Saul has already made several attempts to kill David. He has done so both by his own hand and militarily. Each attempt has failed and he’s becoming more desperate and even more bold. Now, just after David has married into his own family, Saul declares to all of his servants that David should be killed.
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. 2 And Jonathan told David, “Saul my father seeks to kill you. Therefore be on your guard in the morning. Stay in a secret place and hide yourself. 3 And I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where you are, and I will speak to my father about you. And if I learn anything I will tell you.” 4 And Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father and said to him, “Let not the king sin against his servant David, because he has not sinned against you, and because his deeds have brought good to you. 5 For he took his life in his hand and he struck down the Philistine, and the Lord worked a great salvation for all Israel. You saw it, and rejoiced. Why then will you sin against innocent blood by killing David without cause?”6 And Saul listened to the voice of Jonathan. Saul swore, “As the Lord lives, he shall not be put to death.” 7 And Jonathan called David, and Jonathan reported to him all these things. And Jonathan brought David to Saul, and he was in his presence as before. ~1 Samuel 19:1-7
Consider what hatred does.
Why wasn’t Saul ashamed? He had not even one reason for his evil ambition against David save his own fear and insecurity. He had no charges to claim against David. How could he suppose he could get away with this cold-blooded killing without reprisals?
Saul was brazen and unashamed because he knew not God. He knew only his own need. He knew only his own fear. He knew only his own jealousy and rage. Godless men fear godly men more than they fear anything else.
Saul thought he could get away with this wicked plot at the hands of other men because 1. he didn’t believe in God’s justice and recompense and 2. his position had given him a false security in regards to men. The reason he was so insecure about his position was because his position was the only ace he had left in the hole. His position is what gave him security and without it, he was devoid of all favor – both with God and man.
Therefore, Saul’s primary goal as king is the murder of anyone who threatens his position – even a man so humble, so helpful, so handy to him as David was.
“…But Jonathan, Saul’s son, delighted much in David.”
Consider what love does.
Jonathan sticks up for David, even when he knows it may well cost him greatly. He tries to hold his father accountable by speaking the truth about David. He reminds Saul of David’s goodness to him and to the entire company of God’s people. Jonathan defends the honor and innocence of the friend whom he loves most and he warns David of the danger he’s in.
Jonathan willingly risks his own position and reputation for David’s. Consider that he, Saul, and David were walking in the same field. Saul was his superior, his father, his king, even. If he had discovered David in that field and realized Jonathan and David’s alliance, Jonathan may have been deemed a traitor and even been put to death himself. Yet, he risks his own comfort, position, and reputation with his superior for the safety and protection of his friend…kinda reminds me of my best friend – Jesus.
What trust David must have had in Jonathan! Knowing how easily Jonathan could have given him away – knowing exactly where he was in that field. Jonathan could have set him up so easily! Yet, David trusts this man and even follows him back to Saul’s court willingly.
Neither David nor Jonathan fear the other’s actions. They fully trust one another and they bravely face the big, bad bully together – in wisdom and in humility.
Hatred is not ashamed of its own perversion. It’s full of fear, insecurity, injustice, and false assumptions. Hatred is brazen, bold, and cold in it’s evil ambition. Hatred knows only it’s own need and its own rage. Hatred’s ultimate goal is always death to anyone who threatens its safety and comfort.
Love, on the other hand, is wise and humble. Love warns, stands up for the truth, willingly accepts personal sacrifice, and defends the reputation of the innocent. Love faces its enemies with courage and strength, together. Love trusts at all times and never fears.
Which camp will you be found in today?