I Samuel 14 Continued
24. And the men of Israel were distressed that day, for Saul had placed the people under oath, saying, “Cursed is the man who eats any food until evening, before I have taken vengeance on my enemies.” So none of the people tasted food.
The Israelites become weak with hunger as they attempted to pursue the Philistines because Saul had made them take this foolish vow. Why should the people not eat any food until evening when they were in the midst of the strenuous exertion of chasing their enemies? This injunction could only hinder them in their efforts.
It seems clear that Saul undertook this vow in an attempt to compensate for his earlier, unfaithful actions. When he failed to obey Yahweh, he tried to appease Him with a religious act. This is how those who are religious rather than in relationship to God often behave. Yet such a show of piety did not really impress Yahweh, and it only really was a hindrance to their efforts against the Philistines. While Jonathan won a great victory this day by his act of confidence and faith, Saul could only make things difficult through his disobedience and spirit of empty religion instead of true submission. Read the rest of this entry »