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  • 1 Sam. 18:1-19:18
  • Psalm 59
  • 1 Sam. 19:19-20:42

Devotional

After David killed Goliath, he became best friends with Jonathan, King Saul's son. Jonathan gave David his robe, tunic, sword, bow and belt. Saul gave David ever-increasing responsibility in his army and all along the way GOD blessed David, making him prosperous and well liked among Israel. And all along the way Saul became more and more jealous towards David.

Now it had happened as they were coming home, when David was returning from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women had come out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tambourines, with joy, and with musical instruments. So the women sang as they danced, and said: “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.”
(1 Sam. 18:6-7 NKJV)

From this day forward Saul watched David jealously. The next day David was playing the harp in Saul's house when the evil spirit forcefully came upon Saul. Saul threw his spear at David twice trying to kill him. Saul was afraid of David because he was a good military commander and because he knew the LORD was with David.

Saul gave his daughter Michal to David in marriage, in hopes that she would be a snare to him, but she loved David and was loyal to him.

One day Saul told Jonathan to kill David, but Jonathan interceded on David's behalf and Saul turned away from his anger, swearing not to kill David. However, Saul quickly went back on his oath. Saul sent men to watch David's house and kill him as he left the next morning, but Michal warned David and helped him escape. David ran to Samuel for help.

Later, as Saul’s efforts to kill David progressed, Jonathan and David made a covenant of loyalty to one another and their families. Together they devised a system by which Jonathan would communicate to David on Saul's intentions toward him. They carried out this plan and it helped save David's life. Once again Jonathan interceded with Saul on David's behalf but this time Saul threw his spear at Jonathan, even intending to kill him. David and Jonathan wept over the tragedy of Saul's unjust treatment of David and then they went separate directions.

Saul and Jonathan had just as much reason to love David. David's intentions toward Saul were good. He wasn't trying to take over Saul's kingdom. He just wanted to serve Israel in the best possible way. Jonathan could see this and he loved David. Saul did not have the same character that his son had and he was jealous, having been rejected by GOD as king, and he hated David.

It is easy to see that Saul is the villain in these events. If he loved GOD first and obeyed His word then GOD would have blessed him and Jonathan would have been king after Saul. However, because of Saul's choice to do evil and follow the crowd rather than obey GOD, he was rejected. David conducted himself honorably, refusing to return Saul's hatred with his own. David continuously placed his trust in GOD for deliverance and protection, and those who do that will never be ashamed. Jonathan shows a great example of true unconditional love and loyalty—true friendship. It was Jonathan who stood to lose the most as David had been chosen by GOD as king rather than himself. Yet he remains kind and unwaveringly loyal to David. Jonathan and David are excellent examples of how we should live our lives.

Tim Harris
Author: Tim Harris

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