By Many or By Few

by Irvin Himmel

The situation look grim. Saul's men had dwindled to only about six hundred. The army of the Philistines numbered into the thousands. Saul's men were poorly armed. Since all the smiths were among the Philistines, Saul's soldiers had neither sword nor spear. There was much trembling among the Israelites. Some were hiding in caves, thickets, rocks, pits, and other out of the way places. Some had fled to the region east of Jordan (I Samuel 13).

Jonathan, Saul's son, took his young armor bearer and approached the Philistine garrison. Saul was not informed of this movement. Jonathan said to the young man that bore his armor, "Come, and let us go over unto the garrison of these uncircumcised: it may be that the Lord will work for us: for there is no restraint to the Lord to save by many or by few" (I Samuel 14:6).

The faith that Jonathan had in God brought reward. Despite their being terribly outnumbered and poorly equipped to fight, the Israelites were given victory over the Philistines. God turned seeming defeat into certain triumph.

Too often we suppose that we are defeated if outnumbered. Not so! God is able to save by many or by few. God can use a few faithful people to do great works in his sight. God is not swayed by numbers.