My Father Hath Troubled the Land

1 Sam 14:15-46 My Father Hath Troubled the Land CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO

There are some remarkable evidences that Jonathan’s statement that he made about his father in v.29 is absolutely true.  Not only did he trouble the land by putting a curse on any soldier who would eat during the battle but also he did some other mind-boggling things.  Notice:

He sat around while God was ready to fight – 14:2 – Jonathan sensed that something needed to happen [1-14] and that ‘s why he convinced his armor bearer to join him in a fight against a garrison of the Philistines – if he had asked his father [v.1], his request would have been denied

He wanted to know who to hold responsible for starting the fight – v.16-17 – He observed that there was chaos within the ranks of the Philistines – they were beating down one another [Jud 7:22; 2 Chr 20:23] – this is what happens when God gets involved in the fight – the enemy starts killing itself – in this case the soldiers were probably killing those who were retreating without command – nevertheless, Saul’s first concern was to find out who was missing from among his 600 men – he obviously recognized that someone from his group got the battle started and he wanted to know who it was – he was going to punish him

He delayed fighting in order to inquire of God – v.18-19 – It was obvious that the fight was going Israel’s way and the increase of noise convinced Saul that he needed to just get on with fighting – however, he hesitated and it is hard to tell exactly what was in his mind when he called for the ark – you can’t tell if it was just for show [15:30] or if he really he thought he needed to know what God wanted him to do [which is highly unlikely] – if he had known, Jonathan wouldn’t have had to sneak off to start fighting

He took the battle personally – v.24 – he threatened any man that would eat with a curse and thus the men were faint – but the reason for the oath was so that Saul could be avenged on HIS enemies – that’s what he said, “that I may be avenged on MINE enemies” – this was never his battle except in his own mind –

He weakened the strength of his own army – v.24, 29-31 – by putting them under a senseless curse, he limited the victory – and strangely the men feared his oath – Solomon said “the curse causeless shall not come,” [Prov 26:2] – and this certainly was a causeless curse – the Lord was the one responsible for the victory

He built an altar to offer sacrifice of the spoil to the Lord – v.35 – in 1 Sam 9:13, Samuel blessed the sacrifices in the few places where God allowed them – thus building this altar was against the law of God and the protection that Samuel afforded Israel in the sacrifices that they offered – remember that trouble Saul had at Gilgal [1 Sam 13:9-14] – in this case Saul kept the people from violating Deut 12:16, while he violated 12:13-14 himself [see also Lev 17:3-5]

He tried to execute an innocent man – v.37-45 – the reason God refused to answer Saul had nothing to do with Jonathan eating the honey – the trouble was with Saul all the way and the people knew it – that’s why they rescued Jonathan out of Saul’s hands – Saul already knew that Jonathan was the one missing at the beginning of the battle [v.17]  – and Saul knew that Jonathan was the one who would be credited with starting the fight against the Philistines and would thus be cheered for the victory that God wrought – Saul had already stolen the glory from a prior battle [13:4] – he was so narcissistic that he would rather blame and kill his own son than accept his own responsibility

A man like this is trouble for himself, his family, his men and his country!  Don’t be a Saul and pray to God that you don’t have to work with or for one like this!