1 Samuel 14:24-52: "My father has made trouble"
Saul feels the pressure to “do something” as king. He always seems, however, to do the wrong thing, trusting in his own judgment, not God’s. He places a bad rule on his army, forbidding them food all day until they have taken vengeance on the Philistines. Jonathan does not know about the rule, so when he finds some wild honey, he eats it. Later, when God refuses to answer Saul’s inquiries about pursuing the Philistines, Saul blames it on sin among the army.
When Saul finds out it is Jonathan who has eaten food and so broken his rule, Saul is ready to put him to death. However, the army will not allow it, since it was Jonathan who had won the battle with the help of the Lord.
Here Saul reveals a heart of legalism. He makes a bad rule and then takes an oath before God to enforce it. He even convinces himself that he must kill Jonathan to please God! Saul’s army however, is more in tune with the heart of God.
Surely it is not right in God’s sight to kill someone who has shown such a depth of faith in the Lord’s power to save. Saul’s distrust of God shows itself in his failure to wait on the Lord, in his fear of the enemy, but also in his relationship with his men and his own son. A bad heart affects all.
God of love, create in us a pure heart so we might obey you.
DR. GARY HOLLOWAY
Gary Holloway is Executive Director of the World Convention. Holding degrees from Freed-Hardeman, Harding, The University of Texas, and Emory University, he has written or edited thirty books, including (with Douglas Foster) Renewing God’s World: A Concise Global History of the Stone-Campbell Movement from ACU Press. He is married to Deb Rogers Holloway.