“Jonathan told him, ‘I tasted a little honey with the tip of the staff that was in my hand. Here I am; I will die.’ And Saul said, ‘God do so to me and more also; you shall surely die, Jonathan.’” (1 Samuel 14:43-44)
After Jonathan’s successful attack on the Philistine outpost, there was great confusion among the Philistines. They were routed and pursued by the Israelites. Saul wanted to take full advantage of this opportunity to defeat the Philistines. Therefore, he ordered that his soldiers must continue their pursuit uninterrupted. They were not even allowed to pause for a moment to eat something: “Cursed be the man who eats food until it is evening and I am avenged on my enemies” (1 Samuel 14:24). This was a foolish command. The people were faint from hunger, which gave many Philistines the opportunity to escape.
Jonathan had not heard his father’s command and had eaten some honey along the way. When that came to light, his father Saul knew no mercy. Jonathan had disobeyed the royal command and in doing so had brought the curse upon himself. He had to die.
Fortunately, Saul’s soldiers put a stop to this. They owed much to Jonathan’s bravery and refused to kill him because of Saul’s foolish command. Jonathan’s life was saved in the nick of time.
Have you ever been in danger because of the thoughtlessness of others? How has that affected your relationship with them and your life in general?