Other comments on this day's readings can be found here.
Reading 1 - 1Sa 20
In 1Sa 20, the situation created by Saul caused the separation
of these two faithful friends. Jonathan chooses affliction with God's beloved
rather than the pleasure of sin for a season (Heb 11:25).
"The friendship of David and Jonathan was based upon the
common experiences of trial in the court of Saul, and a mutual respect and
acceptance of the divine will. Although Jonathan was the king-elect as son of
Saul, he willingly submitted to the divine choice of David as Israel's next
king, and his soul was thereby knit with his great friend in truth and
understanding. David required Jonathan's help in his extremities in the
household of Saul. He was in great danger, and the presence of Saul at Ramah
showed that the king would not respect the presence of Samuel, and therefore
David was not even safe with the prophet. As a member of Saul's household, his
duty was to be present at the feast of the new moon about to take place. But
knowing full well that Saul was determined on his death, David hastened back
before the king to enlist the help of Jonathan. Though Yahweh had promised him
the kingdom, it was still necessary to exercise wisdom to attain it faith,
courage and patience would not lack its reward. Meanwhile the difficulties David
experienced moulded his life, preparing him to assume the exalted position of
Shepherd and Ruler of Israel" (GE Mansfield).
Background: The Spirit of God seems to have temporarily
changed Saul's outlook, so that for a brief time David the fugitive was again
welcome at his table (vv 5,25,27). But David seems to have good reason to doubt
this extended hospitality.
"Jonathan said to David, 'Go in peace, for we have sworn
friendship with each other in the name of the LORD, saying, "The LORD is witness
between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants forever." '
Then David left, and Jonathan went back to the town" (v 42).
"The concluding verse is a wonderful testimony to spiritual
understanding and commitment. Jonathan acknowledges the divine purpose beyond
his own opportunities. The compact would be assured, and ultimately both David
and Jonathan will be united in glory 'forever' " (GEM).
Reading 2 - Isa 64:4
"Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived,
no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for
him" (Isa 64:4).
At the wonders they saw in Sinai, the people removed far off
and hid themselves (Exo 20:18,19).
"Thereafter the divine revelation which Israel refused at
Sinai became the special privilege of those who saw the glory of God in the face
of Jesus Christ. But the wisdom of God in him was shut to Israel's leaders -- '
"Eye did not see, nor did ear hear, what things God prepared for them that love
him." BUT GOD revealed them by His Spirit' (1Co 2:8-10)" (Harry Whittaker,
Reading 3 - Mat 9:38
"Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers
into his harvest field" (Mat 9:38).
Today, if we want additional laborers, we might, among other
things, place an ad in the newspaper in the "Help Wanted" section. If we did the
same thing for disciples of Christ, how would it read?
HEAVY LADEN? SEEKING REST? MY YOKE IS EASY, MY BURDEN IS
HELP WANTED: Master in search of faithful, full-time
assistants. Only serious applicants need apply. Growing company of believers
seeks eager, searching individual for position of disciple.
JOB REQUIREMENTS: Applicant must be faithful, hard working,
dedicated and of high moral character. Also, servant must not quarrel; instead,
he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Must exhibit the
following characteristics: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
POSITION: Many opportunities available depending only upon
skills and desires of applicant. No limitations based on income, social status
or standing, language skills or physical abilities. No high school or college
education required. Former work experience for sin will be cleaned up on first
day on the job.
JOB ENVIRONMENT: Hours are 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
No vacation or holidays. Once the job has begun, applicant must not turn back or
the latter end may be worse than the first. Applicant must be willing to endure
trials. No experience necessary.
TRAINING AND TESTING POLICY: Applicants must be willing to
endure our strenuous training and testing. Will not test beyond what applicant
is able to bear. Plus extensive and inspired training manual provided. Manual is
useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that
the trainee may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
ADVANCEMENT: Advance quickly from hopeless sinner to justified
saint. Not merit based. It is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end
the promise might be sure to all the seed.
DISCRIMINATION POLICY: There is neither Jew nor Greek, there
is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one
in Christ Jesus. No discrimination toward former servants to sin. All welcome.
BENEFITS: Wages -- none. Gift -- priceless. Benefits include
large and loving family, redemption, forgiveness from sins. Unequaled retirement
plan. (Kyle Tucker)