and he shall strengthen thine heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD.
- Psalm 27:14
As we look back on our lives, we note various milestones that mark the progressive steps of our life here on this earth.. Most of us remember our first job, our confirmation, our first car, our graduation from high school or college, our marriage, our first child, our first grandchild and so on. These are all points in our lives that are happy memories.
But we also remember the not so happy times of our lives, for along with the good memories in life come those things which bring sadness and pain into our heart as we remember. For some of us have experienced various types of losses, such as loss of a spouse, loss of a child, loss of a grandchild, loss of our health, loss of our job, loss of a marriage, loss of a friendship, loss of a church family, loss of a business, and so on. In life we have hopes and dreams, some of which we never achieve, but others that we do achieve but then may have been removed from us. Others are yet seeking their dreams.
In our second sermon in our series on the life of David, we will see how valuable it was for him to have a friend so that he would not have to journey through the trials and challenges of life alone.. As we take note of the relationship of love that was between David and Jonathon, King Saul's son, may we anew appreciate the benefits and blessings that are ours from having true friends.
May the Lord grant us open hearts before His Word today so that we may be encouraged, instructed and inspired from the friendship role model of David and Jonathon.
We have met David before, but now we will meet Jonathon and to do that we read the first place that he is mentioned in the Bible.
1 Samuel 14:6 And Jonathan said to the young man that bare his armour, Come, and let us go over unto the garrison of these uncircumcised: it may be that the LORD will work for us: for there is no restraint to the LORD to save by many or by few.
From our first meeting with Jonathon, we see that early on Jonathon knew God in the same way that David did, for He trusted in the Living God of the armies of Israel and not in his own strength. Taking only his armor bearer with him, who was very willing to go, they went down and killed 20 Philistines by themselves. Through the reaction of the Philistines, they had determined whether they would attack the Philistines or whether they would wait for them to come to them. When the sign pointed to attack, Jonathon told his armor bearer, "Come up after me: for the Lord has delivered them into the hand of Israel." We note that he did not say, "The Lord has delivered them into our hands," for Jonathon understood the corporate nature of the union of Israel and the Living God.
After Jonathon and his armour bearer killed the twenty men, the garrison of Philistines and their raiders were afraid, and then the Lord sent an earthquake that really caused them the Philistines to fear to the point that in their fear they began to turn against themselves and soon dispersed from the scene. All this Saul's sentries observed, not knowing who was instrumental in initiating the destruction. Saul had his people to an accounting to see who was missing and it was found out that it was Jonathon and his armor bearer. He then did a strange thing: He called for the Ark of God. Saul got courage to go into the battle, came to it with his men, saw the Philistines destroying each other, Hebrews that had gone to the side of the Philistines now were fighting for the Israelites, the Hebrews had been hiding in the caves now had courage to come out of hiding to fight. And so the Lord delivered Israel that day, and through the battle that was initiated by Jonathon. He was a leader.
The people were told not to eat of the honey in the woods, but Jonathon had not been there to hear him say it. So when Jonathon came to some honey, he ate some, his eyes became bright (enlightened) and the people then told him that Saul had forbid them from eating it, sealing that command with an oath which meant that if one disobeyed him that they would be killed. And boy where they famished. To this Jonathon said that how much stronger you would have been in your battle if you could have eaten honey! We here see the compassion of Jonathon for his people.
The people were so hungry that they began to eat of the spoils of the victory and in so doing went against the law of the Lord, by eating blood. When Saul heard about it, he had each person bring his own oxen to kill so as to obey the law of the Lord by not eating blood. He then told them that they were going to go to finish off the Philistines, and after that inquired of the Lord, but "the Lord did not answer him that day." Saul, knowing that there was sin in the camp, for he must have remembed Joshua's situation with Achan, called a meeting to determine who had sinned in the camp. (He was blind to his own sin and getting blinder to it)
He went so far as to say that even if it was his son who was guilty, he would have to die.
After he said this, not one of the people pointed to Jonathon as the culprit. Wow.
The meeting came together and the lot was put before the Lord, however this was done. The lot separated two people from the rest. The people were not guilty, but only two remained as the possibilities: Saul and his son Jonathon. Then Saul, instead of now seeing his guilt, told them to cast the lots again. This time it pointed to.......Jonathon.
His father asked Jonathon as to what he had done and Jonathon told him that he had tasted a little honey, and recognized that for that he must die. Saul agreed that he must and he pronounced death on his son, sealing it with an oath. How blind Saul was at this point!!
He was going to kill his own son for eating honey, for eating food. Saul no longer saw things clearly....so his son must die for eating a little bit of honey.
But the people jumped into save Jonathon´s life, telling Saul that how can you kill your son when he was the one who won the victory over the Philistines? The people prevailed over Saul and Jonathon did not die. Saul left off this battle as the people dispersed, Saul continued to war against other nations, winning victory after victory.
Saul had five children, Jonathon, Ishui, Melchishua, Merab and Michal. (3 boys and 2 girls)
His general was Abner, who was the son of Ner, Saul´s uncle. So Saul´s general was his nephew. Saul was on the lookout for good men, so when he saw a brave one, he enlisted them into his army.
Jonathon is not mentioned in from chapters 15 through 17. The next mention is at the beginning of chapter 18, which is after David´s victory over Goliath, the Dwarf. That was the first time that the Bible mentions that they saw each other in person.....
KJV 1 Samuel 18:1 And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.
KJV 1 Samuel 18:2 And Saul took him that day, and would let him go no more home to his father's house.
We could say that it was love at first sight perhaps, but more importantly putting the two verses together, we see something different. Saul probably was not looking at how good it would be for his son Jonathon to have a good friend like David, but he was most likely looking out for his own interests. Here was another good warrior to add to his army. But God had other plans....
Jonathon and David made a covenant, an agreement, a commitment, because Jonathon loved David like his very own self. Jonathon stripped himself of his robe, gave it to David, his garments, his sword, bow and his girdle. What did Jonathon know about what was coming up in the future? How could he at this point?
Meanwhile, Saul, recognizing that a good man made him look good, put David in charge of many men. All the people, including Saul´s servants liked what was happening. But a storm was brewing...as we shall see. For when the victors came back from the victory over the Dwarf Goliath, this is what happened.
KJV 1 Samuel 18:6 And it came to pass as they came, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women came out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of musick.
KJV 1 Samuel 18:7 And the women answered one another as they played, and said, Saul hath slain his thousands...
It all started out fine, the king was coming back from his people´s victory through David, to meet the king who was at that point rejoicing in the deliverance, David was now one of his top lieutenants, the women were praising the name of Saul.........but wait, there was more to come.
...and David his ten thousands.
KJV 1 Samuel 18:8 And Saul was very wroth, and the saying displeased him; and he said, They have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed but thousands: and what can he have more but the kingdom?
KJV 1 Samuel 18:9 And Saul eyed David (suspiciously) from that day and forward.
This is a significant point in the life of Saul. He had started out by being placed as the first king of Israel, but had disobeyed the Lord, and now was trying to rule under his own wisdom and ability. Oh, for sure he was yet leading his people, seeking God´s direction, but the Lord was not speaking to hiim anymore through the priest. He did not know that he was blind, but now his true colors are revealed by the Scriptures as he is faced with the success of David, the praise of the people for David, and, looking at things through his selfish and self serving eyes, comes up wanting. His heart of selfishness now begins to reveal itself in jealousy. Once he loved the praises of the people when he was the only one being praised, but now that there was another and he was the lessor, he from that day on wanted to remove the threat to his kingdom. The jealousy quickly escalated to action as we see in this verse.
KJV 1 Samuel 18:10 And it came to pass on the morrow, that the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied in the midst of the house: and David played with his hand, as at other times: and there was a javelin in Saul's hand.
KJV 1 Samuel 18:11 And Saul cast the javelin; for he said, I will smite David even to the wall with it. And David avoided out of his presence twice.
KJV 1 Samuel 18:12 And Saul was afraid of David, because the LORD was with him, and was departed from Saul.
David is back at Saul´s house playing the harp for him, as the evil spirit had come upon Saul again, and having a javelin in his hand, we here Saul say "I told himself that I will kill David by pinning to the wall with it." He did that twice. The Scripture says that Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with him, and was departed from Saul.
KJV 1 Samuel 18:13 Therefore Saul removed him from him, and made him his captain over a thousand; and he went out and came in before the people.
Saul could not kill David, so he did something else. He sent him out of sight into the war arena where he could not be a threat to his popularity so that he, Saul, could go in and out in front of the people. Wow, what a lesson this is for me......How did David respond to being sent out of the spotlight and limelight?
KJV 1 Samuel 18:14 And David behaved himself wisely in all his ways; and the LORD was with him.
KJV 1 Samuel 18:15 Wherefore when Saul saw that he behaved himself very wisely, he was afraid of him.
He behaved wisely towards God in all his ways, and the Lord was with him. How did Saul respond to this? He was afraid, and we might say, even more afraid of him.
KJV 1 Samuel 18:16 But all Israel and Judah loved David, because he went out and came in before them.
David´s popularity was throughout the land, because he went out and came in before them. The difference between David and Saul is seen here in that Saul loved himself while the people loved David. David did not seek his feeling of security from people´s praises, but they were given anyway. He simply honored his position as a servant to the king, not lifting himself up to any other office that was not given to him by the king and thereby by the Lord. He honored the king and in so doing, honored God..
Saul, gripped by his jealous spirit, in what appeared outwardly good, offered David his oldest daughter for his wife if he would be brave for him and fight the Lord´s battles.
KJV 1 Samuel 18:17 And Saul said to David, Behold my elder daughter Merab, her will I give thee to wife: only be thou valiant for me, and fight the LORD'S battles. For Saul said, Let not mine hand be upon him, but let the hand of the Philistines be upon him.
The last sentence must be taken as Saul saying these things to himself and not out loud, and it betrays the mind set that had a hold of Saul. It still rings true today that the sinful flesh of man thinks that no one will do anything out of the kindness of their heart simply because it is the right thing to do. Saul would give something to David and David would be obligated to return something for what which he was given, and Saul would use this returned favor by David to set a trap so that David would be killed by the Philistines.
Wow, Saul will stop at nothing to feed his jealousy, for he will use even one of his own daughters to accomplish his goal of eliminating the threat to his popularity, to his power, and to his exclusive rule as King of Israel. God had rejected him, but he was not going to go down without a fight.
KJV 1 Samuel 18:18 And David said unto Saul, Who am I? and what is my life, or my father's family in Israel, that I should be son in law to the king?
David, a humble young man, asked some questions which reflected at this point in his life not only his humility before the Lord and before man, but also of the ignorance of the debase and sinful nature of fallen mankind. He did not see any sinister motives in Saul, even though Saul already had tried to kill him....Yes, he was a humble young man.. Wow.....
KJV 1 Samuel 18:19 But it came to pass at the time when Merab Saul's daughter should have been given to David, that she was given unto Adriel the Meholathite to wife.
But Saul did not follow through, giving his oldest daughter Merab to another man.....Wow, that must have confused David....But Michal, the other daughter loved David...and Saul seized that opportunity....
20 And Michal Saul's daughter loved David: and they told Saul, and the thing pleased him.
21 And Saul said, I will give him her, that she may be a snare to him, and that the hand of the Philistines may be against him. Wherefore Saul said to David, Thou shalt this day be my son in law in the one of the twain.
22 And Saul commanded his servants, saying, Commune with David secretly, and say, Behold, the king hath delight in thee, and all his servants love thee: now therefore be the king's son in law.
23 And Saul's servants spake those words in the ears of David. And David said, Seemeth it to you a light thing to be a king's son in law, seeing that I am a poor man, and lightly esteemed?
24 And the servants of Saul told him, saying, On this manner spake David.
25 And Saul said, Thus shall ye say to David, The king desireth not any dowry, but an hundred foreskins of the Philistines, to be avenged of the king's enemies. But Saul thought to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines.
26 And when his servants told David these words, it pleased David well to be the king's son in law: and the days were not expired.
27 Wherefore David arose and went, he and his men, and slew of the Philistines two hundred men; and David brought their foreskins, and they gave them in full tale to the king, that he might be the king's son in law. And Saul gave him Michal his daughter to wife.
Saul now used his servants, who loved David, to put forth a plan to get David to marry his daughter, Michal, but not before he would return with the dowry off of the bodies of the Philistines. David did so, but came back with twice as much as had been required by his future father in law. The last sentence of verse 27 simply says: And Saul gave him Michal his daughter to wife." His plan again had failed, as the Lord was with David, and Saul knew it.....it caused him to fear David and he became David´s enemy with no break in his enmity against the one who was a threat to everything he thought he was.....
28 And Saul saw and knew that the LORD was with David, and that Michal Saul's daughter loved him.
29 And Saul was yet the more afraid of David; and Saul became David's enemy continually.
30 Then the princes of the Philistines went forth: and it came to pass, after they went forth, that David behaved himself more wisely than all the servants of Saul; so that his name was much set by.
KJV 1 Samuel 19:1 And Saul spake to Jonathan his son, and to all his servants, that they should kill David.
2 But Jonathan Saul's son delighted much in David: and Jonathan told David, saying, Saul my father seeketh to kill thee: now therefore, I pray thee, take heed to thyself until the morning, and abide in a secret place, and hide thyself:
3 And I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where thou art, and I will commune with my father of thee; and what I see, that I will tell thee.
4 And Jonathan spake good of David unto Saul his father, and said unto him, Let not the king sin against his servant, against David; because he hath not sinned against thee, and because his works have been to thee-ward very good:
5 For he did put his life in his hand, and slew the Philistine, and the LORD wrought a great salvation for all Israel: thou sawest it, and didst rejoice: wherefore then wilt thou sin against innocent blood, to slay David without a cause?
6 And Saul hearkened unto the voice of Jonathan: and Saul sware, As the LORD liveth, he shall not be slain.
When jealousy rules a man´s heart, even´s one family is not left out. We see already that Saul had used his daughter to try to kill David, unbeknownst to her, but now he tells Jonathon that they should kill David, and all this is happening in his own home. But Jonathon delighted in David and went to tell David of his father´s statement. Jonathon then went to reason with his father and Saul ¨hearkened unto the voice of Jonathon." But Saul's statement backed by a vow to God was not lived out...for the evil spirit came upon David as he played the harp for Saul.
8 And there was war again: and David went out, and fought with the Philistines, and slew them with a great slaughter; and they fled from him.
9 And the evil spirit from the LORD was upon Saul, as he sat in his house with his javelin in his hand: and David played with his hand.
10 And Saul sought to smite David even to the wall with the javelin; but he slipped away out of Saul's presence, and he smote the javelin into the wall: and David fled, and escaped that night.
11 Saul also sent messengers unto David's house, to watch him, and to slay him in the morning: and Michal David's wife told him, saying, If thou save not thy life to night, to morrow thou shalt be slain.
Saul, rather than thanking David for his leadership in winning the battle against the enemy, was threatened by his success, and so David was before him playing his harp in order to alleviate his morose mood. Saul again flung the spear at David in order to kill him. David got away, went to his house, but Saul now with no restraints on his efforts to kill David sets a watch up on David´s house for the night, intending to finish him off in the morning, But God is with David....and now Michal, Saul´s own daughter steps in to preserve the life of God´s anointed King of Israel, an action for which Saul railed against his own daughter. Michal was not intimidated by her father..
12 So Michal let David down through a window: and he went, and fled, and escaped.
13 And Michal took an image, and laid it in the bed, and put a pillow of goats' hair for his bolster, and covered it with a cloth.
14 And when Saul sent messengers to take David, she said, He is sick.
15 And Saul sent the messengers again to see David, saying, Bring him up to me in the bed, that I may slay him.
16 And when the messengers were come in, behold, there was an image in the bed, with a pillow of goats' hair for his bolster.
17 And Saul said unto Michal, Why hast thou deceived me so, and sent away mine enemy, that he is escaped? And Michal answered Saul, He said unto me, Let me go; why should I kill thee?
David went to Samuel and poured out his heart, telling him all the things that Saul had done to him.
18 So David fled, and escaped, and came to Samuel to Ramah, and told him all that Saul had done to him. And he and Samuel went and dwelt in Naioth.
What relief this must have been for David, to flee to the arms of Samuel the aged Prophet of Israel. Samuel understood the outcome of all of this, for he had anointed David to be the next King of Israel, knowing that the Lord had rejected Saul and it was a matter of time before that which the Lord had decreed would come to pass. But David, running for his life was not able to see this as of yet, and so he fled to the refuge of the safety of the arms of Samuel, pouring out his heart unto Samuel. Can we not imagine the warm embrace of Samuel, the words of affirmation that he spoke to David as he carefully under the leading of the Holy Spirit spoke those words to David that he needed to hear on that day? Can we not imagine Samuel looking into the future as he held the fearful David, praying silently for David as he saw the workings of God in the life of David being as a school of preparation for the future King of Israel? Yes, I believe we can see this scene taking place in the home of the prophet. By faith, Samuel saw God´s promise fulfilled, but for David that vision was obscured at the moment. Samuel acted as a friend in need to David.
With one verse we are given a brief look into what David was feeling and experiencing, but then the text turns back to Saul, the jealous one.
19 And it was told Saul, saying, Behold, David is at Naioth in Ramah.
20 And Saul sent messengers to take David: and when they saw the company of the prophets prophesying, and Samuel standing as appointed over them, the Spirit of God was upon the messengers of Saul, and they also prophesied.
21 And when it was told Saul, he sent other messengers, and they prophesied likewise. And Saul sent messengers again the third time, and they prophesied also.
22 Then went he also to Ramah, and came to a great well that is in Sechu: and he asked and said, Where are Samuel and David? And one said, Behold, they be at Naioth in Ramah.
23 And he went thither to Naioth in Ramah: and the Spirit of God was upon him also, and he went on, and prophesied, until he came to Naioth in Ramah.
24 And he stripped off his clothes also, and prophesied before Samuel in like manner, and lay down naked all that day and all that night. Wherefore they say, Is Saul also among the prophets?
Saul went from pursuing David in his own house, to David´s house and now he goes to the place of the school of the prophets at Rama. His rage continues to drive him.....He first sent hhis messengers, God intervened, he sent more messengers, God intervened, he sent them the third time, and again God intervened. Finally he went himself, but before he even got there the Spirit of God was upon him and he went and prophesied until he ended up before Samuel, prophesying all day and night naked. That caused great confusion as ¨they¨asked the question: Is Saul also among the prophets? Let us never think that God cannot fulfil that which He promises and He will use whatever means He needs to use to fulfill His plans. Wow!!!
Now we are back to David again, for he is the object of the hunt, and once again we are given insight into the fear that he was experiencing...He had been with Samuel the prophet, now he came to his best friend to share his heart with him.
KJV 1 Samuel 20:1 And David fled from Naioth in Ramah, and came and said before Jonathan, What have I done? what is mine iniquity? and what is my sin before thy father, that he seeketh my life?
2 And he said unto him, God forbid; thou shalt not die: behold, my father will do nothing either great or small, but that he will shew it me: and why should my father hide this thing from me? it is not so.
3 And David sware moreover, and said, Thy father certainly knoweth that I have found grace in thine eyes; and he saith, Let not Jonathan know this, lest he be grieved: but truly as the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, there is but a step between me and death.
In all simplicity, David asked the questions: What have I done? What is my sin? In what way have I sinned against your father? He opened himself up before his friend, whom he loved and with whom there was mutual care and concern. Jonathon, as Saul's son, still did not understand the depth of his father's insecurity and told David that his father would tell him if he was going to kill David. Jonathon was most likely thinking that what his father had told him after the last visit in the field, that David was safe, for Saul had sworn to his son that, As God liveth, David shall not die.. But Jonathon did not know his father's heart.
David disagreed with Jonathon, telling him that his father is shielding his son Jonathon from his true nature and he ,David, is going to be killed. Jonathon, a true friend, then stops the discussion and tells David that he will do whatever his friend wants him to do in this precarious situation. Together they hatch up a plan by which the true person that Saul is will be brought forth.. It is kind of like drawing Saul out into the open in order that he would tip his real hand. Let us proceed and see how this works out....Jonathon is walking a difficult road here, in keeping with honoring his father but also doing that which is right as has been put into his heart to do by the Lord.
4 Then said Jonathan unto David, Whatsoever thy soul desireth, I will even do it for thee.
5 And David said unto Jonathan, Behold, to morrow is the new moon, and I should not fail to sit with the king at meat: but let me go, that I may hide myself in the field unto the third day at even.
6 If thy father at all miss me, then say, David earnestly asked leave of me that he might run to Bethlehem his city: for there is a yearly sacrifice there for all the family.
7 If he say thus, It is well; thy servant shall have peace: but if he be very wroth, then be sure that evil is determined by him.
The first test was to see how Saul would react to David´s prolonged absence at the table in which he would normally be present. How would Sau react?
8 Therefore thou shalt deal kindly with thy servant; for thou hast brought thy servant into a covenant of the LORD with thee: notwithstanding, if there be in me iniquity, slay me thyself; for why shouldest thou bring me to thy father?
9 And Jonathan said, Far be it from thee: for if I knew certainly that evil were determined by my father to come upon thee, then would not I tell it thee?
David then again opens his heart in honesty to Jonathon, asking him to tell him if there is something that he has done against the Lord. Jonathon does not directly address this, but assures David that he will not hide anything that he thinks that his father is planning to do against David. Then David wonders aloud as to how the reaction of Saul will be communicated to him without anyone being aware of the message being sent out. David here illustrates the principal of how friends share in their approach together in working out solutions to life's predicaments. David asks a question and wants to have Jonathon's valuable input. Together they work it out.. David does not do all the thinking and talking, but together they work it out...Jonathon comes through....
10 Then said David to Jonathan, Who shall tell me? or what if thy father answer thee roughly?
11 And Jonathan said unto David, Come, and let us go out into the field. And they went out both of them into the field.
12 And Jonathan said unto David, O LORD God of Israel, when I have sounded my father about to morrow any time, or the third day, and, behold, if there be good toward David, and I then send not unto thee, and shew it thee;
13 The LORD do so and much more to Jonathan: but if it please my father to do thee evil, then I will shew it thee, and send thee away, that thou mayest go in peace: and the LORD be with thee, as he hath been with my father.
Jonathon and David go out into the field, and Jonathon begins to lay out the plan. Speaking before the Lord God of Israel, he says that he will on the stake of his life let David know how things went after the fact. If Saul has good heart toward David, that will be well and that would be the best scenario possible. Jonathon tells David that I will let you know if my father is favorable towards you. "But if he is not, and we have to separate, let it be known that the Lord will be with you as he has been with his father." Was Jonathon seeing the future King of Israel in this last statement? Jonathon not only looked to the future reality of David being King of Israel, but he showed the love and care for his own family through the next words that he spoke to David, his friend. For Jonathon knew full well that when the kingship changed that customarily all of the family of the former king were put to death. So he pleads not only for his own life, but for the lives of his future descendants.
14 And thou shalt not only while yet I live shew me the kindness of the LORD, that I die not:
15 But also thou shalt not cut off thy kindness from my house for ever: no, not when the LORD hath cut off the enemies of David every one from the face of the earth.
16 So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, Let the LORD even require it at the hand of David's enemies.
17 And Jonathan caused David to swear again, because he loved him: for he loved him as he loved his own soul.
Jonathon then spoke of the practical way that the decision would be shown do David who would be hiding in the woods waiting.....
18 Then Jonathan said to David, To morrow is the new moon: and thou shalt be missed, because thy seat will be empty.
19 And when thou hast stayed three days, then thou shalt go down quickly, and come to the place where thou didst hide thyself when the business was in hand, and shalt remain by the stone Ezel.
20 And I will shoot three arrows on the side thereof, as though I shot at a mark.
21 And, behold, I will send a lad, saying, Go, find out the arrows. If I expressly say unto the lad, Behold, the arrows are on this side of thee, take them; then come thou: for there is peace to thee, and no hurt; as the LORD liveth.
22 But if I say thus unto the young man, Behold, the arrows are beyond thee; go thy way: for the LORD hath sent thee away.
23 And as touching the matter which thou and I have spoken of, behold, the LORD be between thee and me for ever.
24 So David hid himself in the field: and when the new moon was come, the king sat him down to eat meat.
That having been arranged, David hiding out in the woods, Jonathon finds himself sitting at the table....David´s seat was empty. The first day things went fine, but on the second, Saul´s true colors come out.....
25 And the king sat upon his seat, as at other times, even upon a seat by the wall: and Jonathan arose, and Abner sat by Saul's side, and David's place was empty.
26 Nevertheless Saul spake not any thing that day: for he thought, Something hath befallen him, he is not clean; surely he is not clean.
27 And it came to pass on the morrow, which was the second day of the month, that David's place was empty: and Saul said unto Jonathan his son, Wherefore cometh not the son of Jesse to meat, neither yesterday, nor to day?
28 And Jonathan answered Saul, David earnestly asked leave of me to go to Bethlehem:
29 And he said, Let me go, I pray thee; for our family hath a sacrifice in the city; and my brother, he hath commanded me to be there: and now, if I have found favour in thine eyes, let me get away, I pray thee, and see my brethren. Therefore he cometh not unto the king's table.
Now Jonathon is going to see his father in a way that he has never seen him before.
30 Then Saul's anger was kindled against Jonathan, and he said unto him, Thou son of the perverse rebellious woman, do not I know that thou hast chosen the son of Jesse to thine own confusion, and unto the confusion of thy mother's nakedness?
31 For as long as the son of Jesse liveth upon the ground, thou shalt not be established, nor thy kingdom. Wherefore now send and fetch him unto me, for he shall surely die.
Vers. 30, 31.?Thou son of the perverse rebellious woman. Literally, thou son of one perverse in rebellion. In the East it is the greatest possible insult to a man to call his mother names; but the word rendered perverse, instead of being a feminine adjective, is probably an abstract noun, and son of perversity of rebellion would mean one who was thoroughly perverse in his resistance to his fathers will. Unto the confusion of thy mothers nakedness. I. e. thy mother will feel ashamed and disgraced at having borne such a son
Saul, not accepting his rejection by the Lord due to his disobedience falsely reasons with his son after berating him in the worst possible manner, telling him that he has rejected his parents and in so doing has brought shame upon them. He tries to subvert what God has ordained, telling his son that his future reign as the King of Israel lies in the balance here. How does Jonathon react to this berating?
32 And Jonathan answered Saul his father, and said unto him, Wherefore shall he be slain? what hath he done?
He sticks up for Jonathon, looking past his father´s false and angry reasoning, asking him for real reasons as to why Saul is so angry. His very own father now threatens to kill his own son.
33 And Saul cast a javelin (brandished, threatended) at him to smite him: whereby Jonathan knew that it was determined of his father to slay David.
34 So Jonathan arose from the table in fierce anger, and did eat no meat the second day of the month: for he was grieved for David, because his father had done him shame.
Saul, in his blind and murderous rage, threatens to kill his own son, the very one just moments before he had told that the future of his reign as King of Israel laid in the balance. His own father had told him that in his support for David he had shamed his parents, but Jonathon now sees clearly for the first time where the real shame lies: In his father's disobedience to the Lord which resulted in his rejection of king which was now being acted out through his murderouse rage which was fueled by his jealousy of David. In the blindness of jealousy, one only sees through their own darkened eyes. The plan and purpose of the Lord is hidden from those eyes, and the ensuing jealousy drives one to all ends in order to wipe out those who appear to be in the way of their human aspirations. Wow....
Jonathon, like a true friend, was angry for the honor of his friend who had been shamed by his very own father. His father had blindly accused David of being worthy of death for no other reason than that he was the one who stood in his way of continuing to be the king.
Jonathon spent the night, most likely grieving for his wayward father and sorrowing for the imminent separation from his best friend, and in the morning went out to reveal the sign that David was waiting for....
35 And it came to pass in the morning, that Jonathan went out into the field at the time appointed with David, and a little lad with him.
36 And he said unto his lad, Run, find out now the arrows which I shoot. And as the lad ran, he shot an arrow beyond him.
37 And when the lad was come to the place of the arrow which Jonathan had shot, Jonathan cried after the lad, and said, Is not the arrow beyond thee?
38 And Jonathan cried after the lad, Make speed, haste, stay not. And Jonathan's lad gathered up the arrows, and came to his master.
39 But the lad knew not any thing: only Jonathan and David knew the matter.
40 And Jonathan gave his artillery unto his lad, and said unto him, Go, carry them to the city.
David waiting in the woods, saw the arrows drop, heard the exchange between Jonathon and the lad, and knew that things had not gone well. As soon as it was safe, he ran to his dear friend Jonathon, giving him proper respect as a prince, but then set that aside and they found themselves kissing each other, weeping with each other until David was overcome in grief. They would have separate from one another......
41 And as soon as the lad was gone, David arose out of a place toward the south, and fell on his face to the ground, and bowed himself three times: and they kissed one another, and wept one with another, until David exceeded.
42 And Jonathan said to David, Go in peace, forasmuch as we have sworn both of us in the name of the LORD, saying, The LORD be between me and thee, and between my seed and thy seed for ever. And he arose and departed: and Jonathan went into the city.
In their last meeting on earth, Jonathon again brought encouragement to his friend, speaking to him of the fulfillment of the promises of God into David´s life.
1 Samuel 23:15 And David saw that Saul was come out to seek his life: and David was in the wilderness of Ziph in a wood.
16 And Jonathan Saul's son arose, and went to David into the wood, and strengthened his hand in God.
17 And he said unto him, Fear not: for the hand of Saul my father shall not find thee; and thou shalt be king over Israel, and I shall be next unto thee; and that also Saul my father knoweth.
18 And they two made a covenant before the LORD: and David abode in the wood, and Jonathan went to his house.
The end of Jonathon´s life on earth came on the battle field, on which his father was also present. Here is the account of this day in which both Saul and his son Jonathon fell in battle. Jonathon had been able to find the right balance between honoring his parents and honoring God, being careful not to put the honoring of parents over the honoring of God when it came to the purposes and ways of the Lord.
KJV 1 Samuel 31:1 Now the Philistines fought against Israel: and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain in mount Gilboa.
2 And the Philistines followed hard upon Saul and upon his sons; and the Philistines slew Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Malchishua, Saul's sons.
3 And the battle went sore against Saul, and the archers hit him; and he was sore wounded of the archers.
4 Then said Saul unto his armourbearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and abuse me. But his armourbearer would not; for he was sore afraid. Therefore Saul took a sword, and fell upon it.
5 And when his armourbearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise upon his sword, and died with him.
6 So Saul died, and his three sons, and his armourbearer, and all his men, that same day together.
How did David respond to the death of the one who was out to kill him and to the death of his best friend?
2 Samuel 1:17 And David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan his son:
18 (Also he bade them teach the children of Judah the use of the bow: behold, it is written in the book of Jasher.)
19 The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places: how are the mighty fallen!
20 Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Askelon; lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph.
21 Ye mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew, neither let there be rain, upon you, nor fields of offerings: for there the shield of the mighty is vilely cast away, the shield of Saul, as though he had not been anointed with oil.
22 From the blood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty, the bow of Jonathan turned not back, and the sword of Saul returned not empty.
23 Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their death they were not divided: they were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions.
24 Ye daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you in scarlet, with other delights, who put on ornaments of gold upon your apparel.
25 How are the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle! O Jonathan, thou wast slain in thine high places.
26 I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women.
27 How are the mighty fallen, and the weapons of war perished!
Jonathon was a true friend to David, in that even though he was heir apparent to the throne, he knew that the Lord had ordained his friend to be the successor to his father. He yielded his will to ´the will of the Lord and allowed himself to be used to protect David, to support David and asked the favor be showed to him and his ancestors by David when he was the King of Israel. He understood and accepted his role in the plans of the Lord.
Further reading of the Scriptures will reveal as to when and where David honored the commitment that was made between Jonathon and himself concerning David fulfilling his promises to the the house of Saul and Jonathon.
May the Holy Spirit give us revelation, understanding and direction as we consider the life of one of God's servants, Jonathon. From his youth, he understood that the Lord will preserve his seed, whether by great or by small. Through the study of the life of Jonathon, one can see into the future, to the day when Christ walked among men here on earth, humbling Himself, having compassion on the hungry, interceding for the fearful, pleading for the future generations and so on. Jonathon understood who God was, walked in His ways, and yielded his life to the One who was his all in all.
May the Lord bless our reading and meditation in His Word now and until the day when faith becomes sight. In the meantime, let us walk by faith, live in hope and serve in love even as Jonathon, the servant friend of David did so.
Your friend in Christ,
Pastor Orval Wirkkala
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Help is on the way Isaiah 40.1.11
- Posted by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
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Carol Fischer and her family as they grieve the loss of Bob