Now take Jonathan. Even he can be involved at last in the awful tragedy of compromise. It is one of the saddest stories.
We all want
to shed tears when we read David's lament over Jonathan.
We remember the beginnings of the relationship between
David and Jonathan, how their souls were knit together.
Their story is always being taken as a kind of classic
and model of friendship, and yet even there...there were
divided loyalties in the case of Jonathan - loyalty to
the realm of nature, to his father after the flesh,
straining against his loyalty to David, and causing him
to be a divided personality.
When he is with his father,
his heart is with David. When he is with David, he feels
the pull of duty to his father. He is a divided man. What
a problem divided loyalties present!
Jonathan must have
known all about that Amalek episode and what Samuel did;
that in the Divine intent the kingdom was then taken from
Saul and passed to David; that the Lord forsook Saul and
was no longer with him.
He may have known of the
consultation with the witch, the touching of that realm
forbidden so strongly by the Lord. And yet, on natural
grounds of some kind, Jonathan did not break with that
whole system of things.
What a different story might have
been told if he had taken sides wholly with David and
been David's right hand man for the kingdom!
divided loyalty involved him in the ultimate tragedy.
even good people who have been blessed of the Lord, to
whom He has shown His favor and whom He has used very
greatly, may in the end be involved in spiritual tragedy
if for some reason compromise has entered in.
It may have
come in because of policy. What a snare policy is! We
tell ourselves we must be very careful that we do not do
this or that because it may have such and such a result.
It is all policy and diplomacy. 'We must be careful to
avoid...' - what? just what we seek to avoid betrays the
Are we afraid of losing prestige with men, support, friends, position, opportunity?
Do these things
weigh with us as over against implicit obedience to the
If so, there is divided loyalty; and if we allow
it, we may at the end pass into terrible tragedy; the
tragedy that always follows compromise.
~T. Austin Sparks~