Highlights In Today's Reading:
As David flees from Saul he finds himself in danger from both those he loves and those who would persecute him.
Prince Jonathan, a prominent warrior (14:6-14) and the oldest son of Saul, seemed destined to be Israel's next king. In every respect, Jonathan demonstrated his leadership and ability to be a great king. Being the second king to rule Israel would have been a great honor. But Jonathan recognized that David — not himself — was the man whom God had chosen to rule Israel.
In a private vow of loyalty, Jonathan and David made a covenant. . . . and Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle (18:3-4). By doing this, Jonathan voluntarily surrendered to David all his rights as king. He took off his robe — a symbol of his authority as Israel's prince — and gave it, as well as his sword, bow, and belt, to David.
Jonathan boldly faced his father, saying: Let not the king sin against his servant, against David; because he hath not sinned against thee, and because his works have been to thee-ward very good: For he did put his life in his hand, and slew the Philistine, and the Lord wrought a great salvation for all Israel (19:4-5). Jonathan is a precious example of self-denial and willingness to accept the will of God in promoting someone else above himself.
The covenant between Jonathan and David was expressed by dignity, loyalty, and devotion. Jonathan continued to recognize David's God-ordained preeminence for the rest of his life and David remembered the everlasting covenant they made when he became king (20:23,42; II Samuel 9:1-13).
No joy or personal ambition can compare with the importance of remaining faithful to our commitment to God. We should ask ourselves: "Have I fully surrendered to Christ the things that I enjoy most in order to fulfill the will of God in my life?" Am I willing to be stripped of my "rights" in order that someone else is honored instead of me. It could mean that, unknown to us, someone may come to know Christ as their Savior and Lord.
When God calls us to go . . . into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15), He also provides the power to accomplish it. Jesus proclaimed: Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost (Spirit) is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me (Acts 1:8).
Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it (I Corinthians 10:12-13).
Thought for Today:
God's greatness can only be shown through the person that is willing to be submissive to His authority.
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 shew unto His disciples, how that He must go unto 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).
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; Matthew 12:3-4); 21:13 feigned himself mad =pretended to be insane.
Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts sponsored by Mr & Mrs Edwin K. Kohl; Mrs Judith Anne Ross • Staff: Benjamin Wallace • Government Officials: Rep. Robert Brady (PA) and Gov. Mitch Daniels (IN) • Country: Kenya (29 million) in eastern Africa • Major languages: English and Swahili • Religious freedom • 46% Protestant; 27% Roman Catholic; 17% belief in mystical powers; 6% Muslim; 3% Eastern Orthodox • Prayer Suggestion: Your prayers must be offered to God with the Spirit and understanding (John 4:22-24).
Optional Reading: Acts 8
Memory Verse for the Week: I Samuel 17:47