The Heart of an Armor Bearer

Today, as I was on Instagram, I came across the name Hamish. (Did you know that was still a name? It is! And it’s derived from James—don’t ask me how it got there, I am not Scottish.) But thoughts of renaming a character for a novel I’ve been reworking on for the last few years flashed through my mind. I started perusing my favorite name website and stumbled across the name Jonathan, and my heart warmed at the thought of that name, and how well it would actually fit my character. Then, my thoughts pattered back to something I had journaled in December of 2018, about Jonathan and his armor bearer, so I dusted off the cobwebs from this little entry and wanted share it with you.

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1 Samuel 14:6-7
6 And Jonathan said to the young man that bare 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.
7 And His armor bearer said unto him, Do all that is in thine heart: turn thee; behold, I am with thee according to thy heart.
I love the audacity of these two.
Strangely, what struck me first was not the faith of Jonathan, but the heart of his nameless armor bearer
Do all that is in thine hear, turn thee: behold, I am with thee according to thy heart.
Not, are you crazy, what are you thinking?
Simply, YES.
I love the confidence the audacity, the faithfulness, the echoes of Ruth’s vow to Naomi, the  Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: they people shall be my people, and they God my God: Where thou diest will I die, and there will I be buried: The Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought be death part thee and me.
And almost a foretaste of the words of Mary would utter in Luke 1:38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her. Acceptance and submission to what seems to be the impossible.
Do all that is in thin heart: turn thee; behold, I am with thee according to thy heart.
Reading this I wanted this to be the echo and anthem of my heart, I want to be an armor bearer. To say yes, I am here, where you go, I will go….
They could have died. The armor bearer knew that.
I particular love two words in this sentence. Turn thee.
I don’t know how this conversation happened. But in my minds eye, I see Jonathan as he walking away from looking over at the Philistine position and uttering these words in a desire to do something. Steel-like resolution has entered Jonathan, and he has one goal in mind. His armor bearer doesn’t hesitate. It’s almost as if his fist goes over his heart as he says: Do all that is in thine heart: turn thee (lets go back); behold, I am with thee according to thy heart.
He’s counted the cost.
He knows this could mean death, but he has Jonathan’s back. He’ll be at his side come sweet victory or violent death…there is no way the Philistine’s are going to take it easy on them and if they figure out that Jonathan is a prince…it escalates what the punishment could be, not only to him but his armor bearer.
Can we just glory in these words just for a moment?
Do all that is in thine heart: turn thee; behold, I am with thee according to thy heart.
Loyalty—I’ve had a weakness for it since I was a kid. Loyalty is one of my core threads of who I am, it’s the bottom line of the bread and butter of what I breathe. So, my heart thrills at these words of the armor bearer. His declaration boils down to this: what beats in your heart, beats in mine. I want to be that person, who comes beside someone with a vision and say here I am, I share it. I have your back, if it brings us victory or death, I am here, what beats in your heart beats in mine.
Jonathan. I love this man, David is incredible but Jonathan…I have a bit of a big soft spot for him. His audacity, his boldness, his faith, his confidence…the knowledge of his position. A son of Israel, son of the King, a thirst for what was right. He wasn’t after his own glory, honor, or anything else…he was after what belonged to Israel. His father would get credit for winning the war. What burned in his heart was righteousness and the faith to claim the promise.
In that he turned to his armor bearer and said Come, let us go over unto the garrison of our enemy, 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.
Do all that is in thine heart…I am with the according to thy heart.
I love the Hebrew word for bearer. Nasa. Yes, It sounds a lot like N.A.S.A. which puts people in space…but is that not what we are supposed to do as Christians? To bear one another up, to rise above to push to utter achievement all for the honor and glory of God. Bearer, to bear one another up, to lift, to carry, to be stirred within to acts of courage and choices that honor and glorify One and One alone.
Do all that is in thine heart: turn thee; behold, I am with thee according to thy heart.
God, grant me the heart of an armor bearer.

One thought on “The Heart of an Armor Bearer

  1. That is always one of my favorite parts of Samuel's books…I've been thinking lately about faith and expectations and living with the attitude of joy and abandon and excitement over what God will do next…and that is exactly how the armor bearer reacts to Jonathan's crazy plan.

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