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Tuesday 27 February 2024

The Sins of the Fathers Can Be Devastating


The sins of fathers can be devastating. Israel missed out on a very good king when Jonathan died, and Saul's dynasty crumbled. Jonathan was the rightful heir to the leadership, before God removed the anointing from Saul's house, and would have been a very good king. In fact, in a side by side comparison, Jonathan shows far better qualities as a man and a leader in character, and nobility, than either Saul or David.

We see a great example of the nobility of Jonathan in 1 Samuel 14,

“6 Jonathan said to the young man who carried his armor, “Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised. It may be that the Lord will work for us, for nothing can hinder the Lord from saving by many or by few.” 7 And his armor-bearer said to him, “Do all that is in your heart. Do as you wish. Behold, I am with you heart and soul.” 8 Then Jonathan said, “Behold, we will cross over to the men, and we will show ourselves to them. 9 If they say to us, ‘Wait until we come to you,’ then we will stand still in our place, and we will not go up to them. 10 But if they say, ‘Come up to us,’ then we will go up, for the Lord has given them into our hand. And this shall be the sign to us.” 11 So both of them showed themselves to the garrison of the Philistines. And the Philistines said, “Look, Hebrews are coming out of the holes where they have hidden themselves.” 12 And the men of the garrison hailed Jonathan and his armor-bearer and said, “Come up to us, and we will show you a thing.” And Jonathan said to his armor-bearer, “Come up after me, for the Lord has given them into the hand of Israel.” 13 Then Jonathan climbed up on his hands and feet, and his armor-bearer after him. And they fell before Jonathan, and his armor-bearer killed them after him. 14 And that first strike, which Jonathan and his armor-bearer made, killed about twenty men within as it were half a furrow's length in an acre of land. 15 And there was a panic in the camp, in the field, and among all the people. The garrison and even the raiders trembled, the earth quaked, and it became a very great panic” (1 Sam. 14:6-15).

Jonathan displays bravery and godliness of the highest order in this passage, and he would have built a powerful legacy in Israel, if he had become king.

But Saul destroyed that potential legacy for his son. David's ability probably outshone Jonathan, unlike David, though, he maintained his dignity.  

Jonathan lost his chance of an incredible future because his father destroyed it with his own sins. Jonathan was not held responsible for those sins, but the backwash of Saul's failures destroyed his own son in the process.

The sins of fathers can be devastating.

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