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16 And the watchmen of Saul in Gibeah of Benjamin looked, and behold, the multitude was dispersing here and there.17 Then Saul said to the people who were with him, “Count and see who has gone from us.” And when they had counted, behold, Jonathan and his armor-bearer were not there.18 So Saul said to Ahijah, “Bring the ark of God here.” For the ark of God went at that time with the people of Israel.19 Now while Saul was talking to the priest, the tumult in the camp of the Philistines increased more and more. So Saul said to the priest, “Withdraw your hand.”20 Then Saul and all the people who were with him rallied and went into the battle. And behold, every Philistine’s sword was against his fellow, and there was very great confusion.21 Now the Hebrews who had been with the Philistines before that time and who had gone up with them into the camp, even they also turned to be with the Israelites who were with Saul and Jonathan.22 Likewise, when all the men of Israel who had hidden themselves in the hill country of Ephraim heard that the Philistines were fleeing, they too followed hard after them in the battle.23 So the Lord saved Israel that day. And the battle passed beyond Beth-aven. – 1 Samuel 14:16-23

Denver remembers when the Broncos won Superbowl 50 and the parade celebrating the victory. Estimates of fans range up to a million. But, I’ll venture a guess that at least some of them weren’t very enthusiastic earlier in the year – there were some hard games and Denver wasn’t always on top of their game. On that day though, Broncos fans came out in force, from those calling themselves ‘die-hard’ to those labeled ‘fair-weather’ fans.  There’s a hint of this breadth of involvement in 1 Samuel 14.

The story of Israel defeating the Philistines began when Jonathan and his armor bearer take action and God incites pandemonium shaking through in the Philistine’s camp (1 Samuel 14:15). The furor in the enemies’ camp caught the attention of Saul’s watchmen, ultimately stirring Saul and the 600 men with him to action.  But, that wasn’t the end of it. The Hebrews who joined the Philistines in their camp turned into the fray against the Philistines. Soon, those who fled to the hills and holes to ‘ride out’ whatever was going to happen, heard what was going on, and joined the battle, pursuing the Philistines as they fled the melee.  Israel was experiencing first-hand the result of a small act which rallied them all – both ‘die-hard’ and ‘fair-weather’ fans. The small act of faith by a couple men who wanted God’s victory, reengaged Israel.

We’ve witnessed this happening in our lifetime, too, when a few of God’s people stand up, in God’s strength, and begin to push back against an injustice, or misdeed.  Before too long, a tsunami of believers engage the issue.  Those never figuring themselves capable of being involved are surprised at what’s accomplished.  Nevertheless, the only way Israel was able to be victorious was through the power of God. That hasn’t changed.  The song “Open Up Our Eyes” speaks of God’s love for us and his ability to fight for us.  As you listen to the song, consider the victory Israel experienced through God and those victories you’ve experienced only through this same power.[/vc_column_text][us_separator height=”25px” size=”custom”][vc_column_text]

By Rich Obrecht 

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