Songs and Praise
   

 
 
 

Less 212 THE FRIENDSHIP OF JONATHAN AND DAVID

 
1 Samuel 18:1-4; 1 Samuel 20:1-42;

Lesson 212 Senior Lessons

MEMORY VERSE:  "Ths is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you" (John 15:12).

I Friendship

1 The soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, I Samuel 18:1; Genesis 44:30; I Samuel 19:2; II Samuel 1:26

2 Saul took David home, and Jonathan and David became great friends, I Samuel 18:2-4

II The Enmity of Saul

1 David complained to Jonathan of Saul's enmity toward him, I Samuel 20:1-4; Joshua 2:14

2 David and Jonathan arranged a plan to find out if Saul was seeking David's life, I Samuel 20:5-10

3 They went into a field, prayed, and renewed their covenant, I Samuel 20:11-17; II Samuel 9:1

4 They completed their plans for ascertaining Saul's true attitude, I Samuel 20:18-23

5 Saul was enraged at David's absence from the feast and tried to kill Jonathan, I Samuel 20:24-33

6 Jonathan gave David the proper signal, I Samuel 20:34-40

III A Sad Farewell

1 David and Jonathan met and wept together, I Samuel 20:41

2 Jonathan comforted David and gave him an affectionate farewell, I Samuel 20:42

NOTES

Friendship

The friendship that existed between David and Jonathan was of such a character that it probably could not be surpassed, and we doubt if it ever was equalled in the annals of human history. Jonathan, a prince in Israel and heir to the throne, had a love for David that excelled anything we have any record of, regarding one man for another. It is repeated several times that Jonathan loved David as his own soul.

Human love is deep, especially that love of parents for their children or children for their parents. But when there is no blood relationship in­volved it makes it all the more a tie akin to Heaven.

The Unselfishness of Jonathan

Jonathan's brilliant victory over the Philistines, coupled with his unblemished character, were good evidences, from the natural viewpoint, that he would have made a good and worthy king. But God had chosen David. When David had won that gallant victory over Goliath and came in to have the laurels of the nation laid at his feet, Jonathan stripped him­self of his own princely robes and gave them to David. He even handed David his sword, the sword which he had used when he and his armor- bearer had climbed up the steep cliff and routed the Philistines.

He did not hand over his robe and sword with the spirit of defeat and sullenness that would have characterized many in like circumstances. He had a tender love for David and a wonderful attitude of godliness. One can almost picture him helping David into the robe and, after embrac­ing him with brotherly love, whispering in his ear, 'Thou shalt be king over Israel, and I shall be next unto thee' (I Samuel 23:17).

 

There are many who cannot accept the fact of another's promotion with the same enthusiasm as they accept their own promotion. The Bible tells us that we should seek not our own, but another's wealth (I Corin­thians 10:24; Philippians 2:4), thereby pointing out the true spirit of the Christian, which is unselfishness and self-sacrifice. Christ, has taught us that it is better to occupy the place and position of humility than to seek for the things of the world, honor, or prestige among men. We are told to set our affections on things above and to have no love for the things of this world. The Bible has informed us that promotion is given to us by God and that it is He alone who puts down one and sets up another (Psalm 75:6, 7). If we really believe the Word of God that tells us that promotion is by the hand of God, then we shall find it easy to rejoice in promotions when they come, even if they do not come to us personally.

Jonathan never allowed his personal ambitions or desires, if he had any, to interfere with the interests of the cause of Israel. This was very commendable in him and is also commendable in every one of us. There may be times when we must sacrifice some• pleasure, some gain, some comfort, in order that the cause of God might go forward. If we give God the pre-eminence in our lives He will honor us and will bless us in every way, giving us a reward in the Kingdom that will far exceed anything we give up for Him here.

Saul's Jealousy

Saul's jealousy began when they returned home after the battle with the Philistines when the giant, Goliath, was killed. The women and children came out of the cities to greet them, singing, 'Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.' What a difference we find in the spirit of Saul and that of his son Jonathan! Jonathan manifested the Spirit of Jesus through it all, but Saul was possessed with an evil spirit. He suspiciously eyed David from that day forward. But all Israel loved David.

The sweet music from David's harp no longer quelled the demon of jealousy and hate that reigned in Saul's breast. Saul threw a javelin at David, but he escaped it. God's hand protected him. Many times the devil would kill the saints of God if God's hand did not hover over them.

David's Discouragement

David became discouraged and started to flee from Saul. He talked to Jonathan and told him his troubles, saying that there was but a step between his soul and death.

Discouragement is a great and effective weapon of the enemy of our soul. What Christian has not, at some time, felt its sharp arrows pierce his soul? Courage lifts the soul, but discouragement causes it to droop. When the disciples were discouraged, at one time, Jesus said to them, 'Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me' (John 14:1). What comfort those words brought to their heart! Here we find Jonathan comforting David.

Keeping Covenant

Jonathan said to David, 'Come, and let us go out into the field.' There they renewed their covenant with each other.

A covenant is a sacred thing. The Lord made many covenants with His people and He always kept His part of each covenant. God requires us to keep the covenants we make with Him and with each other. It means much for us to keep our covenants.

Jonathan must have realized that the kingdom would be given to David, for he caused David to swear that he would show him kindness as long as he lived and also extend kindness to his house forever. David kept his promise. We read that after Jonathan had been slain in battle and the kingdom had been given to David, he took the lame son of Jonathan to his house and provided a home for him.

Another Chance

Just before this visit of David and Jonathan, Saul had gone to Samuel, seeking David. While there he came under the influence and power of God that pervaded the life of Samuel and the school of the prophets that Samuel had there. The Lord dealt with him.

Possibly at that time he remembered the day when Samuel had anointed him to be king over Israel: the day when the Lord changed his heart and made a new man out of him. He was little in his own eyes then. Later his heart became lifted up. Jealousy, hatred, and anger had come in and, now a backslidden king, he is before Samuel and before God, still unrepentant in heart. The Spirit of God has striven with many backsliders when they have gone to the house of the Lord; but, like Saul, many have gone away unrepentant in heart.

Jonathan felt that his father would be different after his visit to Samuel, but David's heart was still filled with fear. Together they talked over a plan to find out Saul's true attitude toward David.

The feast of the new moon was at hand. David would be expected to attend the feast and be in his place at Saul's table. David asked leave of Jonathan to attend the feast of his father's family in Bethlehem. If his absence incurred the wrath of Saul they would then know that Saul still had hatred and mischief in his heart. When Saul asked why David was not at the feast, and Jonathan told him, Saul was angry not only with David but, in his wrath, he tried to kill Jonathan too.

A Sad Parting

The next morning, according to the prearranged plan, Jonathan went out into the field with his bow and arrow to let David know that he must flee for his life. He took his bow and arrow to make it appear that he was merely going for sport, thereby avoiding any suspicion that he had gone out to meet David, who was hidden at that time by the rock Ezel.

Jonathan shot beyond the mark and cried to the lad: 'Is not the arrow beyond thee?' 'Make speed, haste, stay not.' This was the signal for David. When the lad had gathered up the arrows, Jonathan sent him back into the city and David came out from his hiding place. He fell to the ground and paid his respects to Jonathan. They embraced each other and wept, for their sorrow was beyond words. They wept until, as the Bible says, 'David exceeded.' Possibly he wept more than Jonathan. Jonathan comforted him by saying, '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.' The friendship of Jonathan put courage in David's heart to 'fight the good fight of faith.' All Christians benefit by the fellowship they have one with the other. This wonderful unity binds them together, enabling them to wage a more successful warfare for God and Heaven.

The time came in David's life when he could say, 'Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea' (Psalm 46:2).

QUESTIONS

1 What makes true friends?

2 Why was David fearful?

3 Why did Saul not like David?

4 What was the condition of Saul's heart?

5 Why was David supposed to be at Saul's table at this feast of the new moon?

6 What was his reason for not attending?

7 Did Jonathan befriend David?

8 Describe the scene as David bade Jonathan farewell.

 

 
   
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