Old Testament: 1 Samuel 14: 1 -52
1 Samuel 14: 1- 23 Shake It Up, Baby
Saul continues to show his real character as his story goes on. It ends with a visit to a witch. Strangely, he had a great son who, but for his father, could have had a line that ruled as long as David’s. David would have ruled but they had discussed a co-regency but Saul had the kingdom ripped away.
Jonathan had a plan to surprise the Philistines but didn’t tell his father who was lounging under a pomegranate tree protected by about six hundred men and a bogus priest. Just Jonathan and his armor bearer slayed twenty men. The Philistines “trembled” (v. 15) and to make things worse for them, the Lord sent an earthquake and that even caused more “trembling” (are these puns on purpose?).
When Saul saw the Philistines disappearing, he took inventory and found that Jonathan and his armor bearer were gone. He superstitiously asked for the ark to be brought to him. He led a charge into the Philistines who had been so confused they were killing each other! The Hebrews who had defected into the Philistine army as well as the ones up in the hills all turned on the Philistines and there was a great slaughter of the pagans.
1 Samuel 14: 24- 46 That’s Enough, Honey
Saul should have just stayed under the pomegranate tree. Instead, he issued an order for his men not to eat any food until all the Philistines had been dispatched. When the Israelites got to the forest of the Philistines, there was honey all over the place. Jonathan hadn’t gotten the memo from his Dad about the food so when he saw the honey, he did the natural thing and tasted it from the tip of his spear. His eyes lit up from the instant nutrition. Then he got the memo. Whoops. Jonathan realized what a stupid command that had been. He realized that had his men been able to eat the honey they would have done even more damage to the Philistines. (Ever have a dumb boss?)
Though Jonathan’s men were worn out, they whooped the Philistines all across central Palestine. Once the ban was lifted, the men “rushed upon the spoil” (v. 32) and at the animals so quickly that they failed to drain the blood. That was a violation of the Mosaic law (Lev. 17: 10-14). Saul built an altar for them so they could slaughter their animals and eat them according to the law.
Saul wanted to chase after the Philistines that night but when he inquired of the Lord, he didn’t get an answer. So he had lots drawn to see if he and Jonathan had offended the Lord or if the people had. Turned out it was on his side of the family. Then the lot showed Jonathan was the culprit so he ‘fessed up that he had eaten the honey and broken the ban.
Saul asked Jonathan, “What’s the deal?” Jonathan told him he had tasted a smidgeon of honey. Saul was going to kill him. The people wisely intervened and Jonathan’s life was spared. Was Saul a bonehead or what?
The Philistines went back home and so did Saul so there was again peace in the Middle East. But not for long.
1 Samuel 14: 24- 46 War In The Middle East
Saul was constantly fighting with the pagans that Israel had failed to extricate in the days of Joshua. They included the Moabites, Ammonites (sometimes you feel like a nut), the Amalekites and the Philistines. He inflicted a lot of pain on them whenever he encountered them.
Saul’s sons were Jonathan, Ishvi and Malchi-shua. He had daughters named Merab and Michal (pronounced “me-kawl´”). Saul’s wife was Ahimnoam and the captain of the army was Abner. Saul was constantly fighting the Philistines and adding the best men to his army.
New Testament: John 7: 31 – 53
John 7: 31 – 39 Getting Doused
People weren’t all quite sure Jesus was the Messiah but they couldn’t imagine anyone coming and doing more miracles than He (v. 31).
The religious leaders sent the Temple police out to arrest Him but Jesus escaped saying He would be around for a while. He said He’d leave when He wanted to leave. He said He was going to go to a place where they couldn’t follow Him. This really puzzled them. They thought maybe He was going to go to teach the Greeks. They could only think in a worldly way.
Jesus got up on the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles. The Feast of Tabernacles commemorated not only the water provided for the Israelites in the desert (Num. 20:8-11; Ps. 78:15-16) but also looked forward to the Millennium reign of Christ on earth (cf. Zech. 14:8, 16-19). The last day of the Feast was the greatest (cf. Lev. 23: 36). The rabbis usually sat but Jesus stood (v. 37). In offering water to drink, Jesus was symbolically offering salvation (cf. John 4: 14).
In mentioning the “rivers of living water” flowing out of believers, He was predicting the new era of the Holy Spirit dwelling in believers during the Church age (v. 39).
John 7: 40 – 53 Who’s Fooling Who?
The Temple Police reported back to the religious leaders who asked them why they didn’t bring Jesus back with them. The police answered, “He was a really, really good speaker.” The religious leaders said, “Oh, no, you haven’t been fooled by Him, too, have you? We’re a lot smarter than the crowd, aren’t we? And none of us thinks He is the Messiah!”
Nicodemus, of John chapter 3 fame, protested that Jesus could not be condemned without a hearing according to the Mosaic law. The leaders said, “Are you from Galilee, too? You dork [implied]. No prophet comes out of Galilee!” Then everyone went home.