Thursday, June 13, 2013

Jonathan Eating Honey

Tim Challies is doing a "Reading Classics Together" where all his readers read a book by Thomas Brooks about Remedies against devices Satan uses to trap people.  I am definitely reading it.  I will likely not comment much.  Today, I will bring up something that I do not think Brooks treats accurately.

In 1 Samuel 14, Jonathan and his father, King Saul, and their army were fighting the Philistines.  Jonathan and his armor bearer had separated from the rest of the group.  While they were gone, Saul made a foolish oath that nobody any the army would eat any food until they defeated the Philistines.  If they ate, they would die.

Jonathan and his armor bearer did not hear this oath, saw some honey, ate it, and gained enough strength to defeat the Philistines, saving the whole army.  Saul and the army discovered this, but decided that Jonathan would not die because he saved their army.  Saul, however, did make an oath that Jonathan would die.  They were both killed in battle while fighting the Philistines. 

Thomas Brooks sees Jonathan's lapse as a sin.  Jonathan had constructive knowledge of his father's oath, but he had no actual knowledge.  Brooks should not hold him accountable for eating what he did not know was forbidden.  The major perpetrator in this account is Saul himself.  Saul who likes to make vows and sacrifices to display his piety.  Saul who disobeyed Samuel and kept King Agag alive when he was told to kill all the Amalekites.  And to show the power of rash words, Saul is the reason Jonathan died in battle many years later.  Jonathan was a victim.  He did not sin in this regard.

No comments:

Post a Comment