In this passage, we witness a pivotal moment in the relationship between Jonathan, the son of King Saul, and his father. The passage conveys several key themes and messages:
- Loyalty and Friendship: Jonathan's loyalty and friendship toward David are on full display. Despite being King Saul's son, Jonathan stands up for David and questions his father's decision to harm him. He asks Saul what wrong David has committed to deserve death. Jonathan's actions highlight the power of loyalty and the strength of true friendship.
- Unfounded Suspicion and Envy: King Saul's actions reveal his unfounded suspicion and envy toward David. Saul sees David as a threat to his own kingship and believes that as long as David is alive, his own kingdom will not be established. This envy drives Saul to seek David's death, even though David has been nothing but loyal to him.
- Jonathan's Grief and Anger: When Saul attempts to strike Jonathan with a spear, Jonathan realizes the depth of his father's intentions to harm David. This incident deeply grieves Jonathan, and he responds with fierce anger. His anger is not directed at Saul but at the unjust treatment of his friend David. Jonathan's reaction showcases his character and his unwavering commitment to justice and loyalty.
- The Cost of Loyalty: Jonathan's decision to stand up for David comes at a personal cost. He rises from the table and refuses to eat, expressing his grief and protest against his father's actions. Jonathan's sacrifice highlights the challenges and sacrifices that come with choosing loyalty and defending what is right, even when it goes against family or authority figures.
This passage serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of loyalty, friendship, and standing up for what is right, even in the face of adversity. It showcases Jonathan's character as a noble and faithful friend, and it highlights the destructive nature of envy, suspicion, and unjust actions.
Through Jonathan's actions, we are reminded of the significance of loyalty and the strength of true friendship. Jonathan's commitment to David and his willingness to confront his own father's wrongdoing serve as a powerful example of integrity and righteousness.
Moreover, this passage prompts us to reflect on our own actions and the choices we make in relationships. It encourages us to stand up for what is right, even when it may come at a personal cost. It reminds us to prioritize loyalty, justice, and friendship, and to reject envy, suspicion, and unjust actions.
In summary, 1 Samuel 20:31-34 captures a crucial moment in the relationship between Jonathan and King Saul, highlighting loyalty, friendship, the destructive nature of envy, and the cost of standing up for what is right. It serves as a timeless reminder of the values we should uphold in our own lives.
See also: vs 42
1 Samuel 20:31-34. “As long as the son of Jesse lives on the earth, you will not be established, nor will your kingdom. Therefore now send and bring him to me, for he shall surely die!” Jonathan answered Saul his father, and said to him, “Why should he be put to death? What has he done?” Saul cast his spear at him to strike him. By this Jonathan knew that his father was determined to put David to death. So Jonathan arose from the table in fierce anger, and ate no food the second day of the month; for he was grieved for David, because his father had treated him shamefully.