Home       Live Forever       Bible       Our Pastor       Our Church        Sermons   

  Add to Favorites
Print This Page
  Tell A Friend!

Rate This Page:
-  OK +
0 1 2 3 4 5 6

Page Rating:
Average 1.38 by 8 voters


Your Name:
  Send   Cancel  

   A Faith That Wins


I Samuel 14:1-15





Sunday Morning Sermon

January 10, 1999

Fair Avenue Baptist Church





Let’s look at the foundation for this message to help us learn about faith.


Saul had been chosen and anointed as the first king of Israel.  These were perilous times in Israel because the Philistines had completely overthrown and defeated these chosen people of God.


In the previous chapter, I Sam. 13:19-20, we find that the children of Israel had no means of sharpening their weapons of war.


Since there was no blacksmith in Israel, the only way they could get a weapon sharpened was when they became friendly with a Philistine who had the means of sharpening instruments.


King Saul, with a pitiful army of 600 men, had retreated to a far-off place.  He was completely out of contact with the Philistines and had no plan of battle.


God’s chosen nation was in total disarray.  It was truly a dark day in the kingdom, and the people had no hope.


Jonathan, the king’s son, was not one of those who had no hope.


He evidently believed that, if one had a strong faith in God, there was always hope of victory.


Jonathan and his armorbearer were a long ways away from Saul’s pitiful army, and these two were alone.


Jonathan, with a divine impulse from the Lord, said to his armorbearer, “There is no restraint to the Lord to save by many or by few.”


He said, “Follow me.  We are going down to the garrison of the Philistines.  It may be that the Lord will work for us in overcoming these enemies of God, these Philistines.”


Jonathan did not say that they would put out a fleece, as Gideon did.  But he did determine that he and the armorbearer would “discover” (V. 8) themselves to the enemy, then wait upon God to see what happened.


Jonathan knew that, when the Philistines saw them, they would either threaten them to come on down to them or dare them to come up to them and to battle.


I mention this because I want you to see that Jonathan did not plan all the details himself.  He gave God room to work.


He had faith to trust God for victory, no matter how the battle was ordered.


He was willing to let the enemy make his move; then he and his armorbearer would wait upon God.


He knew he was outnumbered many times over, but he believed that with God there was no hindrance to win by many or by few.


What we are seeing here is one of the greatest demonstrations of faith to be found in the Bible.


Jonathan is not mentioned by name in the great faith chapter, Hebrews 11.


However, I do believe that he might have been on the mind of God when the great faith chapter was written.


Notice Hebrews 11:34 about those who “escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens,” which was an accurate description of what happened to Jonathan and his armorbearer.


They escaped the edge of the sword, they were brave in the day of battle, they put the Philistines to flight.


Jonathan believed God would “work for him” regardless of the extreme circumstance.


I believe there is a divine principle set forth in the Bible to the effect that God delights to do a great work with few people.


That doesn’t mean that He doesn’t want many to be saved, but God often does a tremendous work with only a few to work with.


It is true that many times in the Bible God did a great work with few workers.


This was certainly true in the case of Gideon, whom God used to overcome the great host of the Midianites.


In Judges 7:2-4 we read of the account and we find something very interesting in VERSE 2 and again in VERSE 4 where God Himself uses the expression “too many.”


When Gideon issued the call for soldiers, 32,000 responded.


God said, “too many.”


Gideon made an announcement, “Whosoever is fearful and afraid, let him return.”


22,000 soldiers said, “That’s me.  I’m going home.”


Now Gideon had 10,000 soldiers.  And God said, “too many.”


The Lord told Gideon to take the 10,000 down to the water to drink.


9,700 got down on their knees and leisurely took a drink.


300 were so anxious to get on with the war that they drank by putting the water in their hands and then to their mouths and were ready to move on.


God said, “That’s the ones I want.  Here’s your 300 men.”


If I had been Gideon and God had said “too many” one more time, I would have said, “Hey, God, I’m going home, too.”


But we know that God did not say “too many” any more, but I am sure a lot of people would have said, “too few.”


God wanted to teach Gideon that “there is no restraint to the Lord to save by many or by few.”


If, as we sometimes say, “one plus God is a majority,” then two plus God is a landslide!


God said to Gideon that He wanted a small army, “lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me.” (VERSE 2)


Surely something happend in Jonathan’s heart.


He had a divine impulse to do something unselfish for God and His cause, and he knew it would take faith to get it done.


The outcome of the battle was thrilling.


Jonathan and his companion killed a bunch of Philistines.


The Bible says that the “first” slaughter was about 20 men.  We were not sure how many were killed all together.


The earth quaked and trembled, and the Philistines started killing each other.


God won a great victory because He had a man who had a faith that wins.


It may have been that Jonathan knew of Deut. 32:30, “How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, except their Rock had sold them, and the Lord had shut them up?”


It may have been that 10,000 Philistines were overcome because Jonathan believed that, if he was on “the Rock,” two could put 10,000 to flight.


Jonathan was not as interested in the rocks of I Samuel 14:4 as he was interested in the Rock of Ages.


Jonathan might have heard of the promise of God in Joshua 23:10, “One man of you shall chase a thousand: for the Lord your God, he it is that fighteth for you, as he hath promised you.”


No man could do what Jonathan did without believing in and standing on the promises of God.


He had great reason to believe that “there is no restraint to the Lord to save by many or by few.”


Several observations:





“Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; and as thy days, so shall thy strength be.” (Deut. 33:25)


What a wonderful promise: “as thy days, so shall thy strength be.”


God has promised us strength for every day.


He will not give tomorrow’s strength today, but He will give us strength for today.


It doesn’t matter what the day brings forth, God has promised strength for it.


One ring of the phone,

One letter in the mail,

One knock on the door,

Either of these may call for God’s strength.


Everytime my phones rings late at night I expect bad news.


One of these days it will be a phone call about my mom or dad, and I will need faith.


One of these days I may get a letter from some friend or family member about a divorce, and I will need faith.


One of these days I may hear a knock on the door and someone will tell me about a tragedy in my family, and I will need faith.


Where faith is found,

God’s strength is found.


Isaiah 40:29, “He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.”


The whole 40th chapter of Isaiah is on the certainty of God’s eternal Word and the availability of His strong and mighty arm.


He “increaseth strength” to equal your need of strength. 


He who measured the oceans in His hand and spread the heavens with a move of His hand and weighed the dust of the earth in a balance - it is the same God who promised power to the faint.


Where faith is found, God’s strength is displayed.


“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” (Isaiah 41:10)


Five times in this wonderful promise God uses the personal pronoun “I” in reference to Himself:


·        I am with thee

·        I am thy God

·        I will strengthen thee

·        I will help thee

·        I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness


This is a great promise of strength upon which we can draw.


Faith is the instrument to make all of God’s strength and power available.


God is always ready to display this strength and power whenever He finds one with faith to believe that He is ready and willing.


Jonathan had that kind of faith, the faith that wins.


“There is no restraint to the Lord to save by many or by few.”




The Israelites were hid in caves and in the dens of the woods.


The pitiful little army of Saul gave no comfort.


The cowardice of Saul and his reluctance to engage the enemy showed their weakness and fear.


They were outnumbered,

They had no sharp weapons,

They really had no leader because Saul was hiding.


Jonathan rose to the occasion with faith to believe that God could overcome circumstances.


It looked as though Jonathan literally laughed in the face of circumstances.


His faith was contagious because notice what the armorbearer said in I Sam. 14:7, “Do all that is in thy heart: turn thee; behold, I am with thee according to thy heart.”


Circumstances do not dictate the course of a Christian with faith in God.


But circumstances usually dictate a certain course of action for one who knows nothing of the miracle-working power of God.


At this particular moment, the circumstances said to Jonathan and his companion, “Hey, you need to run and hide like the rest of your army.  You don’t stand a chance.”


But Jonathan’s faith led him to believe that God could use him to win the battle, to believe that “there was not restraint to the Lord to save by many or by few.”


We should never get too concerned with circumstances.


If it were not for faith, the circumstances of our day and age would be most discouraging.


From a human standpoint, the circumstances have never been worse.


And those of us who are born-again, blood-washed, Spirit-indwelt child of God is laughed at and taunted in many circles today.


That doesn’t bother me.


I am laughing all the way to Heaven.


Victory is ours through our Lord Jesus Christ!


1.       Where faith is found, God’s strength

          is displayed

2.       Faith pays no attention to   circumstances




I have mentioned before that Jonathan knew the Word of God. 


Remember when he said, “One shall chase a thousand, and two shall put ten thousand to flight.”


The Word of God is the only sure foundation for faith.


“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Rom. 10:17)


“It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.” (Psalm 118:8)


Faith built on the Word of God is often illustrated in the Bible. 


“By faith, Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, movd with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.” (Heb. 11:7)


Notice the expression in this verse, “...being warned of God.” 


God spoke to him.


He heard God’s words, and what he did and believed about the impending Flood of Judgment was based upon the Word of God.


Noah’s faith was founded in the Word of God.


He had never seen rain before, but what did that matter?


He had the Word of God on it.


We’ve heard people say, “Seeing is believing.”


But with God, “Hearing is believing.”


Faith is built upon the foundation of the Word of God.


1.       When faith is found, God’s strength is          displayed

2.       Faith pays no attention to   circumstances

3.       Faith builds upon divine promises




Many times foolish plans, which did not work out, at first were called adventures of faith.


Faith is daring and venturesome, but it is never foolish.


Jonathan left room for God to lead and direct even after he was impressed to go against the Philistine army.


Jonathan was not arrogant, not self-willed as to how it was to work out.


He was not presumptuous nor demanding.


He just firmly believed that God could give him the victory, even though the odds were against him.


His faith might have looked foolish to the Philistines, but they soon changed their minds.


Faith is not foolishness.


One time a church was in a great building program.  People were pledging what they would give toward the new building.


A man about 60 years old pledged $10,000.  When they asked him how he was going to pay, he said, “I plan to give $2.00 a week until the $10,000 is paid.”


It didn’t take a math scholar to figure out that the man would long dead before he could pay his $10,000 pledge.  In fact, it would take about 96 years to do it.


His pledge was not faith, but foolishness.


Faith is always confined to the Word of God and the wisdom of God.


A man once said, “I am not going to wash my car any more because I strongly believe the Lord is coming any day.”


His was not a faith built upon the Word of God.  The Bible tells us that we cannot know the date of His coming.


It would have been a better testimony to the Lord and to the world to have a clean car while waiting for the Lord to come.


1.       When faith is found, God’s strength is          displayed

2.       Faith pays no attention to   circumstances

3.       Faith builds upon divine promises

4.       Faith is not foolishness




We read in I Sam. 14:1, “But he told not his father.”


WHY?  Because he knew his father would try to talk him out of it.


Saul did not want to fight,

Saul did not want to go to battle,

Saul was hiding,

Saul was retreating,

Saul was disobedient.


But Jonanthan believed God.


Faith waits upon God, and

Faith walks with God.


When God’s directions are clear, the directions of man seem insignificant.


Faith does not depend upon flesh and blood for direction.


Men might try to talk someone out of their faith, or try to figure a better, or more logical and reasonable way.


But faith depends upon God, not man.


Jonathan had a faith that wins.


It was a faith that brought God’s strength.


It was a faith that paid no attention to the circumstances.


It was a faith that was based on God’s divine promises.


It was faith, not foolishness.


And it was a faith that depended upon God, not man.


What kind of faith do we have?

Copyright (c) 2003 www.fairavebaptist.com
Powered by Nerdom.Com    Terms Of Use    Privacy Statement
Portal engine source code is copyright © 2002-2003 by DotNetNuke. All Rights Reserved.