Facing the Fears

Growing with God: Daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.

1 Samuel 20:1(NIV)
Then David fled from Naioth at Ramah and went to Jonathan and asked, “What have I done? What is my crime? How have I wronged your father, that he is trying to kill me?”

1 Samuel 20:1(MSG)
David got out of Naioth in Ramah alive and went to Jonathan. “What do I do now? What wrong have I inflicted on your father that makes him so determined to kill me?”
“David fled from Naioth in Ramah and he came and said to Jonathan, “What have I done? What is my guilt? What is my sin before (against) your father, that he is seeking my life?” -AMPLIFIED

Chapter 20 of 1 Samuel deals with David facing his fears concerning Saul. Things have gotten a bit complicated for our young shepherd/musician/giant-slayer/warrior/son-in-law to the king. A whole lot has happened in a short time and his position in the king’s employ has continually changed; and drastically. He went from being a favored servant, to now a family member, son-in-law, fleeing for his very life. (Life sometimes throws a few unexpected curve balls.)

In this chapter we will address a few points concerning what to do when facing the fear of the unknown.
1.) David recognized there was a problem.
2.) He sought out help from a trusted friend.
3.) He stuck to his convictions; despite Jonathan’s opinions.
4.) Together they made a plan of action.
5.) They carried through with the plan despite that it meant.

We find David leaving Samuel’s presence; fleeing Saul’s men who had come to kill him. He went to the one person he knew that he could trust in this time of fear and apprehension, Jonathan. David acknowledged that there was an issue between himself and Saul, though I am not sure if he understood what the root of the problem was; pride.

David question Jonathan, “What have I done against your father? What is my offense against him? Why in the world is he trying to kill me?”

Jonathan tried to consul him. He reassures David that he truly has not done anything wrong. But then he fails to see what David has seen; Jonathan does not understand that Saul truly is out to kill David. His response to David was this, “You’ve done nothing wrong. And you’re not going to die. Really, you’re not! My father tells me everything. He does nothing, whether big or little, without confiding in me. So why would he do this behind my back? It can’t be.” -1 Samuel 20:2 (MSG)

Despite what Jonathan’s thought, David’s convictions stayed the same. He had sought consul with Samuel and he had the anointing of the Holy Spirit as well. He was listening to that still, small voice.

David counters Jonathan’s claim with this, “Your father knows that we are the best of friends. So he says to himself, ‘Jonathan must know nothing of this. If he does, he’ll side with David.’ But it’s true—as sure as God lives, and as sure as you’re alive before me right now—he’s determined to kill me.” -1 Samuel 20:3 (MSG)

So together they come up with a plan to get to the root of the truth. “David said, “Tomorrow marks the New Moon. I’m scheduled to eat dinner with the king. Instead, I’ll go hide in the field until the evening of the third. If your father misses me, say, ‘David asked if he could run down to Bethlehem, his hometown, for an anniversary reunion, and worship with his family.’ If he says, ‘Good!’ then I’m safe. But if he gets angry, you’ll know for sure that he’s made up his mind to kill me. Oh, stick with me in this. You’ve entered into a covenant of God with me, remember! If I’m in the wrong, go ahead and kill me yourself. Why bother giving me up to your father?” “Never!” exclaimed Jonathan. “I’d never do that! If I get the slightest hint that my father is fixated on killing you, I’ll tell you.” -1 Samuel 20:5-9 (MSG)

The plan was set. David went and hid while Jonathan went to the dinner celebration. The first day Saul said nothing about David’s absence; thinking that possibly David was unclean and unable to attend. When day two came and once again he was absent from the table Saul addressed Jonathan. “So where’s that son of Jesse? He hasn’t eaten with us either yesterday or today.” -1 Samuel 20:27 (MSG)

Jonathan explained that David was unable to be with them because of a previous commitment. Saul exploded in anger; once again his diabolical plan had been foiled. In a rage he did something that he would have never done if he had kept a calm, cool head; he threw his spear at Jonathan, fully intending to kill his very own son. “Jonathan stormed from the table, furiously angry, and ate nothing the rest of the day, upset for David and smarting under the humiliation from his father.” -1 Samuel 20:34 (MSG)

This reaction from Saul finally convinced Jonathan that his father did indeed plan on killing David if he ever had the chance. Now he knew what he needed to do. He needed to be sure that David was safe. Scripture tells us what happened next:

“In the morning, Jonathan went to the field for the appointment with David. He had his young servant with him. He told the servant, “Run and get the arrows I’m about to shoot.” The boy started running and Jonathan shot an arrow way beyond him. As the boy came to the area where the arrow had been shot, Jonathan yelled out, “Isn’t the arrow farther out?” He yelled again, “Hurry! Quickly! Don’t just stand there!” Jonathan’s servant then picked up the arrow and brought it to his master. The boy, of course, knew nothing of what was going on. Only Jonathan and David knew. Jonathan gave his quiver and bow to the boy and sent him back to town. After the servant was gone, David got up from his hiding place beside the boulder, then fell on his face to the ground—three times prostrating himself! And then they kissed one another and wept, friend over friend, David weeping especially hard. Jonathan said, “Go in peace! The two of us have vowed friendship in God’s name, saying, ‘God will be the bond between me and you, and between my children and your children forever!’” -1 Samuel 20:35-42 (MSG)

At this low point of his life David needed to remember:
* “If God is for us, who can be against us?” -Romans 8:31
* “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” -Joshua 1:9

Let our response be this when we are facing fear:
“I’m not afraid of the devil. He can’t handle the One to whom I’m joined.” ~
A.W. Tozer

My Prayer:
Lord, help me keep my eyes focused on you; not on the things that make me afraid. You have promised to always be with me. You have promised to give me guidance and consul. You have promised that you will be my All-In-All and I am taking you at your WORD! I will not fear; for YOU are my Light and my Salvation! I will take heart, dear Lord!


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