1 Samuel: David becomes an outlaw

1 Samuel 20:1–42

Elsewhere in 1 Samuel, we’ve already seen multiple perspectives given to establish a certain plot point.

Not necessarily contradictory stories, but different perspectives shedding light on how things came to be this particular way.

In chapter 19, we saw a couple different pictures of Saul out to get David. Now in chapter 20, we get another view that establishes just how dramatic this conflict is between David and Saul with Jonathan in the middle.

Basically, we see a lot of exposition here setting up this scenario.

This is Jonathan’s story. This is where Jonathan—the son of the king, from a natural and human perspective should be the next king—has to choose sides between his father and his best friend. This is where Jonathan chooses David over and against Saul. This is where he gives us being king for the sake of his friend.

If this isn’t drama, I don’t know what is.

This is a game of politics and power and who will control the nation. King Saul is driven by fear and jealousy.

In the end, David becomes an outlaw. From here until Saul’s death, he’s running for his life.

The biblical writer doesn’t give us an objective view of history. Clearly, we’re lead to believe one of these people is in the right and the other in the wrong. One is an example to follow, the other an example to avoid.

There are plenty of lessons for us here in this complicated relationships. One shows us how poisonous jealousy can be when it seeps the motivations of a leader. Another shows us that sometimes in broken relationships, conflict resolution isn’t always, 100% in our control. Sometimes, like David, we have to walk away from a relationship to prevent further damage.

What else? What other things do you see in the complicated relationship between Saul and David?


About peterjwhite

I am a pastor to college students in Tulsa, OK.
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