From “Feast of Tabernacles,” Chapter 11- Tabernacles – The Feast of Rest, continued
God’s people everywhere should know this; and all our religious leaders should know it; that if the saints are barred from their heritage in Christ and forbidden to eat of the good things of Father’s table, sooner or later they are going to eat of the flesh-pots of the world. The people, we are told, became so ravenously hungry that they “flew upon the spoil.” They took sheep and oxen and calves and slew them, and ate the flesh with the blood. This was a great sin, so far as Israel was concerned, for it was contrary to Mosaic law. But the truth of the matter is this: if we do not go on to appropriate and enjoy the honey of Canaan, sooner or later we will return to the ways of the flesh. After all, why should Jonathan not have partaken of the honey of the land? It was in Canaan, was it not? And had God not given Israel the whole land of Canaan for their heritage, even the land that floweth with milk and honey?
There is a Jonathan group in the Church that has believed their God, and they are determined to pursue Satan and his hosts unto the end. Perhaps they are no match for mighty Lucifer and his hosts, but they are not trusting in their own natural weapons; they are not relying upon their wisdom, their knowledge, their theology. Their trust is in God alone. For them God will cause the earth to quake, the evil hosts to tremble, and confusion to grip their ranks. It really doesn’t matter what our resources are in the natural. In the wisdom of God, Satan and his hosts are going to become such fools that they will flee in utter confusion and will even destroy each other. If men will believe their God, God will send a great trembling into the ranks of the enemy; and then the victory is ours. Furthermore, these men know that their victory was through faith, and not by the arm of flesh. And therefore they do not hesitate to stop and taste “a little honey” along the way, while others labour feverishly in the power of the flesh to defeat the enemy before sundown. Certainly the need is great; Jonathan knows all about that. But he knows also that God gave him the victory through quietness and confidence and through much waiting on God. And he can afford, therefore, to withdraw from the hustle and bustle of Saul’s battle, and take time off to enjoy some of the spoils of victory.
For many years the saints have been singing about what they are going to do after the battle is over. They are going to be with Christ, in Heaven, enjoying the peace and rest of the lands of their inheritance. They are going to drink at the eternal fountains, and eat of the tree of life. But the fact of the matter is simply this: the fruits of victory are to be appropriated here and now while the battle rages. The woods are literally “flowing” with honey; and you don’t have to go out of your way to find it either; it is right in your very pathway as you pursue the enemy.
But what about the curse? Well, God must have turned the curse into a blessing, as He is accustomed to do on behalf of those who love Him. It never did Jonathan any harm. Saul even insisted on killing him, because–according to all the signs, Jonathan was to blame for the Lord’s displeasure in Israel. Prayers were not answered any more. Saul inquired of God concerning a matter, and God refused to hear him. So he cast lots to see who was at fault, and Jonathan was taken. We may be sure that when Saul takes the pathway of disobedience, and walks in his own way, he is left open to great deception. Those who have refused to go on with God in the pathway which He has chosen, and choose the way of the flesh rather than the heritage of the Spirit, they will receive many sure signs and tokens to prove than Jonathan is in the wrong. Once a man enters the path of disobedience, and closes the door to revealed truth, he has thrown himself open to greater deception; and the most conclusive signs and evidences that he receives will be utterly false and unreliable.
Here is Jonathan’s simple explanation of his “sin”: “I did but taste a little honey with the end of the rod that was in mine hand, and, lo, I must die.” At best all the saints have yet done in their attempt to appropriate the heritage of Canaan, is to “taste” a little honey. But the whole land is before us. May God help us to press in by the Spirit and possess our possessions even now in the day of battle. By His grace we are well able to overcome. GHW
Yes, a little honey is good, but the whole land lays before us for the taking. Yes, there are battles to be fought and won. But we can take the word to Zerubbabel through Zechariah as our own: “’Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.”
I am getting more excited as we move on in our study of the Feast of Tabernacles. Our next chapter is Chapter 12- Tabernacles – The Feast of Glory- The Events of the Seventh Month Blend Into One. We will begin that in Round 69 of Wrestling with Warnock.