Changing Sides


Then Saul and all the people who were with him rallied and went into the battle. And behold, every Philistine’s sword was against his fellow, and there was very great confusion. Now the Hebrews who had been with the Philistines before that time and who had gone up with them into the camp, even they also turned to be with the Israelites who were with Saul and Jonathan. Likewise, when all the men of Israel who had hidden themselves in the hill country of Ephraim heard that the Philistines were fleeing, they too followed hard after them in the battle. So the Lord saved Israel that day. And the battle passed beyond Beth-aven. I Samuel 14:20-23 ESV

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. I Peter 2:9-10 ESV


Have you ever played Red Rover? In this game, all the kids divide into two teams. Each team holds hands in a long line. Then one team calls a person from the other team to come over, and that person runs as fast as he or she can to try to break through where two people are holding hands. If the person can break through, then that person gets to choose a kid on the team they broke through and bring him or her over to the other team. If the person can’t break through, then he or she has to stay on the other team. When there is a game of Red Rover, most people change teams often. No one is very loyal to one team or the other, and the team with the strongest or fastest kids is the one that grows bigger.

Red Rover is only a game, but something like Red Rover was happening to the army of Israel. The Philistine army was much stronger, and some of the people of Israel were afraid and hiding. But even worse, some of the people of Israel had actually joined the Philistine army! They didn’t have much loyalty to their own people at all, but instead they just wanted to be with the army that was the strongest. When God began to work through Jonathan and fight for his people Israel, people of Israel in the Philistine army switched sides and came back to fight with their own people.

We aren’t any different from the people who changed sides and fought with the enemy army. We were created to be God’s people, but we changed sides by sinning against God and became his enemies. We fought against God and his will in our lives. But God didn’t leave us to fight against him, but instead he called us to come and be one of his people. He did that by sending Jesus to be our Savior. Because of what Jesus did for us, we can return to God’s side and live according to his will and purpose. God sends us his Holy Spirit to bring us back to Jesus and give us the strength to live our lives for him.


Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for calling us and bringing us back to be your people. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.