"Now Saul told Jonathan his son and all his servants that they must kill David. But Jonathan, Saul's son, delighted much in David, and he told David, ‘Saul my father is seeking to kill you. Now therefore, take heed to yourself in the morning, and stay in a secret place and hide yourself. And I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where you are…and Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father…and Saul heeded Jonathan and swore, ‘As the Lord lives, David shall not be slain.'"
I Samuel 19: 1-6, Amplified Bible
"The Winning Armor"
"Gentleness is the strongest force in the world, and the soldiers of Christ are to be priests and to fight the battle of the kingdom, robed, not in jingling shining armor or with sharp swords, nor with fierce and eager bitterness of controversy, but in the meekness which overcomes. You may take all the steam hammers that were ever forged and battle at an iceberg, and except for the comparatively little heat that is developed by the blows and melts some small portion, it will be ice still, though pulverized instead of whole. But let it move gently down to the southward, there the sunbeams smite the coldness to death, and it is dissipated in the warm ocean. Meekness is conquering."
Has there been a time in my life when words I spoke in gentle, kindness turned the tide in my home or church or at work?
What kind of witness for Christ do I display when harsh and unkind words come from my mouth?
"The gentleness of God enables us to become better persons. When we sense how strong God is, we see how gentle He is to us in all our sinfulness and helplessness. When we sense this great gentleness, we rise to new spiritual stature and strength. As the Psalmist expressed it in some of his last words, ‘Thy gentleness hath made me great.'" (II Samuel 22: 36, Psalm 18: 35).
"Meekness, humility, and love,
Did through Thy conduct shine;
Oh may my whole deportment prove
A copy, Lord, of Thine."
What if your dad came up to you and ordered you to murder your best friend? And what if he were the king of the nation and if you disobeyed his order, your life would be in jeopardy as well?
If this sounds completely outlandish, it isn't. For right in our text today, we find this is exactly what King Saul did. He ordered his son Jonathan and all his servants to kill David.
Such was Saul's hatred that it led him to want to murder his enemy.
Jonathan, Saul's son, was so unlike his treacherous father and was deeply devoted to his best friend, David. So we're told he warned David of his dad's evil scheme and then in a bold move, Jonathan told David he would speak a word of kindness to Saul on David's behalf.
I wanted to include this story from our text today in the study of women of the Bible because we will find tomorrow that Michal exhibited the same kind of compassionate spirit toward her husband, David, as her brother Jonathan did.
However, there is a very important lesson in Jonathan's response that we as God's daughters (and sons, too!) need to take note of.
If my dad had ordered me to murder my best friend, I think I might have felt like turning the gun on my dad instead. What a dreadful order - and coming from the king the prophet Samuel anointed as God's chosen. This situation seems totally unbelievable!
However, instead of reacting with words or actions that mirrored his father's crazy and revengeful behavior, Jonathan took his father into the field and patiently reminded his dad of the good David had shown to Saul and the Israelite nation as a whole. With gentle meekness and a humbleness that might seem out of character for the "prince" of the nation, Jonathan implored his father to proceed in a calm and rational manner. Quiet consideration before acting was Jonathan's advice rather than reactionary revenge which would be regretted later on.
Now, I'm going to admit a "Dorothy fault" to you. Sometimes I find myself tripped up and falling into a behavior pattern of "responding first, thinking later." Has this ever happened to you?
It's easy to size up a situation too fast, then jump to a conclusion and respond without reflection. With plenty of firsthand experience to draw from, I'll be the first to admit, I've found myself having to retract words or ask for forgiveness more often than I like to think about because I didn't take a lesson from Jonathan and walk in the field with my heavenly Father and reflect on how His gentle meekness could best be infused in my life and then shared with others. And as we find out, Jonathan's thoughtful words turned the tide. They calmed the mad beast in the heart of his father Saul, and they saved the life of his closest friend, David.
It was worth wearing the winning armor of meekness, for it saved a friend!
"Meekness and gentleness are not signs of weakness. They are strong and powerful weapons in God's hands to accomplish His purposes. They require courage on the part of the one exercising them, and also great faith that God will use them as He has promised…In these days of coldness and hatred among people, it is particularly necessary that Christians learn gentleness."
"Nothing is won by force. I choose to be gentle.
If I raise my voice may it be only in praise.
If I clench my fist, may it be only in prayer.
If I make a demand, may it be only of myself."
When God Whispers Your Name
(Dallas Word Publishing, 1994)
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeetsjesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal for $8.00. Or by calling Transformation Garden at 1-888-397-4348.
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.