Scripture Reading: I Samuel 14:24-46
“Then Jonathan said, ‘My father has troubled the land. See how my eyes have become bright because I tasted a little honey? How much better if the people had eaten freely today of the spoil of their enemies that they found. For now the defeat among the Philistines has not been great.'” (I Samuel 14:29,30)
This is an account of how prideful and foolish Saul could be at times. He placed the people under a rash oath — “And the men of Israel had been hard pressed that day, so Saul had laid an oath on the people, saying, ‘Cursed be the man who eats food until it is evening and I am avenging my enemies'” (v. 24). The oath was about Saul who wanted to be avenged on account of his enemies. He was filled with pride and abused his power. He jeopardized the well being of his people, including his son Jonathan.
Jonathan had not heard about the oath and he violated it by eating some honey he found — “But Jonathan had not heard his father charge the people with the oath, so he put out the tip of the staff that was in his hand and put his hand to his mouth, and his eyes became bright” (v. 27).
The people needed nourishment after the battle with the Philistines. Jonathan recognized how foolish his father had acted. Because of his foolish pride, Saul failed to get a total victory over the Philistines. He put his people at risk and his actions almost cost him the death of his son. The people defended Jonathan and ransomed him from the penalty of death (vs. 45,46).
All of us struggle with pride. All of us act foolishly at times. We must heed God’s warning to us — “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise, but as wise, making the best use of your time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:15-17). Remember that “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6).
Lord God, forgive me for my pride. I think more highly of myself than I should and I fail to live humbly before You and others. I acknowledge the foolish things I do at times. I know that You have called me to a life of humility and service following the example of Your Son Jesus. Give me grace to humble myself under Your mighty hand and to seek Your will above all else.