to show you!"H582H4675H6030H3129H5375H3627H559H5927H3045H1697H3129H559H5375H3627H5927H310H3068H5414H3027H3478 13Jonathan shouted to his armor bearer, "Up! Follow me! GOD has turned them over to Israel!" Jonathan scrambled up on all fours, his armor bearer right on his heels. When the Philistines came running up to them, he knocked them flat, his armor bearer right behind finishing them off, bashing their heads in with stones.H3129H5927H3027H7272H5375H3627H310H5307H6440H3129H5375H3627H4191H310 14In this first bloody encounter, Jonathan and his armor bearer killed about twenty men.H7223H4347H3129H5375H3627H5221H6242H376H2677H4618H7704H6776 15That set off a terrific upheaval in both camp and field, the soldiers in the garrison and the raiding squad badly shaken up, the ground itself shuddering—panic like you've never seen before!H2731H4264H7704H5971H4673H7843H2729H776H7264H430H2731

Straight to the Battle

16Saul's sentries posted back at Geba (Gibeah) in Benjamin saw the confusion and turmoil raging in the camp.H6822H7586H1390H1144H7200H1995H4127H3212H1986 17Saul commanded, "Line up and take the roll. See who's here and who's missing."H559H7586H5971H6485H7200H1980H6485H3129H5375H3627 18When they called the roll, Jonathan and his armor bearer turned up missing. Saul ordered Ahijah, "Bring the priestly Ephod. Let's see what GOD has to say here." (Ahijah was responsible for the Ephod in those days.)H7586H559H281H5066H727H430H727H430H3117H1121H3478 19While Saul was in conversation with the priest, the upheaval in the Philistine camp became greater and louder. Then Saul interrupted Ahijah: "Put the Ephod away."H7586H1696H3548H1995H4264H6430H3212H1980H7227H7586H559H3548H622H3027 20Saul immediately called his army together and they went straight to the battle. When they got there they found total confusion—Philistines swinging their swords wildly, killing each other.H7586H5971H2199H935H4421H376H2719H7453H3966H1419H4103 21Hebrews who had earlier defected to the Philistine camp came back. They now wanted to be with Israel under Saul and Jonathan.H5680H6430H865H8032H5927H4264H5439H3478H7586H3129 22Not only that, but when all the Israelites who had been hiding out in the backwoods of Ephraim heard that the Philistines were running for their lives, they came out and joined the chase.H376H3478H2244H2022H669H8085H6430H5127H1692H310H4421 23GOD saved Israel! What a day! The fighting moved on to Beth Aven. The whole army was behind Saul now—ten thousand strong!—with the fighting scattering into all the towns throughout the hills of Ephraim.H3068H3467H3478H3117H4421H5674H1007 24Saul did something really foolish that day. He addressed the army: "A curse on the man who eats anything before evening, before I've wreacked vengeance on my enemies!" None of them ate a thing all day.H376H3478H5065H3117H7586H422H5971H559H779H376H398H3899H6153H5358H341H5971H2938H3899 25There were honeycombs here and there in the fields.H776H935H3293H1706H6440H7704 26But no one so much as put his finger in the honey to taste it, for the soldiers to a man feared the curse.H5971H935H3293H1706H1982H5381H3027H6310H5971H3372H7621 27But Jonathan hadn't heard his father put the army under oath. He stuck the tip of his staff into some honey and ate it. Refreshed, his eyes lit up with renewed vigor.H3129H8085H1H7650H5971H7650H7971H7097H4294H3027H2881H3295H1706H7725H3027H6310H5869H215 28A soldier spoke up, "Your father has put the army under solemn oath, saying, 'A curse on the man who eats anything before evening!' No wonder the soldiers are drooping!"H6030H376H5971H559H1H7650H7650H5971H7650H559H779H376H398H3899H3117H5971H5774 29Jonathan said, "My father has imperiled the country. Just look how quickly my energy has returned since I ate a little of this honey!H559H3129H1H5916H776H7200H5869H215H2938H4592H1706 30It would have been a lot better, believe me, if the soldiers had eaten their fill of whatever they took from the enemy. Who knows how much worse we could have whipped them!"H637H3863H5971H398H398H3117H7998H341H4672H7235H4347H6430 31They killed Philistines that day all the way from Micmash to Aijalon, but the soldiers ended up totally exhausted.H5221H6430H3117H4363H357H5971H3966H5774 32Then they started plundering. They grabbed anything in sight—sheep, cattle, calves—and butchered it where they found it. Then they glutted themselves—meat, blood, the works.H5971H5860H6213H7998H3947H6629H1241H1121H7819H776H5971H398H1818 33Saul was told, "Do something! The soldiers are sinning against GOD. They're eating meat with the blood still in it!" Saul said, "You're biting the hand that feeds you! Roll a big rock over here—now!"H5046H7586H559H5971H2398H3068H398H1818H559H898H1556H1419H68H3117 34He continued, "Disperse among the troops and tell them, 'Bring your oxen and sheep to me and butcher them properly here. Then you can feast to your heart's content. Please don't sin against GOD by eating meat with the blood still in it.'" And so they did. That night each soldier, one after another, led his animal there to be butchered.H7586H559H6327H5971H559H5066H376H7794H376H7716H7819H398H2398H3068H398H1818H5971H5066H376H7794H3027H3915H7819 35That's the story behind Saul's building an altar to GOD. It's the first altar to GOD that he built.H7586H1129H4196H3068H2490H4196H1129H3068

Find Out What God Thinks

36Saul said, "Let's go after the Philistines tonight! We can spend the night looting and plundering. We won't leave a single live Philistine!" "Sounds good to us," said the troops. "Let's do it!" But the priest slowed them down: "Let's find out what God thinks about this."H7586H559H3381H310H6430H3915H962H1242H216H7604H376H559H6213H5869H2896H559H3548H7126H1988H430 37So Saul prayed to God, "Shall I go after the Philistines? Will you put them in Israel's hand?" God didn't answer him on that occasion.H7586H7592H430H3381H310H6430H5414H3027H3478H6030H3117 38Saul then said, "All army officers, step forward. Some sin has been committed this day. We're going to find out what it is and who did it!H7586H559H5066H1988H6438H5971H3045H7200H4100H2403H3117 39As GOD lives, Israel's Savior God, whoever sinned will die, even if it should turn out to be Jonathan, my son!" Nobody said a word.H3068H2416H3467H3478H3426H3129H1121H4191H4191H5971H6030 40Saul said to the Israelites, "You line up over on that side, and I and Jonathan my son will stand on this side." The army agreed, "Fine. Whatever you say."H559H3478H259H5676H3129H1121H259H5676H5971H559H7586H6213H5869H2896 41Then Saul prayed to GOD, "O God of Israel, why haven't you answered me today? Show me the truth. If the sin is in me or Jonathan, then, O GOD, give the sign Urim. But if the sin is in the army of Israel, give the sign Thummim." The Urim sign turned up and pointed to Saul and Jonathan. That cleared the army.H7586H559H3068H430H3478H3051H8549H7586H3129H3920H5971H3318 42Next Saul said, "Cast the lots between me and Jonathan—and death to the one GOD points to!" The soldiers protested, "No—this is not right. Stop this!" But Saul pushed on anyway. They cast the lots, Urim and Thummim, and the lot fell to Jonathan.H7586H559H5307H3129H1121H3129H3920 43Saul confronted Jonathan. "What did you do? Tell me!" Jonathan said, "I licked a bit of honey off the tip of the staff I was carrying. That's it—and for that I'm to die?"H7586H559H3129H5046H6213H3129H5046H559H2938H2938H4592H1706H7097H4294H3027H2009H4191 44Saul said, "Yes. Jonathan most certainly will die. It's out of my hands—I can't go against God, can I?"H7586H559H430H6213H3254H4191H4191H3129 45The soldiers rose up: "Jonathan—die? Never! He's just carried out this stunning salvation victory for Israel. As surely as GOD lives, not a hair on his head is going to be harmed. Why, he's been working hand-in-hand with God all day!" The soldiers rescued Jonathan and he didn't die.H5971H559H7586H3129H4191H6213H1419H3444H3478H2486H3068H2416H8185H7218H5307H776H6213H430H3117H5971H6299H3129H4191 46Saul pulled back from chasing the Philistines, and the Philistines went home.H7586H5927H310H6430H6430H1980H4725 47Saul extended his rule, capturing neighboring kingdoms. He fought enemies on every front—Moab, Ammon, Edom, the king of Zobah, the Philistines. Wherever he turned, he came up with a victory.H7586H3920H4410H3478H3898H341H5439H4124H1121H5983H123H4428H6678H6430H6437H7561 48He became invincible! He smashed Amalek, freeing Israel from the savagery and looting.H6213H2428H5221H6002H5337H3478H3027H8154 49Saul's sons were Jonathan, Ishvi, and Malki-Shua. His daughters were Merab, the firstborn, and Michal, the younger.H1121H7586H3129H3440H4444H8034H8147H1323H8034H1067H4764H8034H6996H4324 50Saul's wife was Ahinoam, daughter of Ahimaaz. Abner son of Ner was commander of Saul's army (Ner was Saul's uncle).H8034H7586H802H293H1323H290H8034H8269H6635H74H1121H5369H7586H1730 51Kish, Saul's father, and Ner, Abner's father, were the sons of Abiel.H7027H1H7586H5369H1H74H1121H22 52All through Saul's life there was war, bitter and relentless, with the Philistines. Saul conscripted every strong and brave man he laid eyes on.H2389H4421H6430H3117H7586H7586H7200H1368H376H2428H1121H622


The Message (MSG). All Scripture quotations are taken from THE MESSAGE, copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries. More details.

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