Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | April 21, 2015

“I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father”

Today’s devotion comes from 1 Samuel Chapter 20.  Here is a link to this chapter –

I quote only the following verses.

“30 Then Saul’s anger burned against Jonathan and he said to him, “You son of a perverse, rebellious woman!  Do I not know that you are choosing the son of Jesse to your own shame and to the shame of your mother’s nakedness?  31 For as long as the son of Jesse lives on the earth, neither you nor your kingdom will be established.  Therefore now, send and bring him to me, for he must surely die.” 32 But Jonathan answered Saul his father and said to him, “Why should he be put to death?  What has he done?”  33 Then Saul hurled his spear at him to strike him down;  so Jonathan knew that his father had decided to put David to death.  34 Then Jonathan arose from the table in fierce anger, and did not eat food on the second day of the new moon, for he was grieved over David because his father had dishonored him.

35 Now it came about in the morning that Jonathan went out into the field for the appointment with David, and a little lad was with him. 36 He said to his lad, “Run, find now the arrows which I am about to shoot.”  As the lad was running, he shot an arrow past him.  37 When the lad reached the place of the arrow which Jonathan had shot, Jonathan called after the lad and said, “Is not the arrow beyond you?” 38 And Jonathan called after the lad, “Hurry, be quick, do not stay!”  And Jonathan’s lad picked up the arrow and came to his master. 39 But the lad was not aware of anything;  only Jonathan and David knew about the matter.  40 Then Jonathan gave his weapons to his lad and said to him, “Go, bring them to the city.”  41 When the lad was gone, David rose from the south side and fell on his face to the ground, and bowed three times.  And they kissed each other and wept together, but David wept the more.  42 Jonathan said to David, “Go in safety, inasmuch as we have sworn to each other in the name of the Lord, saying, ‘The Lord will be between me and you, and between my descendants and your descendants forever.’”  Then he rose and departed, while Jonathan went into the city.”  1 Samuel 20:30-42.


Today’s Scripture shows the determination of Saul to put David to death despite that David had done nothing to deserve it, despite the intercession of Jonathan, Saul’s son, and despite the strong friendship that Jonathan had with David.

Jonathan sided with David.  Jonathan deceived his father and entered a covenant of friendship with his father’s enemy David.  Jonathan loved David more than his father.

Our family may be strongly or subtly pulling us away from Christ.  And, we may find ourselves on the other side, apart from our family, but with Christ.  We find ourselves loving Christ more than our family.

Christ said:  “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth;  I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.  For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;  and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.

“He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me;  and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.”  Matthew 10:34-37.

Some doctrine may portray this as simply a free-will choice.

But, Reformed Doctrine sees the sovereign sword in the hand of Christ in this Scripture and that He came to set a man against his father.

Reformed Doctrine teaches “Irresistible Grace”, the “I” of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation.  “Irresistible Grace” is given to us to draw us to Christ, sometimes with our family, but sometimes away from our family (so to speak, cutting the cord with the sword).


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