Jonathan is a heroic figure in the Bible. He was the son of King Saul, and a close friend of David. The relationship between David & Jonathan is one of the most notable biblical relationships.
King Saul’s son, Jonathan, and his army destroyed the garrison of Philistines at Geba, so the enemy mobilized its entire army of chariots, horsemen, and soldiers against Israel. Saul and his army trembled in fear at the sight. Saul’s army dwindled to about 600 men!
Jonathan carried out a lone attack on another Philistine garrison, demonstrating his “prowess and courage as a warrior”.
– The Strategy (v.1,7,8) Jonathan & his armor-bearer attempted to single-handedly defeat an entire Philistine garrison!
– The Success
* The Courage (v.11-14)
* The Confusion (v.15-20,23a)
Jonathan’s dependence on God won the confidence of his assistant (v.7).
LifeAPP: That’s what happens when you build a legacy of faith and commitment to the Lord.
Logic would say Jonathan was foolish to attempt such a feat in the face of overwhelming odds. He should have, at least, notified his father of what he was going to do! But faith, by its very nature, includes some measure of risk. And, occasionally, faith requires us to do illogical things on a grand scale.
LifeAPP: Is there an area of your life in which you need to take a step of faith and believe God for the impossible?
* Success doesn’t come from great faith, but from faith in a great God!
King Saul forced his men to join him in a fast to “insure” God’s help in battle. This resulted in his soldiers being too weak and hungry to fight, and his son, Jonathan, unknowingly sinning by eating some honey. When God didn’t respond the way King Saul thought He should, Saul assumed it was because someone sinned. After investigation, it was discovered that his own son, Jonathan, ate some honey. King Saul intended to execute Jonathan! But, the soldiers intervened and persuaded Saul otherwise.
Maybe even more impressive than Jonathan’s bravery was his selfless loyalty to David. Jonathan became David’s closest friend. This close friendship was surprising for a number of reasons:
1) God had selected David to be the next king, instead of Jonathan.
2) Jonathan’s father, King Saul, was very jealous of David, seeing him as his enemy… and even tried to kill David several times.
3) David was a multi-talented guy who was more popular than either King Saul or Jonathan.
Lone Ranger & Tonto. Batman & Robin. Andy Taylor & Barney Fife. All classic TV characters & their sidekicks.
The sidekick is the character who provides support, encouragement, and comic relief when needed. Though the sidekick played a lesser role in the story, the hero wouldn’t be as much a hero without him.
David’s best friend, Jonathan, was content to be the sidekick in David’s rise to power in Israel. Jonathan humbly stood back and rejoiced as his friend became the man God intended him to be.
LifeAPP: How willing are you to stand back and let others shine as they take their place in God’s plans? If you were Jonathan, who would your David be?
After 3 attempts by King Saul to kill David, Jonathan begged his father to stop trying to kill David. Saul agreed… then tried at least 2 more times!
David told Jonathan of King Saul’s determination to kill him. Jonathan came up with a plan to find out if this was still true, and then to warn David if it was.
– The Promise (v.12,13,16,17) Both men promised to be loyal to the other, whatever the cost.
– The Plan (v.18-22)
– The Anger (v.30-33)
– The Arrows (v.35-42) David met Jonathan one final time to affirm his loyalty and say good-bye before he left.
LifeAPP: What defines a good friend? Loyalty (v.1-4) Love (v.5-17) Accountability (v.18-41) Common Values/Faith (v.42)
See 2Corinthians 6:14.
What do you look for in a friend? Do you have a friend like Jonathan? Are you a friend like Jonathan?
King Saul continued his murderous hunt for David. Jonathan reaffirmed his covenant of friendship with David… and recognized David would be the next king of Israel.
The spirit of Samuel prophesied King Saul’s death… and that of his sons.
Saul’s sons – including Jonathan – were killed in battle against the Philistines… and Saul eventually died from a critical wound/suicide.
Jonathan died tragically at the battle of Mt. Gilboa along with his father and brothers (2Samuel 1).
Jonathan was the father of Mephibosheth, to whom David showed special kindness as king (2Samuel 9).
You can read Jonathan’s story in 1Samuel 13,14,18,19,20,23,28,31 and 2Samuel 1.