1Sam. 23:16 (KJVS) And Jonathan Sauls son arose, and went to David into the wood, and strengthened his hand in God.RobertThis verse has long been a favourite of mine. The word for 'strengthened' is our old friend 'chazaq'. It is a wonderful concept and one to be commended to all servants of the saints. It is very easy to allow people to develop a dependency on us, especially when they are in need and we have something which will help them. Jonathan, however, did not just strengthen David's hand but strengthened his hand in God. The consequence of this exercise was that David became more dependent upon God rather than upon Jonathan. It reminds me of the unwitting testimony to John Baptist's ministry 'they heard him (John) speak and followed Jesus'.The imagery of Jonathan's ministry at this time is instructive. David did not need anyone to make his choices for him. David made his own choice, but Jonathan 'strengthened' him. It is never the role of one servant to choose for another, but as we are able we are to 'strengthen each others' hands in God'. The power of choice is sacrosanct. I do not believe that God would ever force 'choice' on a created intelligence; that would be to un-man man.I do not believe that God forced a choice upon Pharaoh but I do believe that God 'empowered' him to make it and to sustain it.
I find that type debate, quite Cruel and unChristlike also.Are you now accusing me of being 'cruel and unChristlike' too?
_________________Robert Wurtz II