April 07

Read 1 Samuel 19 -- 21

In Today's Reading:

Discover why Saul is furious with his son Jonathan l Saul again attempts to kill David l Jonathan's friendship and covenant with David l David's flight to Nob l David flees for his life into Philistine territory and has to feign insanity to escape from the king of Gath.

Verses for Today:

Saul spake to Jonathan his son, and to all his servants, that they should kill David. But Jonathan Saul's son delighted much in David: and Jonathan told David . . . Saul my father seeketh to kill thee: now therefore . . . hide thyself (1 Samuel 19:1-2).

David became a national hero, but, as the years passed, King Saul became increasingly jealous of David's popularity to the point that he was determined to kill him.

Saul wanted David dead. Prior to this, Saul had manipulated circumstances to expose David to the Philistines, hoping they would kill him (1 Samuel 18:25). This was at least the 8th attempt by Saul to kill David (18:11 (twice),17,25; 19:1-2,10-11,15,20). Eventually Saul [spoke] to Jonathan his son, and to all his servants, that they should kill David. . . . Jonathan told David (19:1-2). David fled to his home and with the help of his wife Michal, who let David down through a window. . . . David fled (19:12,18). The man who had once enjoyed prestigious positions in the king's palace was reduced to hiding in caves in the rugged hill country of Judea. He left behind his wife, his best friend Jonathan, his parents and, eventually, even his aged spiritual counselor Samuel.

Saul became so obsessed with jealousy that he tried to involve Jonathan in his plan to murder David. Jonathan could have avoided any risk to himself if he had decided not to get involved in defending David. But, Jonathan [spoke] good of David [to] Saul his father, and said . . . Let not the king sin against his servant . . . David; because he [has] not sinned against [you], and because his works have been . . . very good: For he put his life in his hand, and slew the Philistine, and the Lord wrought a great salvation for all Israel: [you saw] it, and [did] rejoice: wherefore then [will you] sin against innocent blood, to slay David without a cause? (19:4-5).

Jonathan revealed remarkable spiritual insight and courage when he confronted his father the king in defense of David. Saul had an uncontrolled temper and considered any opposition as treason and, in a fit of rage, Saul denounced his son. On another occasion, he even attempted to kill Jonathan (20:33).

Often we find ourselves in situations where people whom we know are being threatened, accused, maligned, intimidated, or taken advantage of. We are then faced with a decision, like Jonathan, of whether or not to get involved. Are we more concerned about offending friends or jeopardizing our own security and pride, and thus do we remain silent because of those fears? From time to time, we find ourselves caught in the middle when a "friend" attempts to manipulate us into taking advantage of another for his own selfish benefit. We dare not be an accomplice to such evil, but must speak up. To defend an innocent person from slander or harm's way, whatever the cost to self, is to remain faithful to biblical principles and to do what is morally right.

There is a direct correlation between what we truly believe and how we behave.

The Bible was not given merely to inform us but to transform us. Unlike all other books, the Word of God places eternal consequences upon all who ignore it.

We need to be doers of the Word, and not hearers only (James 1:22).

Christ Portrayed:

By David, who, as a servant of Saul, suffered at the hands of the one whom he chose to serve (1 Samuel 19:1). Jesus suffered at the hands of the ones He came to serve and to save. But those things, which God before had [shown] by the mouth of all His prophets, that Christ should suffer, He [has] so fulfilled (Acts 3:18).

Word Studies:

19:9 played with his hand = played music on the harp; 19:13 for his bolster = at his head; 20:12 sounded = searched out; 20:26 not clean = ceremonially defiled (Leviticus 15; Numbers 19:11); 20:30 confusion = dishonor; 20:33 javelin = spear; 20: 40 artillery = small armor; weapons; 21:4 hallowed bread = showbread, sacrificial bread to be eaten only by priests (Exodus 25:30; see Matthew 12:3-4)); 21:13 feigned himself mad = pretended to be insane.

Prayer Needs:

Government Official: Rep. Robert Brady (PA) · Pray for the President · Country: Bahrain (629,000) 11 islands in the Persian Gulf near Saudi Arabia · Major languages: Arabic and English · No evangelical work is permitted · 85% Muslim; 5% Roman Catholic; 2% Protestant; 1% Orthodox · Prayer Suggestion: Lift up your prayers to God with your whole heart (Psalms 119:58).

Optional Reading: Acts 8

Memory Verse for the Week: 1 John 2:5