November 11, 2021

Going Against Tradition

1 Samuel 19:1-17

Jonathan [said] . . . to Saul . . . “Let not the king do wrong to his servant David; he has not wronged you, and what he has done has benefited you greatly.”

—  1 Samuel 19:4

King Saul believed he had the right to command everyone to obey his wishes. He told his son Jonathan and everyone around him to kill David.

In this way Saul tested his family members’ loyalty. Often in situations like this, as the saying goes, “Blood is thicker than water.” Family members were expected to support their blood relatives more than their friends or in-laws.

Perhaps Jonathan noticed his father’s attendants nodding in agreement with Saul. But Jonathan was clearly concerned as he heard his father say that David was to be killed.

Jonathan gave no indication of turning against his father. But as soon as he left the king’s presence, Jonathan wasted no time in warning his friend that Saul wanted to kill him. And instead of going along with his father, Jonathan assured David that he would speak with Saul and support David for the sake of their friendship.

Saul’s daughter Michal, who was now David’s wife, also protected David from her murderous father.

These events mark a crucial point in the decline of Saul and the rise of David. Two of Saul’s own children chose to help David rather than making the traditional choice of supporting their father.

Lord and God, too often I have biases and blind spots, and I follow traditions rather than listening to your wisdom. Help me to trust and obey your direction and guidance. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — Reginald Smith

Dr. Reginald Smith is senior pastor at Roosevelt Park Community Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he has served for seventeen years. He has also served as a pastor in Paterson, New Jersey. He and his wife, Sharon, have three daughters, Janelle, Katrina, and Mariah.

Start your day with quick daily devotions.

See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!