Monday, October 27, 2008

Consider the Lord's Power

The Herodium

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Study 12 --- 1 Samuel 14

1 Samuel 14:6: “Jonathan said to the young man who carried his armor, ‘Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised. It may be that the Lord will work for us, for nothing can hinder the Lord from saving by many or by few.’”


In today’s reading from 1 Samuel 14 there is a contrast between the faith of Jonathan and the unbelief of his father, Saul. I want to focus on just one element of Jonathan’s faith, namely, Jonathan’s belief in the Lord’s power.

Jonathan had a good sense of the Lord’s power. He knew the Lord could save by many or few. He knew the Lord’s power was such that a great army was not needed to defeat the Philistines. As it turned out, this is exactly what happened in 1 Samuel 14. The Lord defeated the Philistines by creating such confusion among them that they fought one another!

Belief in the Lord’s power is a key element in our faith. Jonathan’s faith was bolstered as he considered the Lord’s power to save by many or few. On the other hand, unbelief does not take into consideration the power of God.
In Matthew 22, Jesus debates the Saducees. The Saducees did not believe in the resurrection. What was the reason for the Saducees’ unbelief? According to Jesus it was because they knew “neither the Scriptures nor the power of God.”

In Matthew 21, it is likely that Jesus and his disciples are on the road that goes from Bethany to Jerusalem. On this road one could see the Herodium. The Herodium was a fortress/palace king Herod built by moving one mountain to make an existing mountain even higher. It was on this higher mountain that the Herodium was built by king Herod. This was the context for Jesus’ words:
“Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. 22 And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”

If even a human king like Herod can move a mountain to build his Herodium, how much more can the King of kings do? We pray to Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, who after his death was raised above all things in heaven and earth. He has defeated death, and reigns over all things.

Let us consider our God and our King’s power, and may such consideration strengthen our faith even as it strengthened Jonathan’s faith in 1 Samuel 14.

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