Between the passes, by which Jonathan sought to go over to the Philistines’ garrison, there was a sharp rock on one side and a sharp rock on the other side. And the name of one was Bozez, and the name of the other Seneh. – 1 Samuel 14:4
In 1Samuel 14, Israel under the leadership of king Saul was in a disadvantaged position; tormented by the Philistine enemy, they couldn’t find a way out and to make matters worse on the day of a specific battle they had no weapons for the army, only Saul and his son Johnathan had weapons. Young Johnathan seeing the position that they were in decided to take action. He took his armorbearer and sought to go over to the Philistines’ garrison, but found themselves in what would have been considered an impassable situation on the approach to the garrison. They were caught between a rock and a hard place. It says;
Between the passes, by which Jonathan sought to go over to the Philistines’ garrison, there was a sharp rock on one side and a sharp rock on the other side. And the name of one was Bozez, and the name of the other Seneh.
– 1 Samuel 14:4
Bozez means that which is slippery or shining chalky and Seneh thorny and brambly. The scripture say they were sharp rocks, jagged, or tooth-like. These two rocks may not have been close to each other or facing each other, but whatever their positions, the way of access to the Philistine’s camp was particularly difficult.
Johnathan is going to confront the enemy on his own volition but first he has to get through a slippery and thorny issue – trouble on the left and trouble on the right. These two were definitely caught between a rock and a hard place as they tried to help Israel against their enemies. However Jonathan did not let what appeared as an impasse stop him, he was on a mission to help his people against the enemy. He encouraged his armorbearer saying:
Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; it may be that the LORD will work for us. For nothing restrains the LORD from saving by many or by few.
– 1 Samuel 14:6
Jonathan must have remembered that his friend David faced the uncircumcised Goliath and defeated him, so here he uses the same terms to describe the enemy as “these uncircumcised”. They are not under the protection of God’s covenant as we are. God is able to use just the two of us to overthrow them.
In recent times many of you have felt like you were caught between a rock and a hard place and don’t know what to do. I believe that the Holy Spirit has specific strategies for each of you for how you may traverse through those rocky situations. In the case of Johnathan, he with his armorbearer, pushed through and God gave them a great victory on the other side (Read 1 Samuel 14:1-23). They did not give up or turn back but pressed through the rock and the hard place. In the end the Philistines were scattered, they beat down on each other and fled in total disarray, trampling each other in their haste to escape!
Your pressing through to victory is going to give others hope and courage to rise up and fight as it did for those Israelites who had hidden themselves in the mountains of Ephraim.
Likewise all the men of Israel who had hidden in the mountains of Ephraim, when they heard that the Philistines fled, they also followed hard after them in the battle. So the LORD saved Israel that day, and the battle shifted to Beth Aven.
– 1 Samuel 14:22-23
Also I believe the Lord is going to give you a faithful companion to assist you as you press through the rock and the hard places to total victory!
Rev. Linda P. Jones©
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