Christian Devotional – August 16, 2020

Always Second – #2

Saul shows his true heart and disobeys God. It’s interesting, even though this passage doesn’t directly deal with Jonathan, it has profound impact on him. You can read the full story of what Saul does in 1 Samuel 13:5-14, but we’re going to just look at verses 13 and 14.

Samuel said to Saul, “You have acted foolishly; you have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which He commanded you, for now the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom shall not endure. The Lord has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has appointed him as ruler over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.”
1 Samuel 13:13‭-‬14 NASB

God would have established Saul’s kingdom and his sons would have been king after him. Jonathan would have been king. Now, he won’t, not because of anything specific that he did, but because of something outside of his control.

How do we deal with disappointment when we truly had little to no influence on the decision? Jonathan didn’t control his father or what his father did. However, because of his father’s actions, the course of Jonathan’s life altered dramatically.

First, Jonathan had to accept responsibility for the things that he could control. In looking at this, God says that he was going to go with a man after his own heart. That didn’t describe Jonathan. If it had, God would have moved to him. Jonathan had to accept that he had some responsibility for his own relationship with God. He had to recognize that relationship was not all that it could be or should be. We have to do the same thing. In our situations, how much of it is due to factors that we have control over and haven’t addressed the way we should?

Second, Jonathan had to accept the things that he could not control. Jonathan had to understand that God was in control, not him. Therefore to while he could impact the things that he did have control over, he had to accept God’s plan in the areas that he could not control. He could not control his father. Saul made his own choices. He could not control David, who would ultimately become king next. David made his own choices. Jonathan had to accept that God had a plan and that God’s plan was much better than his own plan. Jonathan’s life didn’t end here. His life continued and he had to make a choice how he was going to live that life knowing that he would never be king. When we are faced with situations and circumstances, we have a choice. How will we respond when faced with difficult and disappointing news? As we’ll see, Jonathan still continued to allow God to use him even while he spent his time always being second.

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