“And Samuel said to him, ‘The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you this day and has given it to a neighbor of yours, who is better than you.’” (1 Samuel 15:28)
By command of the Lord God, Saul waged war against the Amalekites, a people who had cowardly attacked the people of Israel generations before. The assignment was clear: Saul was to wipe out these people. No one was to remain alive. This was God’s punishment for their cruelty.
Saul obeyed in part, as far as it suited his own plans. But at crucial points he deviated from God’s command: he spared King Agag’s life and kept all the good animals for himself. By doing so, he again showed that he was not unconditionally obedient. And God responded severely. So severely, in fact, that He let the prophet Samuel know, “I regret that I have made Saul king” (1 Samuel 15:11).
Earlier, in 1 Samuel 13:13-14, it had been announced that Saul’s kingship would not last forever. His new act of disobedience was the immediate cause to “tear the kingdom away from him.” God rejected Saul from being king — and with that, Jonathan’s future was also in question.
Jonathan went through many difficult experiences. He watched his father’s downfall and his being left by God. The fate of Jonathan and his family was uncertain because of Saul’s behavior.
In what kind of family did you grow up? Did it offer you stability and love, or was there a lot of turmoil and uncertainty?