Friday 21 October, 2016

1 Samuel 20:1-24

20 David was in Naioth at Ramah. He ran away from there to where Jonathan was. He asked him, “What have I done? What crime have I committed? I haven’t done anything to harm your father. So why is he trying to kill me?” 2 “That will never happen!” Jonathan replied. “You aren’t going to die! My father doesn’t do anything at all without letting me know. So why would he hide this from me? He isn’t going to kill you!” 3 But David strongly disagreed. He said, “Your father knows very well that you are pleased with me. He has said to himself, ‘I don’t want Jonathan to know I’m planning to kill David. If he finds out, he’ll be very sad.’ But I’m very close to being killed. And that’s just as sure as the Lord and you are alive.” 4 Jonathan said to David, “I’ll do anything you want me to do for you.” 5 So David said, “Tomorrow is the time for the New Moon feast. I’m supposed to eat with the king. But let me go and hide in the field. I’ll stay there until the evening of the day after tomorrow. 6 Your father might miss me. If he does, then tell him, ‘David begged me to let him hurry home to Bethlehem. A yearly sacrifice is being offered there for his whole family group.’ 7 Your father might say, ‘That’s all right.’ If he does, it will mean I’m safe. But he might become very angry. If he does, you can be sure he’s made up his mind to harm me. 8 Please be kind to me. You have made a covenant with me in front of the Lord. If I’m guilty, kill me yourself! Don’t hand me over to your father!” 9 “I would never do that!” Jonathan said. “Suppose I had even the smallest clue that my father had made up his mind to harm you. Then I would tell you.” 10 David asked, “Who will tell me if your father answers you in a mean way?” 11 “Come on,” Jonathan said. “Let’s go out to the field.” So they went there together. 12 Then Jonathan spoke to David. He said, “I promise you that I’ll find out what my father is planning to do. I’ll find out by this time the day after tomorrow. The Lord, the God of Israel, is my witness. Suppose my father has kind feelings toward you. Then I’ll send you a message and let you know. 13 But suppose he wants to harm you. And I don’t let you know about it. Suppose I don’t help you get away in peace. Then may the Lord punish me greatly. May he be with you, just as he has been with my father. 14 But always be kind to me, just as the Lord is. Be kind to me as long as I live. Then I won’t be killed. 15 And never stop being kind to my family. Don’t stop even when the Lord has cut off every one of your enemies from the face of the earth.” 16 So Jonathan made a covenant of friendship with David and his family. He said, “May the Lord hold David’s enemies responsible for what they’ve done.” 17 Jonathan had David promise his friendship again because he loved him. In fact, Jonathan loved David just as he loved himself. 18 Then Jonathan said to David, “Tomorrow is the time for the New Moon feast. You will be missed, because your seat at the table will be empty. 19 Go to the place where you hid when all this trouble began. Go there the day after tomorrow, when evening is approaching. There’s a stone out there called Ezel. 20 Wait by it. I’ll shoot three arrows to one side of the stone. I’ll pretend I’m practicing my shooting. 21 Then I’ll send a boy out there. I’ll tell him, ‘Go and find the arrows.’ Suppose I say to him, ‘The arrows are on this side of you. Bring them here.’ Then come. That will mean you are safe. You won’t be in any danger. And that’s just as sure as the Lord is alive. 22 But suppose I tell the boy, ‘The arrows are far beyond you.’ Then go. That will mean the Lord is sending you away. 23 And remember what we talked about. Remember that the Lord is a witness between you and me forever.” 24 So David hid in the field. When the time for the New Moon feast came, the king sat down to eat.

David confronts Jonathan with this wild accusation that the King is determined to kill him which Jonathan finds impossible to believe.

Jonathan finds himself in a very difficult position. David is his best friend. They have sworn loyalty to each other, and they share a very unique bond of friendship. What makes this difficult is that the King is his father. Jonathan is adamant that his father loves David and would never hurt David, let alone kill him. Jonathan wants to defend his dad and convince David that he is wrong.

David and Jonathan could have demanded that each other decide now who is right and who is wrong, to test that loyalty which could have potentially injured their friendship. Instead they both decide to test the truth and let God reveal who was right and this is wisdom. Leave it in God’s hands.

From time to time we are presented with difficult decisions, were we may or may not know all the facts. When this happens, ask God for wisdom and he will show you.

Even though David was right and he knew he was right, it was better for them both that Jonathan learn the truth about his father from God and because they trusted God their friendship remained.

Father, thank you that we can ask you for wisdom and that you will give us wisdom when we ask. Help us also to accept your wisdom, even if it is difficult to accept.

Written by Andrew Martin

1 (reply)
  1. David Newton says:

    I don’t know about other people but asking for and receiving wisdom in daily matters has been a regular problem for me. I forget to ask! I once worked on a technical problem for 6 month with no solution. One day I realised I had never prayed about the problem and within 30 seconds of praying I had a new thought and within 1-2 minutes I had a solution.
    Thanks Andrew for the reminder.

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