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Immerse: Kingdoms - Week 4

The Hate Triangle 

It’s a strange time to honor God in our relationships. Everywhere I look there are disagreements infecting our community like the very issues (dare I say, VIRUS) we are disagreeing about. The very issues which are meant to inspire unity among all people are driving us apart. The world, simultaneously separated by a virus and unified by technology, and the tools we have had placed in our hands which were meant to connect us are causing more and more separation with every letter typed.

Our Immerse: Kingdoms reading this week took us to the story of David, Jonathan, and Saul in 1 Samuel 20 and 24. For the purpose of this post, I’m calling it the “Hate Triangle.” It’s the three-way relationship between God’s current anointed king, his son, and the next king of Israel. Here’s how it goes: Saul is jealous of David, who has been chosen by God to succeed Saul in the kingship of Israel. David is best friends (by covenant relationship, at that) with Saul’s son Jonathan. And Jonathan is caught in the middle of the drama between his father and his best friend. I don’t think many of us have to imagine what that’s like… I think you and I are living similar scenarios right now.

Let’s draw our focus just for a moment to the three people in the story. Anytime I read Scripture I try to approach stories like this one with a willingness to hear God talking to me as if I was one of those characters. How do I honor God after hearing this story? What moral failings do I share with David, Saul, or Jonathan? What strengths can I draw from their actions to love one another? What can I do to prevent the cycle of hate from continuing as a direct result of my behavior?

Am I a “Saul,” prone to jealousy?
Am I a “David,” put in a situation where I have to live out “pray for those who persecute you?” (Matthew 5)
Am I a “Jonathan,” charged with being a peacekeeper and a mediator between those I love dearly?

My charge to you as you read this week is this: Be mindful of your relationships with each other. That’s it. I don’t know about you, but I look at the character of Saul and how he broke relationships with some important people simply because he wanted to control an outcome which was out of his hands anyway.

My prayer for you as you read is this: That you are able to navigate your relationships with one another in a way that is honoring to the Lord. That we may all lean a little more toward the kind of mercy David had for Saul and pursue relationships as fiercely as David and Jonathan.