February 19

Written by Bill Grandi on February 19th, 2024

“Like father like son.”

“Well…that fruit didn’t far too far from the tree.”

Those are both statements we use when speaking about how much like a father his son is. It could be his actions. It could be the way he thinks. It could be the way he reacts to situations. It could be the way he speaks. It could be his demeanor or even how he treats others.

And here’s the thing: sometimes its a compliment and sometimes it’s a putdown.

In the Old Testament, there is a father and son whose stories are different. The son’s fruit was nothing like his dad’s. If the dad was a peach tree, the son’s fruit was an apple. Strange, I know, but let me explain.

Saul was chosen to be the king and Jonathan was his son. Saul blew it…big time. Not once but twice actually. In I Samuel 13-14 we find the first instance. The Philistines were a thorn in the side of the Israelites. Samuel promised victory but Saul needed to wait 7 days for Samuel to show up and offer a sacrifice. The people of Israel were getting antsy and when Samuel didn’t show up Saul offered the sacrifice himself. That was a no-no. Just as Saul was done offering the sacrifice, Samuel arrived and reamed him out and told him he lost his kingdom (I Sam. 13:14).

Meanwhile, Jonathan and his armor-bearer were doing something phenomenal. They were freeclimbing a cliff to go against the Philistines with Jonathan’s words echoing into the valley: “Perhaps the Lord will help us, for nothing can hinder the Lord. He can win a battle whether he has many warriors or a few.” (14:6).

Jonathan was aware he was next in line to rule the kingdom after Saul’s death. But he also knew David was God’s choice and was to be the next king. Jonathan gladly gave up his “right” and ambition for God’s plan with David.

A great story! And what proof that sometimes fruit falling far from the tree is a good thing.

For another story of Saul’s disobedience and foolishness check out I Samuel 15.  (All Scripture from the New Living Translation).


6 Comments so far ↓

  1. Loved the examples you’ve given here, Bill. Jonathan certainly was the opposite of his father as he sought to place God high above his own interests.

  2. Ryan S. says:

    Good reminder that we need to follow after God’s heart even when our influence growing up may have had a different path. Also good to recognize that even with good intentions and a desire to be good parents, we are all flawed and will make mistakes and sin. As parents and those who others may look up to, it is important to be recognize when we have stepped out of alignment with what God has intended for us and own up to our mistakes or disobedience.
    God forgive me where my influence may have caused others to stagger.
    Thank you for allowing us to make our own decisions and break away from any bad habits or tendencies we may have picked up along the way.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      It is tough being one who follows God’s heart. Your prayer is meaningful Ryan. It means being open to God’s leading.

  3. gail says:

    Good points Bill. I have never figured out exactly how long David was on the run from Saul. I also like the fact that David and Jonathan kept their friendship intake even though all the circumstances around them, would have seemed that it would have ended their friendship. I also love that David took care of Jonathan son, Mephibosheth, and even gave him Saul’s inheritance. David never held a grudge against Saul, or anyone in his family. As the King, David could have revenge if he wanted it. It is another good lesson in grace, mercy, and forgiveness. Loving one another no matter what someone does to you, to still love like Christ.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      You brought up some good points Gail. I especially liked his response to Mephibosheth. I didn’t have enough time or room to delve into more. 🙂 Thanks for adding to the conversation.