Standing Up the King
1 Samuel 20:24-29
Verse 27 But the next day, the second day of the month, David’s place was empty again. Then Saul said to his son Jonathan, “Why hasn’t the son of Jesse come to the meal, either yesterday or today?”
The festival is starting and the feast is prepared. The king takes his seat against the wall and Jonathan takes his seat opposite his dad. They are joined by Abner who was a cousin to Saul and a commander in his army. Abner is the one who was with Saul watching David go up against Goliath. They each had taken their appointed seats but there remains a chair that is empty, David’s.
Let’s pause for a minute to talk about the New Moon festival. This was a holiday that the Israelites celebrated monthly which was not instituted by God. It was a time of feasting to celebrate new beginnings at the start of each new month following the Jewish calendar which cycles with the phases of the moon. Both fasting and mourning were forbidden on this festival day. Further proof of this being a man-made festival is made in Isaiah 1:13-14 where God says the holidays are worthless, He despises them and finds them to be a burden.
It is this setting that we find the king, Jonathan and Abner joining in together with David’s empty chair. The fact that Saul thinks that David may have made himself unclean for this festival shows just how dedicated they were to their religious practices. That should give us pause to think about David who was indeed skipping the festival because he was hiding in the field. David seems to know the origins of the celebration were not from God’s commands and so it doesn’t require obeying. Once again David is revealing that his dedication to God is wholly that, a surrendered heart to God and His ways with no desire to take on more than God had set out for His people.
We notice a little softening to Saul in the fact that the first day he gave David the benefit of the doubt but when the second day rolled around and David was still missing he demanded to know why his son-in-law was absent. The fact that Saul doesn’t use David’s name shows the level of his anger at what he sees as a slight from the young man who is already on his last nerve. Jonathan gives the lie that David had come up with to test the king’s true feelings for his son’s best friend. Jonathan was about to find out what was going to become of his friendship with his dear friend, David.
Making It Personal
What are some things which have become popular in the modern church that are not designed by God? Are there things in your life which you participate in hoping to please God that are actually going against Him? How important is pleasing God to you and how do you implement that in your life?
Making It Personal Kids
What are some things that Jesus said are important as ways to worship Him? Are there things He doesn’t want you to do as a way of worshiping Him? How can you worship Him today?
Father, forgive us for adding things to Your law and regulations. We confess that at times we make worship of You what pleases us instead of what pleases You. Give us hearts that will seek and worship You the way You have commanded us to. In Jesus’ name, amen.