Things were going so well. Jonathan had listened to the Lord and as he followed God, He routed the Philistine army. His faith inspired the army and Israel enjoyed a great victory. Saul decided to call a fast for all the men. He imposed the fast until the evening. Sadly, Jonathan did not hear about the fast and ate some honey. Immediately God withdrew his blessing. The king imposed a rule on God’s behalf, and now his son violated it. So, as a result the Israelites had to stop the route and go home.
I am sure Saul meant well, but, He forgot to seek God before imposing a fast in the middle of a battle. Had he sought the Lord, God would have said–this is not the best time, your men are expending a great amount of energy fighting–they need food. None the less, Saul’s rule caused his son to sin and ended Israel’s victory. Jonathan was mad, Saul was grieved and God was silenced on that day.
In our lives, we have to be careful about imposing self-made rules to show God how religious we really are. God looks at our hearts. If we submit to Him and He molds is into His image–the Lord will lead us to actions that are necessary to become more like Him. God does not need our help to make ourselves more religious. We simply need to trust God to lead and follow that lead each day. In Colossians 2:20-23 Paul says it best,”Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules: 21 “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? 22 These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings. 23 Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.”
God Bless You
Now the Israelites were in distress that day, because Saul had bound the people under an oath, saying, “Cursed be anyone who eats food before evening comes, before I have avenged myself on my enemies!” So none of the troops tasted food.
25 The entire army entered the woods, and there was honey on the ground. 26 When they went into the woods, they saw the honey oozing out; yet no one put his hand to his mouth, because they feared the oath. 27 But Jonathan had not heard that his father had bound the people with the oath, so he reached out the end of the staff that was in his hand and dipped it into the honeycomb. He raised his hand to his mouth, and his eyes brightened.[c] 28 Then one of the soldiers told him, “Your father bound the army under a strict oath, saying, ‘Cursed be anyone who eats food today!’ That is why the men are faint.”
29 Jonathan said, “My father has made trouble for the country. See how my eyes brightened when I tasted a little of this honey. 30 How much better it would have been if the men had eaten today some of the plunder they took from their enemies. Would not the slaughter of the Philistines have been even greater?”