Christian Devotional – August 21, 2020

Always Second – #7

Jonathan changes his allegiance. Up to this point, Jonathan has been following his father’s leadership, even when he disagreed with it. Now, he makes a change. Read 1 Samuel 18:1-4.

Now it came about when he had finished speaking to Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as himself. Saul took him that day and did not let him return to his father’s house. Then Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, with his armor, including his sword and his bow and his belt.
1 Samuel 18:1‭-‬4 NASB

David has just fought the giant Goliath and defeated him. The Israelites have been routing the Philistine armies and seeing great victories under David’s leadership. Jonathan makes an important decision. He recognizes, even if he didn’t already know from previous chapters and conversations that Samuel had with his father Saul, but now he truly realizes that God’s Spirit has moved to someone else. God has anointed David as the next king of Israel.

How does Jonathan respond to this news? He aligns himself with David. In David, Jonathan found a great friend and an example of what it means to truly follow the Lord. Instead of becoming angry and bitter and focusing that on David, Jonathan instead decided to follow David and to ultimately follow God as a result.

Are we willing to follow God even when the circumstances or the situation that he leads us through is painful and difficult? It couldn’t have been easy for Jonathan at first, looking at David and seeing his replacement, but Jonathan didn’t allow bitterness or anger to take root in his heart. Instead he loved David as himself.

How do we respond in similar situations where we have been passed over, pushed aside, forgotten, or overlooked? How do we respond when we see others receive what we feel should be ours? This is the biggest lesson from Jonathan’s life. Jonathan chose to follow God, even if that meant that he was always second place. And what’s more, he had a wonderful attitude that was a reflection of God while going through this situation. He didn’t allow bitterness to rule in his heart. Are we like Jonathan? We will all face situations that don’t go the way we think they should, but will we have the same response to those situations that Jonathan did? Will we choose love and grace over bitterness and resentment?

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