Wayne Alcorn, speaking at a mens conference, pointed to the story from the bible of Jonathan and his armour bearer whom he called by the very Australian names of “Johnno” and “Wassa.” Their story is in the bible in a book called 1 Samuel. They lived about 3000 years ago – around 1000 BC. It’s remarkable that their story has been preserved over the years and we can still read it today.
Waiting for the battle.
In chapter 14, they are waiting for a battle to begin between their army, the Israelites, and the enemy soldiers. The problem for the Israelites was that they didn’t have any blacksmiths and thus very few swords. Since this was early in the iron age, this new technology had managed to get to the enemy army but not the Israelites. In fact, the Israelites were so far behind the latest technology they had to go to their enemy to get things like axes and mattocks sharpened.
So in chapter 14, the king, Saul, is waiting under a Pomegranate tree with his 600 trained but poorly equipped soldiers. Not sure if they were waiting for the Pomegranate to get big enough so they could throw them at the enemy or what! But Johnno got a little impatient. The bible says…
1 Samuel 14:6 – 8 (NIV) Jonathan said to his young armour-bearer, “Come, let’s go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised men. Perhaps the Lord will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the Lord from saving, whether by many or by few.” “Do all that you have in mind,” his armour-bearer said. “Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul.”
The Battle Plan.
Johno may or may not have had much training as a soldier and his battle plan doesn’t seem very well thought through. His plan was to climb up to where the enemy could see him and then, with his armour bearer, to call out “Nah nah na na na” and attack the entire enemy troop all by themselves. Just the two of them against the whole army. That seems a bit odd! It’s the sort of thing that these days, may get you a VC medal, but most likely would get you killed. But his armour bearer said “mate if you go, I’m with you all the way”. There was no guarantee this hair brained scheme would work. There was nothing to suggest it was anything except a way to die quickly! All they had going for them was an idea that “perhaps” God would work on their behalf.
How many times in your life have you had to face the difficulty of not knowing whether something would work or not? I’ve been there on many occasions. I guess, I have never had to face the reality of “if this doesn’t work then I’ll die” (except when I last overtook a semi trailer), but I have had to face the reality of “if it doesn’t work then I’m in trouble.”
It seems to me there is no guarantees in life – except they say for death and taxes. So, we all have to take risks sometimes. But the truth is, it’s the risk takers that advance our society. Take the emancipation of slaves in the US and the UK for example. Those who were willing to stand up and say “no more” and who faced ridicule for their views for years were the ones who brought significant change to their society and our world. They didn’t have an easy ride and took significant risks but they did make it happen. If you look at this article from Wikipedia you will see they also had a lot of history on their side.
Now Johnno had one thing on his mind. He knew from history that God had brought victory before to outnumbered troops, and he believed that God might do it again. That’s a very different situation to believing you are all alone in whatever you are doing. Having history on your side helps at least some of the time. Having God on your side is a guarantee of success.
What happened next?
So Johnno and Wassa did exactly what they planned.
The Bible continues… v11 So both of them showed themselves to the Philistine outpost. “Look!” said the Philistines. “The Hebrews are crawling out of the holes they were hiding in.” The men of the outpost shouted to Jonathan and his armor-bearer, “Come up to us and we’ll teach you a lesson.”
Their plan was working like clockwork. The enemy saw them. In fact, the enemy invited them to come over. Phase 1 was complete. You’ll have to look up the bible to find out if the rest of the battle plan worked or not. But I can say, these two blokes did remarkable things with a sword and a “perhaps.”
Find a Mate and Have a Go.
So, maybe it’s time for you to find a mate who believes in you and take up whatever is in your heart to do. Your mate will need to believe in you and will go where you go and do what you do. He may need to take a risk on your crazy ideas too. And, if you take on something worthwhile and can say “God is in this” maybe you can make the world a better place. You never know, if you take on something together, perhaps you may even change the world and make history! Then maybe 3000 years in the future, someone will read about you and your mate and what you did!