1 Samuel 14:36-45The Message (MSG)
Find Out What God Thinks
36 Saul said, “Let’s go after the Philistines tonight! We can spend the night looting and plundering. We won’t leave a single live Philistine!”
“Sounds good to us,” said the troops. “Let’s do it!”
But the priest slowed them down: “Let’s find out what God thinks about this.”
37 So Saul prayed to God, “Shall I go after the Philistines? Will you put them in Israel’s hand?” God didn’t answer him on that occasion.
38-39 Saul then said, “All army officers, step forward. Some sin has been committed this day. We’re going to find out what it is and who did it! As God lives, Israel’s Savior God, whoever sinned will die, even if it should turn out to be Jonathan, my son!”
Nobody said a word.
40 Saul said to the Israelites, “You line up over on that side, and I and Jonathan my son will stand on this side.”
The army agreed, “Fine. Whatever you say.”
41 Then Saul prayed to God, “O God of Israel, why haven’t you answered me today? Show me the truth. If the sin is in me or Jonathan, then, O God, give the sign Urim. But if the sin is in the army of Israel, give the sign Thummim.”
The Urim sign turned up and pointed to Saul and Jonathan. That cleared the army.
42 Next Saul said, “Cast the lots between me and Jonathan—and death to the one God points to!”
The soldiers protested, “No—this is not right. Stop this!” But Saul pushed on anyway. They cast the lots, Urim and Thummim, and the lot fell to Jonathan.
43 Saul confronted Jonathan. “What did you do? Tell me!”
Jonathan said, “I licked a bit of honey off the tip of the staff I was carrying. That’s it—and for that I’m to die?”
44 Saul said, “Yes. Jonathan most certainly will die. It’s out of my hands—I can’t go against God, can I?”
45 The soldiers rose up: “Jonathan—die? Never! He’s just carried out this stunning salvation victory for Israel. As surely as God lives, not a hair on his head is going to be harmed. Why, he’s been working hand-in-hand with God all day!” The soldiers rescued Jonathan and he didn’t die.