1 Samuel 20:30-42

Saul Is Angry with Jonathan

30 Then Saul’s anger burned against Jonathan and he said to him, “You son of a perverse, rebellious woman! Do I not know that you are choosing the son of Jesse to your own shame and to the shame of your mother’s nakedness? 31 For [n]as long as the son of Jesse lives on the earth, neither you nor your kingdom will be established. Therefore now, send and bring him to me, for he [o]must surely die.” 32 But Jonathan answered Saul his father and said to him, “Why should he be put to death? What has he done?” 33 Then Saul hurled his spear at him to strike him down; so Jonathan knew that his father had decided to put David to death. 34 Then Jonathan arose from the table in fierce anger, and did not eat food on the second day of the new moon, for he was grieved over David because his father had dishonored him.

35 Now it came about in the morning that Jonathan went out into the field for the appointment with David, and a little lad was with him. 36 He said to his lad, “Run, find now the arrows which I am about to shoot.” As the lad was running, he shot [p]an arrow past him. 37 When the lad reached the place of the arrow which Jonathan had shot, Jonathan called after the lad and said, “Is not the arrow beyond you?” 38 And Jonathan called after the lad, “Hurry, be quick, do not stay!” And Jonathan’s lad picked up the arrow and came to his master. 39 But the lad was not aware of anything; only Jonathan and David knew about the matter. 40 Then Jonathan gave his weapons to his lad and said to him, “Go, bring them to the city.” 41 When the lad was gone, David rose from the south side and fell on his face to the ground, and bowed three times. And they kissed each other and wept together, but David wept the more. 42 Jonathan said to David, “Go in safety, inasmuch as we have sworn to each other in the name of the Lord, saying, ‘The Lord will be between me and you, and between my [q]descendants and your [r]descendants forever.’” [s]Then he rose and departed, while Jonathan went into the city.

What a reaction after Saul acted like he wanted David there at the table in his rightful place! There is so much wrong with this picture (like trying to live vicariously through one’s children, or even trying to kill said children…).

But one thing is certain. Jonathan showed immense trust in God, to preserve him and his descendants when David would eventually become king of Israel.

It is no secret that the tradition in those days (and not unheard of in our times), was to destroy any trace of a previous ruler, including all their family. Jonathan knew his life was forfeit if David became king, but that their friendship was stronger than tradition AND that ultimately he couldn’t control what would happen.

Jonathan knew God was in control and that He was the only refuge for David now, and that God would protect Jonathan and his family later on. When things are outside our control, we must trust in God and His goodness. In all the earth, no one is faithful like our God. Trust in Him and you will not be shaken.

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