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Thursday, February 14, 2019

Jonathan – Saul’s Son – 1 Samuel 19

       Jonathan, Saul's son, is an Israelite from the tribe of Benjamin. Like David, Jonathan trusted God, was courageous and a fierce warrior. Jonathan and his armor-bearer  had just won a battle against the Philistines.
 Jonathan would remain with his father until the end despite Saul’s evil ways. He died with his father on the battlefield. Before doing so, Jonathan turned the kingdom over to David, God’s chosen, anointed one, and made a covenant with him before God. No doubt Jonathan, who was in the palace with David, heard some of David’s psalms (songs) that expressed David’s heart toward God and His people. Jonathan not only learned more about David in the palace, he probably learned more about God through David. David had a close and abiding relationship with the Lord. Jonathan also saw David’s actions in the palace and heard his words. These things made Jonathan love David all the more. Eventually, David and Jonathan made a covenant oath before God to each other. An oath before God is not to be broken. Neither of them will renege on that oath.

Jonathan had the most to lose, yet he knew that David was God’s choice to take over the kingdom, so he gave up his right to the throne to David. Jonathan took off his royal robe, his armor and his weapons and gave them to David saying, “You will be the next king of Israel………God’s hand is upon you and these are rightfully yours.” Because Jonathan was surrendered to God, he saw God’s hand on David.  It was Jonathan’s deep faith and trust in God like David that motivated him. Jonathan and David’s relationship with God and deep friendship were stronger than any jealousy, envy and ambition. Jonathan and David were friends who stuck closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:34) Jonathan and David’s love for God far surpassed the throne of Israel because they loved the Lord and God’s people far more than the throne. 1 Samuel 18:1 says, “….Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself.” The Apostle Paul said it this way – “having the same love, being one in Spirit, and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:2-4  David and Jonathan understood this long before Jesus came to earth.

David will not Return Evil for Evil

            The Bible says that David did “whatever Saul sent him to do and did it successfully.” David was submitted to authority and successful in all that Saul asked him to do. This caused Saul to give David a high rank in the army of Israel. This pleased all the people, and Saul’s officers as well.” 1 Samuel 18:5b
            When Christians are faced with unjust treatment by someone, we must not only consider ourselves but also the honor of God. The action we take should bring honor to God as well as the Body of Christ. Even though Saul mistreated David, David dealt with Saul with respect. Despite Saul’s treatment of David, he continued to minister to Saul until the threat became so great that David had to flee.
            But “all Israel and Judah loved David, because he led them into victory in their battles.” Love casts out fear! Instead of fearing David, Saul should have feared God. God’s people saw David’s courage and that God was with him.  David quickly became popular both among the people and among the leaders (Saul’s servants). David had military valor and success. The women rejoiced and celebrated and gave David more honor than Saul. Anger and jealousy rose up in Saul. He feared David because God was with him.18:12 
           David's esteem among the people was not because David was a yes-man or people-pleaser. David did not seek this popularity and did not depend on popularity and adoration to get God's peoples' love. David became popular because he was a man after God’s own heart” and people could see the courage, love, wisdom and peace of God in him.

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