Thursday after the Seventh Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: 1 Samuel 20:24-42 (NKJV)
24 Then David hid in the field. And when the New Moon had come, the king sat down to eat the feast. 25 Now the king sat on his seat, as at other times, on a seat by the wall. And Jonathan arose, and Abner sat by Saul’s side, but David’s place was empty. 26 Nevertheless Saul did not say anything that day, for he thought, “Something has happened to him; he is unclean, surely he is unclean.” 27 And it happened the next day, the second day of the month, that David’s place was empty. And Saul said to Jonathan his son, “Why has the son of Jesse not come to eat, either yesterday or today?” 28 So Jonathan answered Saul, “David earnestly asked permission of me to go to Bethlehem. 29 And he said, ‘Please let me go, for our family has a sacrifice in the city, and my brother has commanded me to be there. And now, if I have found favor in your eyes, please let me get away and see my brothers.’ Therefore he has not come to the king’s table.”
30 Then Saul’s anger was aroused against Jonathan, and he said to him, “You son of a perverse, rebellious woman! Do I not know that you have chosen the son of Jesse to your own shame and to the shame of your mother’s nakedness? 31 For as long as the son of Jesse lives on the earth, you shall not be established, nor your kingdom. Now therefore, send and bring him to me, for he shall surely die.” 32 And Jonathan answered Saul his father, and said to him, “Why should he be killed? What has he done?” 33 Then Saul cast a spear at him to kill him, by which Jonathan knew that it was determined by his father to kill David. 34 So Jonathan arose from the table in fierce anger, and ate no food the second day of the month, for he was grieved for David, because his father had treated him shamefully.
35 And so it was, in the morning, that Jonathan went out into the field at the time appointed with David, and a little lad was with him. 36 Then he said to his lad, “Now run, find the arrows which I shoot.” As the lad ran, he shot an arrow beyond him. 37 When the lad had come to the place where the arrow was which Jonathan had shot, Jonathan cried out after the lad and said, “Is not the arrow beyond you?” 38 And Jonathan cried out after the lad, “Make haste, hurry, do not delay!” So Jonathan’s lad gathered up the arrows and came back to his master. 39 But the lad did not know anything. Only Jonathan and David knew of the matter. 40 Then Jonathan gave his weapons to his lad, and said to him, “Go, carry them to the city.” 41 As soon as the lad had gone, David arose from a place toward the south, fell on his face to the ground, and bowed down three times. And they kissed one another; and they wept together, but David more so. 42 Then Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, since we have both sworn in the name of the LORD, saying, ‘May the LORD be between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants, forever.'” So he arose and departed, and Jonathan went into the city.
How tragic the hardness of King Saul’s heart! Having driven out the Holy Spirit in the pursuit of establishing a dynasty for himself, Saul’s anger so burned toward David that he would even throw his spear at his own son—the one whom, in Saul’s mind, David was depriving of the throne.
Jonathan, though, is resigned to God’s will and loves the one who would be king instead of him. “Why should David be killed? What has he done?” he asks his father. That is, “What is wrong with David other than that God chose him, instead of your son, to be the next ruler of His nation? Why do you seek to kill David, when you really wish to kill the Lord?”
This is so often the case with our anger and our transgressions of the Second Table of God’s Law (Commandments 4–10). Sometimes it is not people that we wish to hurt, but the Lord Himself. Consider Genesis 9:6, when God says that the man who sheds another’s blood shall have his blood shed by Man because God created Man in His image. Whenever we seek to murder another human, we are, as it were, murdering God in effigy.
Such is the case also when we steal, because we do not believe the Lord has given or will give us what He’s ought; and when we lie because we do not trust Him to work all things together for our good if we abide in the truth. And so forth with the other Commandments.