A Venture of Faith

1 Samuel 14:1-52


Intro: Jon Courson made a statement once that really moved me – Here is what he said

I think that everyone of us from time to time should attempt something so big that if God is not in it, it is doomed to fail


A) I like that – Something so big that the arm of the flesh can’t drive it – can’t produce it


B) There is only one explanation – You sit back and go this was a GOD THING!!!!!


C) Well in our Passage tonight we see such a situation – Jonathan Saul’s Son – radical step of faith -  RD V.1-6


Now why didn’t he tell his father – not trying to be deceitful – but he Knew his father wouldn’t approve

A) His father would quench his faith – because what we see in Saul – he is just sitting


B) There’s a reason why the author tells us Saul was camped out under a pomegranate tree.

1) Pomegranate was a highly prized fruit in the ancient world.

2) It was a luxury food, not a staple of the diet.

C) This detail about Saul may be the author’s way of telling us about his lifestyle at that point.

1) His focus was no longer on fulfilling God’s will for the kingdom of Israel. Instead, he was …
             Concentrating on comfort


D) Comfort can quench faith – It is easy for someone who is comfortable – who doesn’t want their comfort level shaken – Quench Zeal


E) Older believers – quench someone who is younger – Mistake Zeal is immaturity


One of the reasons I like it when the Lord brings new people to serve in the body –

A) They bring fresh vision – perspective – easy for us who have been here a while to get comfortable in the Routine


 B) Saul is in comfort not knowing what to do – his army has shrunk from 3,000 – 600

1) But his son is not sitting but SEEKING


C) Jonathan is interested in what God might want to do !!! Let’s go & see.


D) Mission trip to Yugo – Amazing –

1) Howard Hendrix – first time in his life he was glad he knew some of those songs

E) Every mission trip that I have every been on since has been judged by that one

1) It was so AMAZING !!!!


Now I don’t know what sparked – Jonathan’s faith in this way: I am sure he knew history

A) Perhaps he sat there one night thinking about Shamgar – Judges 3:31 –


B) Shamgar killed 600 philistines with a sharp stick

1) Perhaps he thought – if God can do that with Shamgar he can do that with me!!!


C) Maybe he thought about Gideon – or Samson

1) I don’t know if any of those Stories inspired him

2) but I do know that stories like this are meant to inspire us – take steps of faith


D) Be open to take that step – to just go and see what God might want to do – how He might want to work

1) John Morton – Getting Fat – need a Challenge


Jonathan knew this truth about God – He didn’t need a whole army –

A) Jonathan believed in a Big God – He can save by many or by few


B) Notice where Jonathan had the emphasis. He had little faith in himself, but great faith in God.

C) It wasn’t “I can win a great victory with God’s help.” It was “God can win a great victory through even me.”


D) As Meyer says, “He had the smallest possible faith in himself, and the greatest faith in God

1) All he aspired to was to be humble vehicle through which the delivering grace of God might work.”


E) God is so blessed by that type of Heart


7 So his armor bearer said to him, "Do all that is in your heart. Go then; here I am with you, according to your heart."

A) These are beautiful words for a man of Vision to hear.  Do all that is in your heart


B) I am with you – sink or swim – I am with


C) I am willing to take a Chance – willing to risk it all –

1) My wife – Our decision with our Church in Oregon – Personally liable –


E) Just bought a house – might lose it



Now I want to say this however – I think that there was a certain degree of trust here

A) This armor bearer trusted Jonathan’s relationship with the Lord


B) He knew that Jonathan was wise –

1) See that type of trust comes from time and experience


C) People we have sent out – Not proven – couldn’t say we bore witness –

1) Well go – let’s see – if God is in it we will get behind it –

2) Others abundantly clear – God’s hand is on them


Jonathan proves his wisdom – RD v.8-10

A) Here we see that Jonathan is not going to just rush head long into the Frey –


B) But he puts forth a test to see if God is in this –

1) If they call us to come up – Then we will Know


C) Fleece is Ok – this is different from Gideon’s fleece -  Lack of faith

1) Because he had been given specific instructions


D) God graciously met Gideon in his lack of faith


E) What Jonathan is doing is different – Let’s just see – if God will confirm – Wisdom in that

Property: Looking for confirmation – Owner

Builder – city council - now with the City

A) So that is what Jonathan is doing here –

                                                              RD v.11-15


B) We ended our study last week referencing 1 peter 5:8 Satan …… to & fro …. DEVOUR

1) Contrasting it with 2 Chron 16:9 – Eyes of the Lord go to & fro ……… EMPOWER


C) God found on this day – such a heart in Jonathan – God meets Jonathan’s faith

1) earthquake – Brings Victory


D) G.K. Chesterton used to say that the Christian life is not so much tried and left wanting but rather found difficult and left untried.


C) Jonathan is willing to take a Venture of Faith and God responds by giving the Victory


D) Faith is contagious – Jonathan’s actions are going to inspire the rest of the People of Israel

1) Missions trips – Sharing etc


E) But first we see how Saul does his best to put a damper on this work of God