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?But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

gentleness, self-control?? Gal: 5: 22?23

JONATHANS INTERNATIONAL

Periodical publishing spiritually edifying articles, prayer requests etc

Published [E-edition only] by Bible Study Centre; P. O. Box 14,

Mannuthy, Thrissur, Kerala?680651; INDIA

EW. 5 / 2007.                                                                        Aug 26?September 2, 2007

 

THE NOBLE SOLDIER ?V

T. John Mathew

      We read in the 31st chapter of the first book of Samuel that Jonathan fought the Philistines along with his father and brothers and all the soldiers of Israel. He had no hesitation to join them in their battle against their enemies even though he had enough reason to find fault with them for their cowardly behaviour in the past. He could not have forgotten the fact that their cowardice and lack of faith in God had forced him and his armor bearer to go alone to the Philistine garrison and fight them on an earlier occasion. Now he had enough reason to tell them that he did not want to join an army of faithless cowards. He could have told them that it was to him that they owed their victory at Michmash and therefore he should have been given a special rank of honour if they wanted him to fight along with them. But we find that Jonathan never entertained such thoughts; he never thought of his accomplishments as his own; he viewed them as instances of God honouring his faith. So he felt no hesitation to join his fellowmen as an ordinary soldier in their battle against the Philistines. He was willing to co-operate with them without any reservations.

      Jonathan?s willingness to co-operate with his unworthy fellowmen in spite of their lack of faith and courage is a quality which, if acquired by all believers, would certainly help promote the rapid evangelization our world today. Like Jonathan, we ought to co-operate with all who are willing to glorify God and want to communicate the Gospel of salvation to the unsaved. The only pre-condition for this co-operation should be that the ones we co-operate with are children of God who are just and truthful and bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

     We find that Jonathan never considered himself a leader or a hero even though he possessed the qualities of both. The bold initiative he took in the battle of Michmash proved that he had these qualities in abundance. But he was content to be an ordinary soldier fighting in the company of his people for the glory of the living God. Children of God in our world today ought to possess his humility and courage and readiness for co-operation and join together as God?s soldiers in the great battle against the forces of darkness started six thousand years ago in the garden of Eden. It is high time they let themselves be guided by the ideals of the noble soldier Jonathan and started co-operating with one another without seeking personal glory.

    We learn that Jonathan fell dead in the battlefield, fighting against the Philistines. He continued doing his duties until he fell down dead. He had just one aim: to do his duties before God and man. When he finished his work according to the will of God, his soul was permitted to leave its earthly tent; his body lay there on Mount Gilboa beside the bodies of several other slain soldiers including Abinadab and Malchishua, his brothers.It was a great and most noble career with few parallels in history that came to an end on that day when the setting sun with its outstretched arms gently touched the body of this noble soldier, bid him farewell and went down from the horizon.

     There have been soldiers who excel Jonathan in military achievements; but few have been there who excel him in goodness and nobility; all Christian believers are expected to serve their Lord Jesus Christ as His obedient soldiers; let us dedicate ourselves to serving Him, fighting the good fight for Him like Paul and emulating the noble soldier Jonathan ?selfless, without ambition, free from jealousy, just in thought, behaviour and actions and most loving and co-operative towards all.

                                                                                 [Concluded]


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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