Although his father is King and he has a right to believe that he is to ascend to the throne of Israel, it remains the magnificence of Jonathan that he voluntarily abdicates this to his friend David confirming the bonds of friendship between them and willingly stepping back and behind God’s chosen one. Jonathan knew how to subordinate himself. That makes out his true greatness. That is why God’s people commemorate him with laud and praise to God even today. Next to David he seconds himself similarly to John the Baptist does to Jesus Christ.
Whereas Jonathan proves himself astruly great, there his father Saul is sadly diminished. He did not wear the handsome crown of humility. He was not prepared to bow down. He did not understand his son’s way of stepping down gracefully. In the end he was forced down – brutally and evil.
Whoever does not walk the way of humility, sinks down further and further, day by day until at last he is stuck in prideful arrogance and finally perishes in trepidation and distress. Therefore just go forward step by step along the path you are led. Take care of your soul and continue to strive for eternal salvation. Do not worry about this life too much or too much for your body. Do not strive for vain glory from men, but remember that even if all the world forgets you, your heavenly Father will not forget you. Your inheritance is assured in heaven. The death of his saints weighs heavily in the sight of our Lord and he remembers them in eternity.
You o Lord Jesus Christ are more than all your gifts and more than all rewards from your hand. Foremost therefore strengthen in us the desire o Lord to follow you and to do your will. You o Lord Jesus Christ yourself be our ultimate gift, our greatest reward and our eternal joy! Amen.
We fold our hands as evening falls and night is beckoning. You, the one who reigns and has brought us this far. As the moon gently moves across the sky, let us trust your invisible guidance that is safe and sure.
The world is not yet fixed, evil still abounds and the evil one is still on the prowl. O Lord prevent Satan from attaining his goal. Would you want to disinherit us o Lord? Let our people not die, nor our children or theirs.
All and everything be committed into your hands – our daily bread, spouse, children. We are waiting for your peace o Lord – the peace that the world can not give. And if after many nights the last night falls, show us, who are just unworthy servants the way to you still. ((Author is unknown). The translation is rather literal and neither poetic nor hymnal)
(Translation of Wilhelm Löhe’s devotion for Friday after the Sunday Septuagesiame as found on Pg. 101 in Lob sei Dir ewig, o Jesu! (Eternal Praise to you o Jesus!) edited by A. Schuster and puplished in the Freimund Verlag, Neuendettelsau 1949.)