1 Samuel 14:24-35
24 The Israelites became very hungry that day. That’s because Saul had forced the army to make a promise. He had said, “None of you must eat any food before evening comes. You must not eat until I’ve paid my enemies back for what they did. If you do, may you be under a curse!” So none of the troops ate any food at all. 25 The whole army entered the woods. There was honey on the ground. 26 When they went into the woods, they saw the honey dripping out of a honeycomb. No one put any of the honey in his mouth. They were afraid of the curse that would come if they broke their promise. 27 But Jonathan hadn’t heard that his father had forced the army to make a promise. Jonathan had a long stick in his hand. He reached out and dipped the end of it into the honeycomb. He put some honey in his mouth. It gave him new life. 28 Then one of the soldiers told him, “Your father forced the army to make a promise that everyone must obey. He said, ‘None of you must eat any food today. If you do, may you be under a curse!’ That’s why the men are weak and ready to faint.” 29 Jonathan said, “My father has made trouble for the country. See how I gained new life after I tasted a little of this honey. 30 Our soldiers took food from their enemies today. Suppose they had eaten some of it. How much better off they would have been! Even more Philistines would have been killed.” 31 That day the Israelites struck down the Philistines. They killed them from Mikmash to Aijalon. By that time they were tired and worn out. 32 They grabbed what they had taken from their enemies. They killed some of the sheep, cattle and calves right there on the ground. They ate the meat while the blood was still in it. 33 Then someone said to Saul, “Look! The men are sinning against the Lord. They’re eating meat that still has blood in it.” Saul said to them, “You have broken your promise. Roll a large stone over here at once.” 34 He continued, “Go out among the men. Tell them, ‘Each of you bring me your cattle and sheep. Kill them here and eat them. Don’t sin against the Lord by eating meat that still has blood in it.’ ” So that night everyone brought the ox he had taken and killed it there. 35 Then Saul built an altar to honor the Lord. It was the first time he had done that.
What an interesting passage. Saul’s command not to eat anything till his revenge was complete might have sounded good but it didn’t take into consideration the fatigue the battle would bring his army. I love Jonathan’s clarity about the thoughtlessness of Saul’s command. Saul is more concerned about HIS revenge than the care of his soldiers. It’s an inkling of what is to come in Saul’s leadership.
It makes me wonder what I am making my main concern. Am I wanting my way to the detriment of those around me in my care? As a wife and a mother I need to examine my priorities regularly. I need to keep my attention on Jesus and His kingdom coming – seeking it first above all things and knowing that will result in right priorities.
King David’s prayer rings in my ears – from Psalm 139: 23-24
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Help me Jesus.
Written by Ps. Linda Quinn