I was given the chance to write an article over a less known person in the Bible who had affected me in a great way. The purpose of the article was to encourage teens to always be searching the scriptures, because you never know when that certain one will speak into your heart and soul causing a chance to grow as a Christian. My moment came to my head the very minute I finished reading the assignment. All of the feelings I felt the day I heard it came flooding back into my heart. I opened up my Bible to the passage and re-read the account again, refreshing the feeling I felt that day. I told my editor that I have always wanted to write about that account and now that I have written it for the teen audience, I simply had to turn around and write it again for my adult readers. So…here it goes…
Jake and I were sitting in the Little Chapel at Camp Pettijohn amongst friends and teen campers listening to a lesson over how the Lord was always in the forefront fighting for us so that we may finish strong, and overcome fear in adversity. The lesson was over 1 Samuel 13 & 14. King Saul had gotten into it with the Philistines, and sent his son Jonathan to attack an outpost of theirs. Once the Philistines heard of this, they assembled a massive army to bring Israel down. This movement really did a number on the minds of the Israelites because many of them ran and hid in caves, thickets, and in between rocks. The Philistine army had a severe advantage as far as the mental part of warfare is concerned. The Israelites had virtually nothing to fight with. The Philistines had made sure that there was not a black smith to be found so the people of Israel would not be able to have weapons made. They had plowshares, mattocks, axes, and sickles to fight and defend themselves with.
Saul got pretty antsy waiting on the proper channels to go through, one being the most important of all. A very special sacrifice to the LORD so that he would have favor over the very lopsided battle. Saul, in haste, decided to sacrifice the offering without the High Priest Samuel, which was a HUGE no no because only the priest had the authority from God to perform these things. Samuel found out about the sacrifice and was furious. Because of Saul’s haste, the LORD turned his back on the kingship of Saul and began to prepare a certain young man, a man after His own heart, to lead the people of Israel.
After hearing this fact, Saul still remained, under a Pomegranate tree, taking in the shade, still raring to go with a small army of pretty much farmers with pitchforks. His son Jonathan got restless with his dad, and decided to take matters into his own hands. He and his armor bearer went over to spy on a garrison of Philistines so they could attack them. Jonathan says in chapter fourteen verse six,
“Come, let’s go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised fellows. Perhaps the LORD will act on our behalf. Nothing can hinder the LORD from saving, whether by many or by few.”
Jonathan had a greater understanding of that of his father for the LORD and His power. He knew that the LORD did not need strategy, more men, or more weapons to fight the battle, He just wanted willing souls to believe in His power, and be the instruments of which to carry the power out.
After Johnathan made his case, his armor bearer said back to him in verse seven,
“Do all that you have in mind, Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul.”
The very moment upon hearing the armor bearers words, I was completely overwhelmed by the statement of sheer devotion, protection, and loyalty from the armor bearer. Floods of memories came flying into my mind of all of the crazy adventures and mishaps Jake and I have come across and how we stayed true to each other through each of them. I grabbed Jake’s hand and squeezed it, and with a big fat lump in my throat I leaned into his ear and said, “I will always be your armor bearer.” He turned and looked at me funny and laughed, knowing I was having one of my overly sensitive moments…probably judging by the slight glistening in my eyes. He, of course, had no idea the emotion or motive behind it, but it got to me that day, and has stuck with me ever since.
Picture the situation! The Israelite army was outnumbered fiercely by man power and weaponry. The philistines had chariots, horsemen, and soldiers as numerous of sand on the sea shore. This was seriously like throwing Black Cat fireworks at an army tanker! The armor bearer could have said, “Dude! You are completely crazy and there is no way I am going to just march up to that garrison with nothing but a sword because you think that maybe the LORD may or may not be fighting on our behalf!” The armor bearer had faith in Jonathan, faith in Jonathan’s ability to lead, and faith in the God that leads us all.
Jonathan got his sign from the LORD that He would be on their side and the two men prepared for the attack. Imagine the armor bearer stripping off all of the armor he was carrying for Jonathan. He took off the breastplate to arm Jonathan’s heart, the shield that would protect his body, the helmet that would protect his mind, and then fit him with his sword, the very thing that would help defend them both. This more than likely left the armor bearer with nothing more than a sword of his own, because the whole duty of the armor bearer was to carry the very heavy armor load.
Jonathan climbed up, his armor bearer right behind him and began the attack. With one swoop, they were able to kill off twenty men in a half acre area. This caused panic in the camp, Saul’s army joined in with great momentum, and the Philistine army was defeated! Whoo!
Now, back to the armor bearer. This is what I learned that day. I want to have the devotion of the armor bearer. I want to be able to dive in, heart and soul with Jake, no matter how crazy of an idea he has, knowing that his heart is searching for God’s will (like packing up and moving to OKC right after his tour in Egypt because while there, he got the crazy idea to become a minister). I wanted to be confident enough in my husband’s ability to lead our family that I never have to ask questions about his intentions.
I will protect my husband, and fit him with the armor he needs to fight the spiritual battle on behalf of himself, his family, and the congregation in which he serves. I will support my husband, and trust that the decisions he makes will take us to a place of service and a place of refuge because he seeks the LORD’s will. I trust in God’s provisions, therefore I will trust in my husbands. And finally I will help bear the load.
You see, you really can find inspiration in the smallest of things. I found a charge to be my husband’s armor bearer in a cloud of sweaty, smelly campers and a lesson over facing fears! I charge all of you with spouses to really dig deeper into the meaning of the armor bearer’s statement and find a charge of your own. The loyalty, devotion, and protection shown by the armor bearer gave Jonathan just what he needed to fight. Their trust in God, and trust in each other moved mountains that day. Just think of the mountains we all as Christian couples can move if we put our faith in God, and our complete support in each other.
…Jake, I couldn’t fit all of this on a card, but happy Valentine’s Day. I love you so much and will always…always be your armor bearer.