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Living in Shades of Gray

1 Samuel 19:1-7 

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"Now Saul told Jonathan his son and all his servants to put David to death. But Jonathan, Saul's son, greatly delighted in David. [2] So Jonathan told David saying, ‘Saul my father is seeking to put you to death. Now therefore, please be on guard in the morning, and stay in a secret place and hide yourself. [3] And I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where you are, and I will speak with my father about you; if I find out anything, then I shall tell you.' [4] Then Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father, and said to him, ‘Do not let the king sin against his servant David, since he has not sinned against you, and since his deeds have been very beneficial to you. [5] For he took his life in his hand and struck the Philistine, and the Lord brought about a great deliverance for all Israel; you saw it and rejoiced. Why then will you sin against innocent blood, by putting David to death without a cause?' [6] And Saul listened to the voice of Jonathan, and Saul vowed, ‘As the Lord lives, he shall not be put to death.' [7] Then Jonathan called David, and Jonathan told him all these words. And Jonathan brought David to Saul, and he was in his presence as formerly." 

King Saul told his son Jonathan, along with Saul's servants, to put David to death.

Pop quiz: Should you always obey those in authority over you? 

Romans 13:1-2 says, "Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. [2] Therefore he who resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves." (NASB) This verse is fairly black and white. Authority comes from God. He has established it and to disobey someone in authority is to disobey God, which will result in being punished by God. Peter makes it equally clear in 1 Peter 2:13, "Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority," (NASB) Peter says, "every human institution." That is crystal clear, isn't, we are to obey authority. 

More specific to Jonathan's case, Deut. 21:18-21 says, "If any man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey his father or his mother, and when they chastise him, he will not even listen to them, [19] then his father and mother shall seize him, and bring him out to the elders of his city at the gateway of his home town. [20] And they shall say to the elders of his city, 'This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey us, he is a glutton and a drunkard.' [21] Then all the men of his city shall stone him to death; so you shall remove the evil from your midst, and all Israel shall hear of it and fear." The law requires a stiff penalty for rebellion–death. Why such a serious consequence? Because rebellion is a serious matter. 1 Samuel 15:23 says, "For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry." (KJV)

Pretty black and white, right? Do what you are told and don't ask questions. Then why didn't Jonathan do what he was told? Did he let his friendship with David get in the way of doing what his King–his Father told him to do? Or did Jonathan do right by disobeying what his father told him regardless of what Deut. 21:18-21said?

Sometimes life is lived in a black and white world, but other times we live in shades of gray and we have to decide between two right things to do that are contradictory. Yes it is right to obey your father, but it is also right not to kill an innocent person. Jonathan had to decide which was MOST RIGHT. Jonathan decided that in his gray world, the most right thing to do would, out of loyalty to his father and his friend, talk to his father on behalf of his friend. Jonathan didn't practice "people-pleasing" here. He told his father Thank you for reading the free preview of this sermon.  The full manuscript is available to Premium Members use these resources in their ministry.
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