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Today's Readings: 1 Samuel 20 | Isaiah 64 | Matthew 9

Reading 1 - 1Sa 20

In 1Sa 20, the situation created by Saul caused the separation of these two faithful friends. Jonathan chooses affliction with God's beloved rather than the pleasure of sin for a season (Heb 11:25).

"The friendship of David and Jonathan was based upon the common experiences of trial in the court of Saul, and a mutual respect and acceptance of the divine will. Although Jonathan was the king-elect as son of Saul, he willingly submitted to the divine choice of David as Israel's next king, and his soul was thereby knit with his great friend in truth and understanding. David required Jonathan's help in his extremities in the household of Saul. He was in great danger, and the presence of Saul at Ramah showed that the king would not respect the presence of Samuel, and therefore David was not even safe with the prophet. As a member of Saul's household, his duty was to be present at the feast of the new moon about to take place. But knowing full well that Saul was determined on his death, David hastened back before the king to enlist the help of Jonathan. Though Yahweh had promised him the kingdom, it was still necessary to exercise wisdom to attain it faith, courage and patience would not lack its reward. Meanwhile the difficulties David experienced moulded his life, preparing him to assume the exalted position of Shepherd and Ruler of Israel" (GE Mansfield).

Background: The Spirit of God seems to have temporarily changed Saul's outlook, so that for a brief time David the fugitive was again welcome at his table (vv 5,25,27). But David seems to have good reason to doubt this extended hospitality.

"Jonathan said to David, 'Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship with each other in the name of the LORD, saying, "The LORD is witness between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants forever." ' Then David left, and Jonathan went back to the town" (v 42).

"The concluding verse is a wonderful testimony to spiritual understanding and commitment. Jonathan acknowledges the divine purpose beyond his own opportunities. The compact would be