Foolish Zeal!

In the Torah (the first 5 books of the bible), God did not require soldiers to refrain from eating during battle; it was a command conceived of by Saul in an apparent effort to gain the Lord’s favor. Saul’s zeal is understandable; because victory over Israel’s Philistine persecutors could only be accomplished with the Lord’s help. Saul thought it was appropriate for Israel’s soldiers to prepare for battle by dedicating themselves. On the other hand, Saul’s use of the phrase “until I have avenged myself on my enemies, (1 Samuel 14:24) suggests that his motivation for fighting the Philistines was personal revenge, not zeal for the Lord.

Saul’s demand that his soldiers deny themselves food at the very time when caloric needs were at their greatest was ill-conceived. As a result of Saul’s misguided and foolish zeal, the warriors “were hard-pressed on that day.” (1 Samuel 14:24)

The battle left the roads and entered the woods as the Philistines attempted to evade the Israelites. Honey, an efficient and convenient source of energy, was discovered “on the ground” (1 Samuel 14:25). Although “there was a flow of honey” (1 Samuel 14:26) from bee hives, they were afraid to eat it (1 Samuel 14:26).

Jonathan, however, disobeyed his father and violated the oath in ignorance. The action strengthened him, a fact expressed by the Hebrew idiom “his eyes brightened” (1 Samuel 14:27). Jonathan’s actions did not go unnoticed, a soldier informed him of the oath his father forced the army to take, the accompanying curse, and the unfortunate results.

Jonathan’s response concerning his own father, casted an ominous shadow on Saul’s destiny. But Jonathan did not stop his criticism there; in assessing his father’s actions, Jonathan noted that his father’s foolishness had prevented an even greater triumph (1 Samuel 14:30).

 

By | 2018-06-03T14:03:21+00:00 June 8th, 2018|Categories: All, Promises|

About the Author:

Pastor Phil, his wife Carol, and their three children, started in Bixby over 23 years ago when New Beginnings was meeting in a downtown Bixby store front. As a result of God's blessings, New Beginnings has become one of the fastest growing churches in Oklahoma. Pastor Phil graduated from Tulsa East Central High School (1978), and Tulsa University (1982). After serving for 11 years as a Student Pastor, at the age of twenty-nine Phil began to pastor his first church in Edgewater, Colorado. Phil received a Master’s Degree from Denver Theological Seminary (1994) and completed his doctorate in Missions and Evangelism at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2012. Phil and Carol are honored to serve God in a Kingdom minded church, with joy and longevity.

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