Cursed be the man that he eateth any food until evening that I may be avenged of mine enemies. 1 Samuel 14:24
The command to abstain from food was prompted from selfish ambition, and it showed the king to be indifferent to the needs of his people when these conflicted with his desire for self-exaltation. To confirm his prohibition by a solemn oath showed Saul to be both rash and profane. The very words of the curse give evidence that Saul’s zeal was for himself and not for the honor of God. He declared his object to be not “that the Lord may be avenged of His enemies”But “that I may be avenged of my enemies.”
During the day’s battle Jonathan, who had not heard of the king’s command, unwittingly offended by eating a little honey as he passed through a wood. Saul learned of this at evening. He had declared that the violation of his edict should be punished with death; and thouh Jonathan had not been guilty of a willful sin, though God had miraculously preserved his life, and had wrought deliverance through him, the king declared that the sentence must be executed. To spare the life of his son would have been an acknowledgment on the part of Saul that he had sinned in making so rash a vow. This would have been humiliating to his pride. “God do so, and more also,” was his terrible sentence: “thou shalt surely die, Jonathan.” …
At Gilgal, but a short time before, Saul had presumed to officiate as priest, contrary to the command of God. When reproved by Samuel, he had stubbornly justified himself. Now, when his own command was disobeyed—though the command was unreasonable and had been violated through ignorance—the king and father sentenced his son to death.
The people refused to allow the sentence to be executed. Braving the anger of the king, they declared, “Shall Jonathan die, who hath wrought this great salvation in Israel? God forbid: as the Lord liveth, there shall not one hair of his head fall to the ground; for he hath wrought with God this day.” The proud monarch dared not disregard this unanimous verdict, and the life of Jonathan was preserved.
Conflict and Courage p. 153
—–update—Ken is recuperating at home. He still has a long way to go, but he is heading in the right direction. Please continue to pray for him and his wife. Rose
—–Eileen is discouraged with her progress in recovering from back surgery. Please pray that this new round of physical therapy will work better than the last. Rose
—–Please pray for a friend of my daughter. She is pregnant and the ultrasound shows a major
heart problem where one side of the heart is not growing like it should. Her name is Michelle. My daughter also needs prayer. CD
When Ronnie Jay was a baby, we moved to Wilmington, North Carolina. We lived less than five miles from the ocean, so we spent a lot of our free time there. In the evenings after the majority of the people had left the beach, we would eat our supper while sitting on the sand and gazing out over the water.
Once Ronnie Jay learned how to walk, however, our relaxing times disappeared. He showed no fear of that immense body of water and would get away from us whenever we were not watching him. Off he would go toward the incoming waves, just as fast as his little legs would carry him. Those waves would grab him and roll him over and over and push him toward the shore by the time we were able to catch up to him. Always frightened of his little game, I would grab him out of the water, give him a little spank, tell him “no,” futilely try to explain the dangers to my one year old boy, and carry him back to where we had been sitting. Over and over again this process was repeated.
One day something happened when he was two that cured him of his little game. Our church often went to an area at Fort Fisher where no sunbathers went. From the parking lot to the ocean was about a mile walk. It was nice to walk along with friends and view the handiwork of God even though a cold wind was blowing. As we got to the beach, Ronnie Jay wanted out of his stroller. It was March and too cool for his little game of “let the waves tumble me about and scare Mommy half to death.” I warned my son that it was too cold to go near the water and made him hold my hand.
As I got involved talking to my friends and looking for shells and sharks’ teeth, Ronnie Jay saw his chance to escape. Before I realized it, he had slipped his hand out of mine and headed straight for the water. I headed after him, but he was a fast runner. Into the cold water he plunged. I grabbed my dripping boy up into my arms with thoughts of his re-catching the pneumonia he had had three months before and ran as fast as I could to the car. The cold March wind seemed even colder now that we were both wet. Now, I’ve never been able to run very fast, but that day no one could keep up with me. Adrenaline had set in. I knew that a warm blanket was in that car and Ronnie Jay needed to be wrapped up in it to keep him from getting sick. He must have gotten cold enough that day to decide that his little game was not fun any more, because that was the last time he ever played it.
How often we toy with sin, just as Ronnie Jay toyed with the waves. Our little “sin games” seem to be innocent and fun, that we do not realize the danger we are in. Even when warned of the consequences of our sinful indulgence, how often we run right back into the “water” just as my son ran into the waves of the Atlantic. We become as Peter says, “The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.” 2 Peter 2:22 Over and over we play with our “darling” sin until we one day find ourselves held firmly in its grasp. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Jer 17:9 “We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.” “the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.” Isa 64:6;1:6
How much we need a Strong Deliverer, Who will snatch us up out of the waves of sin, remove our filthy garments, and clothe us with His Own Robe of Righteousness. Praise God! We have such a Deliverer! He “gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: To whom be glory for ever and ever.” Gal 1:4,5 Our Dear Saviour promises, “I will put my laws into [your heart], and in [you mind] will I write them; And [your] sins and iniquities will I remember no more.” Heb 10:16,17 Precious promises! Loving Redeemer! Let us serve the Lord with our whole heart and strength and being!
Let us no longer toy with the pleasures of sin. Let us deny ungodliness and worldly lusts and live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world. Let us “press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus,” “looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” Phil 3:14;Titus 2:14