SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 2 (EGW)


Chapter 14

1, 6, 7. Jonathan an Instrument of God—These two men gave evidence that they were moving under the influence and command of a more than human general. To outward appearance, their venture was rash, and contrary to all military rules. But the action of Jonathan was not done in human rashness. He depended not on what he and his armor-bearer themselves could do; he was the instrument that God used in behalf of His people Israel. They made their plans, and rested their cause in the hands of God. If the armies of the Philistines challenged them, they would advance. If they said, Come, they would go forward. This was their sign, and the angels of God prospered them. They went forward, saying, “It may be that the Lord will work for us” (The Youth's Instructor, November 24, 1898). 2BC 1015.4

11-15. Armies of Heaven Aided Jonathan—It would have been an easy matter for the Philistines to kill these two brave, daring men; but it did not enter into their minds that these two solitary men had come up with any hostile intent. The wondering men above looked on, too surprised to take in their possible object. They regarded these men as deserters, and permitted them to come without harm.... 2BC 1015.5

This daring work sent a panic through the camp. There lay the dead bodies of twenty men, and to the sight of the enemy there seemed hundreds of men prepared for war. The armies of heaven were revealed to the opposing host of the Philistines (The Youth's Instructor, November 24, 1898). 2BC 1015.6

24, 25. Honey of God's Providing—This rash oath of Saul's was a human invention. It was not inspired of God, and God was displeased with it. Jonathan and his armor-bearer, who, through God, had wrought deliverance for Israel that day, had become weak through hunger. The people also were weary and hungry. 2BC 1015.7

“And all they of the land came to a wood; and there was honey upon the ground.” This honey was of God's own providing. He desired that the armies of Israel should partake of this food, and receive strength. But Saul, who was not under the direction of God, had interposed his rash oath (The Youth's Instructor, December 1, 1898). 2BC 1015.8

Man-invented Tests Dishonor God—There are many who will lightly regard the tests which God has given, and will assume the responsibility of creating tests and prohibitions, as did Saul, which bring dishonor to God and evil to men (The Signs of the Times, June 1, 1888). 2BC 1015.9

37. Saul Did Not Sense His Own Guilt—When the people had satisfied their hunger, Saul proposed to continue the pursuit that night; but the priest suggested that it would be wiser first to ask counsel of God. This was done in the usual manner; but no answer came. Regarding this silence as a token of the Lord's displeasure, Saul determined to discover the cause. Had he properly realized the sinfulness of His own course, he would have concluded that he himself was the guilty one. But failing to discern this, he gave command that the matter be decided by lot (The Signs of the Times, August 17, 1882). 2BC 1015.10

44 (Matthew 7:2). The Guilty Are Severe Judges—Those who are most ready to excuse or justify themselves in sin are often most severe in judging and condemning others. There are many today, like Saul, bringing upon themselves the displeasure of God. They reject counsel and despise reproof. Even when convinced that the Lord is not with them, they refuse to see in themselves ... the cause of their trouble. How many cherish a proud, boastful spirit, while they indulge in cruel judgment or severe rebuke of others really better in heart and life than they. Well would it be for such self-constituted judges to ponder those words of Christ: “With what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again” (The Signs of the Times, August 17, 1882). 2BC 1016.1

45. Danger in Following Blindly—God's people of today are in danger of committing errors no less disastrous. We cannot, we must not, place blind confidence in any man, however high his profession of faith or his position in the church. We must not follow his guidance, unless the Word of God sustains him. The Lord would have His people individually distinguish between sin and righteousness, between the precious and the vile (The Signs of the Times, August 17, 1882). 2BC 1016.2