1 Samuel 20:18-29

18 Then Jonathan said to him, “Tomorrow is the new moon, and you will be missed because your seat will be empty. 19 When you have stayed for three days, you shall go down quickly and come to the place where you hid yourself on that eventful day, and you shall remain by the stone Ezel. 20 I will shoot three arrows to the side, as though I shot at a target. 21 And behold, I will send the lad, saying, ‘Go, find the arrows.’ If I specifically say to the lad, ‘Behold, the arrows are on this side of you, get them,’ then come; for there is safety for you and [j]no harm, as the Lord lives. 22 But if I [k]say to the youth, ‘Behold, the arrows are beyond you,’ go, for the Lord has sent you away. 23 As for the [l]agreement of which you and I have spoken, behold, the Lord is between you and me forever.”

24 So David hid in the field; and when the new moon came, the king sat down to eat food. 25 The king sat on his seat as usual, the seat by the wall; then Jonathan rose up and Abner sat down by Saul’s side, but David’s place was empty. 26 Nevertheless Saul did not speak anything that day, for he thought, “It is an accident, he is not clean, surely he is not clean.” 27 It came about the next day, the second day of the new moon, that David’s place was empty; so Saul said to Jonathan his son, “Why has the son of Jesse not come to the meal, either yesterday or today?” 28 Jonathan then answered Saul, “David earnestly asked leave of me to go to Bethlehem, 29 for he said, ‘Please [m]let me go, since our family has a sacrifice in the city, and my brother has commanded me to attend. And now, if I have found favor in your sight, please let me get away that I may see my brothers.’ For this reason he has not come to the king’s table.”

Sometimes when you deal with evil and deceitful people, you have to be “shrewd as a serpent.” Jesus told his disciples to be shrewd as serpents, and innocent as doves.”

That doesn’t mean we go out of our way to be sneaky and deceitful ourselves. It means we do what is necessary, while remaining innocent and pure in our motives. To spread the good news, many use what would otherwise be considered underhanded.

It is a fine line, but one must always ask, what is my motive? Ultimately, am I doing this for the glory of God? Am I doing it out of love (not mushy love, but pure selfless love)?

Let God direct your steps, and you may find some surprising twists, but trust Him always with the results, expect Him to be good, and you won’t be surprised.

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