The Philistines clearly outmatched the Israelites in 1 Samuel 14. In fact, in the previous chapter, we learn that Saul and Jonathan were the only Israelites with a sword or spear (1 Sam. 13:22). In the midst of this hopeless situation, one act of courage changes everything. Jonathan and his young armor-bearer scale a cliff to attack a Philistine outpost, killing some 20 soldiers in the process. But that wasn’t all that happened. We read in 1 Samuel 14:15, “Then panic struck the whole army—those in the camp and field, and those in the outposts and raiding parties—and the ground shook. It was a panic sent by God.”
One act of courage started a chain reaction, which ultimately led to the rout of the entire Philistine army. One of my favorite Theodore Roosevelt quotes speaks of this kind of courage:
"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."
Know any situations that could use an act of courage today?