Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Loyal Son

In 1 Sam. 14, Jonathan shows himself a faithful leader in Israel. He takes up his sword and shield against Israel’s enemies, fully trusting in God to deliver him, even from the sword and spear of giants. Jonathan is David-like and we have reason to believe that in David and Jonathan’s close relationship, Jonathan was like a second father to David. They were cut of the same stuff and Jonathan recognized in David, the real pre-requisites for leadership in Israel, faith in God and loyalty to the king. Jonathan possessed these same characteristics and Saul misses them in both sons of the kingdom.
         It is interesting that in this story, we again see Saul in a colossal failure of leadership. Jonathan is the one who started the fray with the Philistines and the one who finishes it. He is the true savior of Israel, rising up like the judges of old, like Gideon, to defeat the enemy against overwhelming odds. Perhaps Saul’s envious side is already showing. He wants to defeat his enemies but can hardly tolerate those victories, unless they come about by his own hand.
         The same response from Saul is in play when David comes on the scene. David defeats Goliath and many Philistines, in the name of Yahweh and for the sake of Israel and Saul’s kingdom. But instead of rejoicing in David’s valor, Saul pursues David as a threat to himself.
         Jonathan is the same as David, a true son. We see that Saul’s failure with David had already occurred with his own son. One of the reasons that Saul is unfit to be king is because he does not understand true loyalty.

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