24 And the men of Israel were distressed that day: for Saul had adjured the people, saying, Cursed be the man that eateth any food until evening, that I may be avenged on mine enemies. So none of the people tasted any food.
25 And all they of the land came to a wood; and there was honey upon the ground.
26 And when the people were come into the wood, behold, the honey dropped; but no man put his hand to his mouth: for the people feared the oath.
27 But Jonathan heard not when his father charged the people with the oath: wherefore he put forth the end of the rod that was in his hand, and dipped it in an honeycomb, and put his hand to his mouth; and his eyes were enlightened.
28 Then answered one of the people, and said, Thy father straitly charged the people with an oath, saying, Cursed be the man that eateth any food this day. And the people were faint.
29 Then said Jonathan, My father hath troubled the land: see, I pray you, how mine eyes have been enlightened, because I tasted a little of this honey.
30 How much more, if haply the people had eaten freely to day of the spoil of their enemies which they found? for had there not been now a much greater slaughter among the Philistines? 1 Sam. 14:24-30
This scripture is talking about revelation. Without revelation there is no victory for the church. Without revelation – the Pauline revelation of the cross – there is no hope for the church. That is a fact that ought to be branded with fire on our hearts.
Notice in this scripture that Jonathan was the only man in the entire Israeli army whose eyes were enlightened. Jonathan “tasted a little of this honey”, and all of a sudden his eyes were enlightened! How so incredibly fantastic!!
Then notice what Jonathan says about his father, Saul: “My father hath troubled the land…”
Religion without revelation is so stifling. There is no freedom, hence no growth and no spiritual victory. Saul had effectively bound his men to frustration and, ultimately, defeat. That would certainly have been so had it not been for Jonathan’s intervention.
In verses 1 through 23 we read about the incredible feat that Jonathan had pulled off against the enemies of Israel. Jonathan accomplished so much all by himself because he was a free man. The Bible says that he did not hear when his father gave out the order that no one should eat anything that day. Jonathan was free in his spirit.
There was honey dropping from the woods! Through His servants God has brought about the revelation of the cross of Christ. That revelation is freely flowing and available to the church today. It is the revelation that will bring victory to the church, victory in every sense of that word.
But, unfortunately, old man religion and his servants stand there issuing edict after edict, and preventing God’s people from partaking of the one thing that will enlighten their eyes and give them the victory over the enemy. Have you ever heard in church about “ten steps” to achieving this and that? I once even saw a book titled: “Fifty Steps To…(can’t remember what)”. Can you imagine that? Fifty steps!
Jonathan never heard his father’s edict! There is so much stuff the church is hearing today that it shouldn’t be hearing. There is so much law. But that law is couched in such intellectual language that it is difficult for one to see it as law.
And the church remains weak, lying helpless at the feet of sin.
I love what the Apostle Paul says: “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” (Gal. 6:14)
That was a man who was walking in the revelation of the cross of Jesus Christ. And the entire world, both friend and foe, are all too aware of the incredible life that Paul lived through the grace that was to be found in that revelation. No wonder Paul is the most misunderstood and maligned apostle that ever lived. If only one man, Jonathan, could receive enlightenment in the entire Israeli army, then we can also expect that today not many believers will receive the clear revelation that Paul so powerfully brought out in his epistles. That is painful to admit, but it is the truth. Not many.
Jesus said, “Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” Mat. 7:14 Notice that word there, “few”. I wonder how on earth we can change that word to read “many”.
The only revelation the church will ever receive is of Christ, Christ crucified. It is the revelation that St. Paul received and lived. It is the honey that, many centuries ago, a young man called Jonathan actually tasted in the flesh.
[Below: The true apostles of Christ bring forth the revelation of the cross of Christ to the church: Brother Eliya Amas from Musoma, Tanzania]
Photo Credit: Carol Lanthier