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  • Writer's pictureEast Martin CRC

Burning Anger

1 Samuel 20:30-34

Verse 31 As long as the son of Jesse lives on this earth, neither you nor your kingdom will be established. Now send someone to bring him to me, for he must die!”

Jonathan didn’t have to wait long for his father’s response to David missing the feast of the made up festival. Saul exploded at the thought that the young man had given him the slip yet again. Saul tells his son he is an embarrassment to his mother. Such shaming to show that the king wasn’t even wanting to claim Jonathan at the moment. The king is seething and the anger he normally unloaded at David was now being targeted at his own son. Jonathan was experiencing a hard side effect of vowing friendship to someone his family hated.

Saul is furious that his son doesn’t want for himself the same thing the king wants for him. David’s very existence means the end of Saul’s dynasty and he doesn’t want that to happen but his son seems willing to hand over the entire kingdom to his younger friend. Worse yet Jonathan seems willing to do whatever it takes to help his friend gain the throne away from the king. This adds to Saul’s incredible frustration with his first-born.

Jonathan’s response shows that he sees life differently than his father. Saul has come to understand that life is only valuable as long as it doesn’t interfere with him or his kingdom. When someone or something threatens his kingship or the legacy he is hoping to leave through his son, Jonathan, the king takes care of the threat through war. He wanted those who got in his way put away for good, but his son was idealized and sentimental. Imagine someone willing to give up power, status and growing wealth because they thought a poor friend deserved it more! How he had failed in training his son?

Jonathan on the other hand doesn’t see why anyone should die if they have done nothing wrong and he knows that his friend, David has done nothing that should incite the king’s wrath. The king was looking to save his kingdom but Jonathan knew that to stand with David was to stand for God’s kingdom. Jonathan had wanted to know what his dad thought of David and he got a first-hand experience at the hate his father held toward the young shepherd as his dad threw his spear at him. Finding himself in fierce anger of his own Jonathan does the wise thing and removes himself from the table and fasts for the rest of the festival. The prince didn’t display the same kind of anger as his dad. While Saul was sinful in his anger, Jonathan was showing righteous anger that showed his devotion to the will of God.

Making It Personal

Do you find yourself getting angry about people sinning against you or sinning against God? How do you display your anger? Can anger be God glorifying?

Making It Personal Kids

What makes you mad? How do you treat people when you are mad at them? Would Jesus be happy with how you act when you are mad?

Closing Prayer

Father, we know that too often we are consumed with anger because we feel slighted and yet we forget that we sin against You regularly. Father, give us hearts that desire truth and look to stand for Your name any time an opportunity arises. In Jesus’ name, amen.


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