Jonathon and Saul are two different people in their believing. Saul is more concerned with how things look instead of listening to God and Jonathon is ready to listen to him and believe His promises. While Saul hangs out back in Geba under a pomegranate tree Jonathan is looking to God for a way to run off the Philistines. (Ok, so why did God tell us Saul was under a pomegranate tree? It is a symbol of luxury and fertility in the east.)
Jonathan believes God he is not hiding but standing up for Israel. Jonathon must have received the green light to go up against the Philistines because he takes his armourbearer and says:
I Samuel 14
:6 And Jonathan said to the young man that bare his armour,
Come, and let us go over unto the garrison of these uncircumcised:
it may be that the LORD will work for us:
for there is no restraint to the LORD to save by many or by few .
:7 And his armourbearer said unto him,
Do all that is in thine heart:
behold, I am with thee according to thy heart.
:8 Then said Jonathan,
Behold, we will pass over unto these men,
and we will discover ourselves unto them.
:9 If they say thus unto us,
Tarry until we come to you;
then we will stand still in our place,
and will not go up unto them.
:10 But if they say thus,
Come up unto us;
then we will go up:
for the LORD hath delivered them into our hand:
and this shall be a sign unto us.
[Word of Knowledge - he would only know this by revelation and he is giving glory to God]
:11 And both of them discovered themselves unto the garrison of the Philistines:
and the Philistines said,
Behold, the Hebrews come forth out of the holes where they had hid themselves.
[Israel is probably a laughingstock among the Philistines]
:12 And the men of the garrison answered Jonathan and his armourbearer, and said,
Come up to us,
and we will shew you a thing. [we'll show you a thing or two]
And Jonathan said unto his armourbearer,
Come up after me:
for the LORD hath delivered them into the hand of Israel.
[Jonathon knew God was fighting this battle, not just the two of them]
:13 And Jonathan climbed up upon his hands and upon his feet,
and his armourbearer after him:
and they fell before Jonathan;
and his armourbearer slew after him.
:14 And that first slaughter,
which Jonathan and his armourbearer made,
was about twenty men,
within as it were an half acre of land,
which a yoke of oxen might plow.
Stop and consider this a minute. Two men in hand-to-hand combat killing soldiers-men trained to fight with state of art weaponry (ok, they had the best swords, shields and armor). Without God defeating these soldiers, it is not possible. I know we have seen it in the movies, the hero always wins and has phenomenal strength and stamina and even though they are beating up on each other there is amazingly very little, if any, blood. This is not life folks. Ask any soldier how probable Jonathan and his armourbearer's feats are. God was at work-He fought the battle for them just as Jonathan believed He would. And that is not all:
:15 And there was trembling in the host,
in the field,
and among all the people:
and the spoilers,
they also trembled, [panic-stricken (Bullinger)]
and the earth quaked:
so it was a very great trembling. [a trembling from God (Bullinger)]
:16 And the watchmen of Saul in Gibeah [Geba] of Benjamin looked;
the multitude melted away,
and they went on beating down one another.
Jonathan's actions and believing set into motion the defeat of the Philistines who started fighting amongst themselves. When Israel saw their retreat they came out in force to help drive them back to coast of the Great Sea.
23 So the LORD saved Israel
and the battle passed over unto Bethaven.
Who saved Israel? The Lord, and it started with Jonathan and his armourbearer believing that God was able to deliver Israel by many or by few.
The contrast between Saul and Jonathan is evident by the outcome of their actions. Saul would not quite do what he was instructed to, he may have started out correctly but then he would not quite do everything to the last detail. God also knew Saul was going to behave this way. However, Jonathan was willing to do exactly what God told him to do. Two men up against an outpost of soldiers is daunting. Jonathon wasn't afraid to do what God said and God knew it, therefore Israel was rewarded.
When we receive instructions from God we must believe it explicitly and act on it accordingly. When God knows we are faithful to His Word:
:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him:
for he that cometh to God must believe that he is,
and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.