April 7

 

Read I Samuel 19 -- 21

 

In Today's Reading:

 

Saul attempts to kill David; Jonathan's covenant with David; David's flight to Nob; David flees for his life to Gath in Philistine territory

 

David became a national hero, however, as time passed, King Saul became increasingly jealous of his popularity. And Saul spoke 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 seeks to kill you . . . abide in a secret place, and hide yourself (I Samuel 19:1-2).

 

Prior to this, Saul had manipulated circumstances to expose David to the Philistines and hoped they would kill him (18:25). Jonathan spoke good of David to Saul his father, and said to him, Let not the king sin against his servant . . . For he did 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: why then will you sin against innocent blood, to slay David without a cause? (19:4-5).

 

Saul became increasingly violent with an uncontrolled temper. He considered any opposition as treason. Jonathan revealed remarkable spiritual insight and courage when he confronted his father and defended David. The risk was very real for, in a fit of rage, Saul denounced his son and, on one occasion, he even attempted to kill Jonathan (see 20:33).

 

Jonathan could have avoided any risk to himself if he had decided not to get involved in defending David. To defend an innocent person from slander or harm's way, whatever the cost to self, is to remain faithful to biblical principles by doing what is morally right.

 

We too may find ourselves in situations where people are being threatened, accused, maligned, intimidated, or taken advantage of. We are then faced with the decision of whether or not to get involved. We should not be an accomplice to evil by remaining silent but should respond as Jonathan did. There is a direct connection between what we truly believe and how we behave. The Apostle James urged believers: Be . . . doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your . . . selves (James 1:22).

 

Jesus declared: I say to you, Love your enemies . . . and pray for them which spitefully use you, and persecute you; That you may be the children of your Father which is in heaven (Matthew 5:44-45).

 

Word Studies:

 

19:9 played with his hand = played music on the harp; 19:13 for his bolster = for his headrest; 20:12 sounded = questioned; 20:26 not clean = ceremonially defiled (Leviticus 15; Numbers 19:11); 20:30 confusion = dishonor, shame; 20:33 javelin = spear; 20: 40 artillery = 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.

 

Christ Portrayed:

 

By David, who, as a servant of Saul, suffered at the hands of the one whom he chose to serve (I Samuel 19:1,10-11). Jesus suffered at the hands of the ones He came to serve and to save. From that time forth began Jesus to show to His disciples, how that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day (Matthew 16:21).

 

Prayer Needs:

 

Pray for BP Staff: Benjamin Wallace · Government Officials: Rep. Robert Brady (PA) and Gov. Mitch Daniels (IN) · Country: South Africa (43 million) on the southern tip of the African continent · Major languages: Afrikaans and English · Religious freedom · 67% Protestant; 20% animism, magic, and ancestor worship; 10% Roman Catholic; 3% Asian religions · Prayer Suggestion: Pray daily to your Father in Heaven (Daniel 6:10).

 

Optional Reading: Acts 8

 

Memory Verse for the Week: I Thessalonians 5:15