“Now the men of Israel were pressed to exhaustion that day, because Saul had placed them under an oath, saying, “Let a curse fall on anyone who eats before evening before I have full revenge on my enemies.” So no one ate anything all day. But Jonathan had not heard his father’s command, and he dipped the end of his stick into a piece of honeycomb and ate the honey. After he had eaten it, he felt refreshed. So one of the men saw him and said, “Your father made the army take a strict oath that anyone who eats food today will be cursed. That is why everyone is weary and faint,” “My father has made trouble for us all!” Jonathan exclaimed. “A command like that only hurts us. See how refreshed I am now that I have eaten this little bit of honey.” I Samuel 14:24-25;27-29, NLT
3rd Sunday- “Opening Your Eyes!”
The Fall of the year has many Biblical symbols and rituals that are instructive for our Christian faith; and which shows reverence for the womb of Judaism from which our faith was birthed. The month of September (and occasionally early October) marks the beginning of the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah. This is spoken of in Leviticus 23:23-31, NLT, and is accompanied with acts of repentance, the eradication of sins; and a renewed outlook for the new year. It’s customary to dip apples in honey, as a symbol of trusting God for “renewal” in the days to come. In our text, Jonathan, son of King Saul, secretly left the Israelite camp, and with his armor bearer made a dangerous trek through two mountain cliffs, to subdue the enemy (Philistines). Believing “nothing could hinder the Lord,” the enemies were routed and defeated. Upon Jonathan’s return, he observed honey gushing from fallen honeycombs. Exhausted and famished from battle, Jonathan ate some of the honey, defying a command from his father not to do so. The father’s command was ill-conceived, self-centered and harmful. Saul’s edict risked deterioration and death for his own soldiers. Jonathan did what was life sustaining; rather than to appease Saul!