And that first strike, which Jonathan and his armor-bearer made, killed about twenty men within as it were half a furrow’s length in an acre of land. And there was a panic in the camp, in the field, and among all the people. The garrison and even the raiders trembled, the earth quaked, and it became a very great panic. – 1 Samuel 14:14-15
It’s not easy to forget a ground shaking event. The ground rolling, the loud rumbling and the walls shaking and you find yourself in a California earthquake, as I did. The experience gave me a huge appreciation for the symbol of God’s presence every time an earthquake is mentioned in the Bible. Not only is it a sign of his intervening, but it also makes me marvel at his magnificence. It gives me faith and courage in who God is and his power.
In Samuel 14, Jonathan had faith and said, “It may be that the Lord will work for us, for nothing can hinder the Lord from saving by many or by few.” Then he acted on that faith. He trusted, he moved, he got out of his comfort zone, and he risked his safety. He didn’t know how God would act or what God would do, but he knew he had to move with God. Although, he was outnumbered, out equipped and going up the mountain, Jonathan’s confidence in God’s character and capability took his focus off what God’s will was for his life, and turned it into how could he give his life to fulfill God’s will. Then, God showed up. He gave Jonathan and his armor bearer victory in an utterly impossible situation. The Lord shows this victory over the Philistines in the camp panicking, the raiders trembling, and the earth quaking.
God promises victory when we fight with him (Joshua 23:10). We can be like Jonathan and keep advancing until the Lord tells us to wait! It’s easy to get this backward and just sit still and watch. We act as if the primary word from God is NO, when it’s actually GO! The Apostle Paul tells us, “God is in you to will and to work his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13) How different would your life look if you worked from a giant GO instead of a NO? Today, praise God for the rumbles of God at work in your life and others. Praise him for showing up in you and around you, for answering prayers, and doing what can only be explained by a powerful act of God. Then, acknowledge God’s presence with you by sharing your praise with someone else.
By Donna Burns