When the Truth is Difficult
1 Samuel 20:1-11
1Then David fled from Naioth in Ramah and came and said before Jonathan, “What have I done? What is my guilt? And what is my sin before your father, that he seeks my life?” 2And he said to him, “Far from it! You shall not die. Behold, my father does nothing either great or small without disclosing it to me. And why should my father hide this from me? It is not so.” 3But David vowed again, saying, “Your father knows well that I have found favor in your eyes, and he thinks, ‘Do not let Jonathan know this, lest he be grieved.’ But truly, as the Lord lives and as your soul lives, there is but a step between me and death.” 4Then Jonathan said to David, “Whatever you say, I will do for you.” 5David said to Jonathan, “Behold, tomorrow is the new moon, and I should not fail to sit at table with the king. But let me go, that I may hide myself in the field till the third day at evening. 6If your father misses me at all, then say, ‘David earnestly asked leave of me to run to Bethlehem his city, for there is a yearly sacrifice there for all the clan.’ 7If he says, ‘Good!’ it will be well with your servant, but if he is angry, then know that harm is determined by him. 8Therefore deal kindly with your servant, for you have brought your servant into a covenant of the Lord with you. But if there is guilt in me, kill me yourself, for why should you bring me to your father?” 9And Jonathan said, “Far be it from you! If I knew that it was determined by my father that harm should come to you, would I not tell you?” 10Then David said to Jonathan, “Who will tell me if your father answers you roughly?” 11And Jonathan said to David, “Come, let us go out into the field.” So they both went out into the field.
In the last chapter, Saul’s daughter, Michal, stands directly between David and the man who want to kill him – her father. Now, David’s best friend must face a similar circumstance. Despite all the times that Saul has attempted to kill David, Jonathan just doesn’t want to believe that his father could be this hateful. “It is not so.” That is Jonathan’s response to David’s charge that Saul wants him dead.
Sometimes the truth hurts. We don’t want something to be true, so it’s not. Wouldn’t that make for an even more chaotic world than we already live in today. David’s charge is true, and Jonathan needs to wrap his head around it, for God will use him to save David’s life, just as Michael did – both in defiance of their father, the king.
There are times when we are forced to do a ‘gut-check’. Are we hearing the truth, or is someone trying to spin our perceptions? Jonathan doesn’t want to believe his father has evil intentions, but he is open to learning the truth and that is the scenario that David sets up for the two of them. At least Jonathan is willing to listen, even if he doesn’t like what he hears. We have the gift of the Holy Spirit, and if allowed, He will share God’s truth with us as long as we don’t drown out His voice with the noise of the world or our own flesh. The devil also wants us to believe falsehoods, but he need not be given a voice either. Jonathan may be dismayed by the actions of his father, but he will not dig in and refuse to hear the truth. Can we say that?