1 Samuel 17:17, 18
And Jesse said to David his son, Take now for your brothers an ephah of this parched corn, and these ten loaves…
Family life occupies a prominent place in the Books of Samuel, and the affectionate concern of parents for their children is often mentioned (see 1 Samuel 2:24; 1 Samuel 10:2). Jesse, who, in consequence of his advanced age (ver. 12), was himself unable to go against the Philistines, had his three elder sons in the army of Israel; and after they had been absent for some weeks, sent their youngest brother with provisions for their need, to make inquiries about their welfare, and "take their token," by which he might be assured thereof. Such solicitude as he displayed is -
1. Arising out of the instinctive affection which is felt by parents.
2. Continuing throughout the whole of life.
3. Commended by the heavenly Father, who puts it into the heart; and often illustrated, directed, and regulated by the teachings of his word (Genesis 18:19; Genesis 22:2; 2 Samuel 18:33; Ephesians 6:4; 1 Timothy 5:8).
1. Of the distance of children from home, and of their deprivation of parental oversight, counsel, and restraint.
2. Of their need: temporal, spiritual, and eternal.
3. Of their peril: from their own tendencies, their intimate associations, and their open enemies.
III. PRACTICAL. Expressed -
1. In sending them presents of that which is best adapted to their wants.
2. By the hand of a brother (Genesis 37:14; Genesis 43:11).
3. With the request of a token of affectionate regard for the gratification of a heart that desires and seeks their happiness.
IV. ILLUSTRATIVE of "the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man" (Titus 2:4). The relation of an earthly father to his children is a shadow of that of the heavenly Father to men; it was doubtless appointed from the first to be such, and the loving care which arises out of it is, in comparison with that of the "Father of spirits," only as a ray of light compared with the sun. This also is -
1. Natural and spontaneous, for "God is love."
2. Considerate (Psalm 103:13, 14). "In thee the fatherless findeth mercy (Hosea 14:3).
3. Practical. "I have loved you, saith the Lord," etc. (Malachi 1:2; Matthew 7:11; John 3:16). Exhortation: -
1. To parents. Let your kindness to your children be such as accords with that of your heavenly Father to you, and as affords a true image of it.
2. To children. Show kindness to your parents in return for their kindness to you (1 Samuel 22:3), as your heavenly Father requires.
3. To all. "If I be a father, where is mine honour?" (Malachi 1:6). - D.
Parallel VersesKJV: And Jesse said unto David his son, Take now for thy brethren an ephah of this parched corn, and these ten loaves, and run to the camp to thy brethren;