Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place

(Today's post by Brandon Daniel)

1 Samuel 20:1-21:9

​This is where we find Jonathan in this passage. He’s caught between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand he has his father, the King of Israel, whom he loves and has sworn to stand beside. On the other he has David, his best friend, the person he trusts, loves, and has seen the Lord’s hand on. No one likes to be caught between to people you love and care about. It often seems as if there is no good solution. We often feel the need to choose sides or end relationships when we find ourselves in these situations. Jonathan surely could have done this. He had options. He could have sided only with his father, protecting his right to the throne, and let David be killed by Saul. Or, he could have turned his back on his father (the gravest of sins in Hebrew culture) and fled with David. He could have fulfilled only his earthly duty to his father and ignored what was just, or broken the law, that he fights to protect, in order to follow what was just. Either decision would have been incomplete. Rock. Hard place.

​Thankfully for us, Jonathan does neither. He hears David’s side of the story. He doesn’t completely dismiss, but he also doesn’t blindly believe. He searches out the truth for himself, even at great risk to his own life! He then chooses to live in the messy middle. He stands up for his friend and for what is just, protects an innocent life, but still stands beside his father. That’s not an easy choice to make. It’s always easier to pick sides, but that doesn’t always make it right. Jonathan chooses to do right by both of these men he cares for…and it teaches all of us something today!

​Relationships are messy. Choose to live in that messiness. Don’t always feel the need to choose sides. Discover the truth, work towards resolution, stand for what is right. But never feel like the answer has to be one or the other. Do right by both people. Live in the tension. Act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly. Be willing, even if it means sacrificing what is comfortable and easy, to do what is right by ALL in a given situation. When we choose to do this, Satan has a hard time being able to divide. Let’s not give the foothold. Let’s get comfortable between the rock and the hard place.

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