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One Act of Courage

  • 31 May 2013
  • Randy Wollf

Man standing in front of a tankThe 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?


Patient Leadership

  • 30 May 2013
  • Randy Wollf

Patience with Scrabble lettersI don’t like to wait when I see a great opportunity or a perplexing challenge. I want to seize the opportunity or address the challenge now.

King Saul was in a predicament (1 Sam. 13:1-15). He faced a huge Philistine army. His own forces started to desert as they waited for Samuel to arrive to offer sacrifices to God on their behalf. Faced with a huge military threat and a shrinking army, Saul took the initiative and offered the sacrifices himself. To be honest, I might have done the same thing. As soon as Saul finished offering the sacrifices, Samuel arrived and rebuked Saul for acting foolishly. Saul’s impatience led to disobedience. Patience truly is a virtue that every leader must cultivate who desires to follow the Lord.


Praying Leaders

  • 29 May 2013
  • Randy Wollf

Man prayingOne of the great privileges we have as leaders is to pray for those entrusted to our care. When the Israelites asked Samuel to pray for them, he responded, “Far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you” (1 Sam. 12:23). Leadership and prayer must go together.