Thursday, March 01, 2007

Jonathan’s Armor-Bearer

One of the highlights of 1 Samuel for me is Jonathan’s armor-bearer. While Jonathan certainly outshines Saul in this chapter by showing his deep trust in God and his leadership qualities, he is ultimately held accountable for his disobedience. Jonathan’s armor-bearer on the other hand is spotless.

When Jonathan suggests to his armor-bearer (note that we are not even given his name!) that they should go up by themselves and provoke the enemy, his immediate response is, “Do all that is in your heart. Do as you wish. Behold, I am with you heart and soul.”

Despite the overwhelming odds against these two, this armor-bearer is willing to follow his leader even at the cost of his life. Jonathan did not even have a “word from the Lord” in this. All Jonathan could say was, “It may be that the LORD will work for us.”

What if churches worked this way? What if the pastors and elders expressed themselves like this, “It may be.” What if the people (deacons, committees, small group leaders, members, etc.) expressed themselves like this toward their elders, “Do all that is in your heart. Do as you wish. Behold, [we] am with you heart and soul.”

We really need to learn from this little five second encounter between Jonathan and his armor-bearer. This is the model for the church, for the home, for the workplace, for society in general.

God requires godly leaders who will venture out in dependence upon him, and godly followers who will help fight for the vision given, not against it. Those who escaped Jonathan’s sword were taken out by the armor-bear “after him.” Surely this good and faithful servant has entered his master’s rest.

Ladies, be your husband’s armor-bearer!
Children, be your parent’s armor-bearer!
Deacons, be your elders’ armor-bearer!
Employee’s, be your employer’s armor-bearer!
Citizens, be your countries armor-bearer!

Who knows, it may be that the Lord will work for you.

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