When Being Hated is Good
1 Samuel 13:1-5 :
Saul was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned over Israel forty-two years. Saul chose for himself three thousand men of Israel,
of which two thousand were with Saul in Michmash and in the Mount of Bethel, and one thousand were with Jonathan in Gibeah of Benjamin.
He sent the rest of the people to their own tents. Jonathan struck the garrison of the Philistines that was in Geba, and the Philistines heard of it.
Saul blew the trumpet throughout all the land, saying, “Let the Hebrews hear!” All Israel heard that Saul had struck the garrison of the Philistines,
and also that Israel was considered an abomination to the Philistines.
It's difficult to place these events in history based on this passage alone. We know that Jonathan was Saul's son, but since Saul was 30 years of age,
when he started his reign, Jonathan would probably have been either too young to lead an army, or not yet born. These events must have happened some time after the
ones that we just read about. Samuel was old when Saul became king. He must have been very old at this point.
We find out much more, later, about Jonathan. He may have been a model son. He valiantly struck the Philistines, but it may not have been seen
as a good thing to some people. When this happened, it clearly upset the Philistines. Notice that the word "abomination" is used. Israel may not
have liked being an "abomination" to anyone, but, the fact is, they were.
Jesus warned us that if we go through life without any enemies, we should be concerned. Here's what He said:
Luke 6:26 :
Woe, when men speak well of you, for their fathers did the same thing to the false prophets.
In fact, Jesus said we should be happy when we are hated.
Luke 6:22-23 :
Blessed are you when men shall hate you, and when they shall exclude and mock you, and throw out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake.
Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven, for their fathers did the same thing to the prophets.
Notice that Israel was God's choice and they were clearly being hated by the Philistines. We should realize when we are hated
like this, it is similar to Israel. We shouldn't automatically think that we are hated because we are doing something wrong. It is
a good idea to consider the possibility, in case we are not being honest with ourselves, but we should also realize that when we are
acting in obedience to God that we may be being hated for a wrong reason.