Jonathan was an interesting character in the Old Testament. He was the son of Saul, the first King of Israel after the country rejected the Judges who had lead that country. He was in the army that Saul formed to go to battle with neighboring enemies. Jonathan is most well known for being a friend of King David, the king of Israel that followed the rule of King Saul.
The story unfolds in the country where Israel and Philistine are facing off to do battle, and nothing is taking place. Jonathan decides that something needs to take place, so he talks with his personal servant who carries his armor about going over to the Philistine camp and see if something could be done to get these armies moving into fighting one another. “Jonathan said to his young armor-bearer, “Come, let’s go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised men. Perhaps the Lord will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the Lord from saving, whether by many or by few.” 1 Samuel 14:6 NIV
I find two things fascinating about this passage. First involves the belief that Jonathan has in his God. He said, “Nothing can hinder the Lord from saving whether by many or by few. He had such a belief in his God that he believed that God could use himself to bring victory over the Philistine nation. His view of God and God’s power was enormous. God was all powerful to Jonathan. No power was great enough to stop his God. God could save by the whole army of Israel, or He could save by only a few. Victory wasn’t dependent upon the resources of the country, but on God. Jonathan really believed.
The second fascinating aspect about this passage involves the word “Perhaps”. Jonathan said, “Perhaps the Lord will act in our behalf.” I love that term. I often pray asking for God to answer a certain prayer, but for Jonathan, it wasn’t a given that God would answer according to what he wanted. The answer to prayer is according to what the Lord wanted, so he prayed “perhaps”.
The prayer of Jonathan focused on recognizing the power and ability of God, and the submitting to God’s will in answering his prayer according to what God wanted. Real belief begins when we truly see God as He is and see His eternal attributes. That belief moves us to praying for God’s direction for our life and realizing that His plans and steps he wants us to take may perhaps be different that what we want. It makes the journey exciting and adventurous.
Very insightful … “perhaps” indeed.