Sunday, April 18, 2010

Chasing Daylight

That's the title of a book we're using in Sunday School. The scriptural character whose story is woven throughout the book is Jonathan. I never knew much about Jonathan except that he was King Saul's son and David's best friend. (My youngest son's name is David Jonathan and he has a very good friend named Jonathan David -- apparently those name have gone nicely together for thousands of years.) I've read the story countless times, but never let it sink in...

The Israelites were (still) at odds with the Philistines. The Philistines held the high ground and Saul's army which included Jonathan was hiding out in the valley. It was night and Jonathan said to his armor bearer something like, hey, let's go after those Philistines, maybe God will protect us.He set up his own little test, (When we show ourselves, if the Philistines say, 'come on up,' then we'll know that God is going to deliver them into our hands. Sure enough that's what they said. But I think it was more like, "come on up here, you fools, and we'll show you a thing or two." The story has a remarkably good ending, you ought to go read it in I Sam. 14.

Today's lesson was comparing that story to one in Judges (Chapter 6) where Gideon is called to lead an army for God. Gideon wasn't as foolhardy forward thinking as Jonathan. In fact he was downright skeptical. Even though he saw the angel of the Lord and heard his voice, his response was...are you kidding? I can't do that. He listed all the reasons why he was too weak, small, inexperienced to to what God asked. 3 times God had to tell him, "Just go in the strength you have and I'll be with you." Three times! Then, if that weren't enough, Gideon wanted to lay out a fleece, just to be sure he was hearing God correctly. You remember the deal don't you? Let the fleece be soaking wet with dew and the ground all around it dry. And when that happened, he changed it up..."Wait, wait, wait.  I'll put out another fleece tonight and in the morning if the fleece is totally dry and the ground all around is wet with dew then I'll know I can trust you." (Lucky for Gideon, that verse about not testing the Lord your God wasn't written yet.)

I've gotten carried away -- I'll finish my thoughts on this tomorrow. For now, here's a picture of the beautiful daffodils growing on our back line overlooking the flats that lead to the creek. It's a great daffodil year!

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