SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- The Israelites and Philistines are still hanging out in their respective camps. Jonathan sneaks off with his armor-bearer (his assistant) and the two successfully attack a small group of Philistines.
- (Verse 6 refers to the Philistines as "uncircumcised men." This just means they were not Jewish. Back then, the Israeli people circumcised their baby boys as a sign that they were God's people.)
- The attack on the Philistines by Jonathan and his armor bearer sends the rest of the Philistines into a panic. Saul, the leader of the Israelites, summons his men to attack. Because the Philistines were in such confusion, they were infighting among themselves. This made it relatively easy for Saul's forces to overpower them.
- That day the Israelites were fasting. Fasting is giving up something -- food, in this case -- to focus on growing closer to God. Jonathan, feeling good about his victorious battle, decides to celebrate by eating honey. This flies in the face of the order not to eat food, and there is concern that God will punish the Israelites -- maybe even to the point of death -- for Jonathan's sin.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- Fortunately, because of what Jesus did on the cross, if we choose to follow him we don't have to worry about dying for our sins. We all deserve death for the things we've done against God. When Jesus died, he died to take our place. Because of his death, we can now experience true freedom and life in God.
- However, this doesn't mean we should abuse our freedom. We need to be on our guard against things we're tempted to do that may pull us away from God.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- Is there a honey you've been eating? In other words, is there something you've been doing that is slowly pulling you away from God? Talk to him about it, and start taking steps today to put God back in the center of your life.