November 09, 2021

What Winners and Losers Do

1 Samuel 18:1-11

Saul was very angry. . . . And from that time on Saul kept a close eye on David.

—  1 Samuel 18:8-9

Jonathan became a close friend of David. The Bible describes their friendship as becoming “one in spirit.” And “Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself.”

As the son of King Saul, Jonathan had every right to oppose his father’s best warrior. But maybe Jonathan had seen things in his father that he did not want to imitate. Jonathan saw David as someone who had the same human hopes, dreams, and aspirations that he had. Jonathan did not dehumanize David as an enemy. Instead of looking with wary eyes of jealousy and suspicion against the young warrior, Jonathan extended generosity of heart, openness of mind, and a spirit of charity.

David rose through the ranks like a stunning rookie rushing through minor-league baseball. Soon people were not praising King Saul anymore; they were raving about the young sensation who was breaking records left and right. David changed the game. His victories went viral in Israel.

All of this made Saul boiling hot with jealousy. All he could see was that David was a threat to his throne. Saul dehumanized David and tried to kill him.

But God had other plans, and if Saul tried to oppose them, he simply could not win.

Lord, you made me a friend when I was your enemy. Help me to care about and love people who seem to be my enemies. Help me to live like you. 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.

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