Posted by: Akash Vansal | May 2, 2011

Jonathan s/o Saul

Jonathan : A Benjamite

Some of the my most fascinating heroes and heroines of the Holy Bible all have their names beginning with the letter ‘J’ Jesus Christ, Joshua, Jacob, Joseph, Jael, John, Jonathan…

Jonathan ….A Prince
Jonathan was the son of King Saul, and heir to the throne of Israel. As a prince, he had every comfort and pleasure at his disposal. He was always surrounded with servants at his service. He had access to all the luxury that we can only dream of.. He loved and respected his parents. He was humble and kind to his friends and people. When Saul was determined to put his own son to death, the people pleaded and rescued Jonathan (1 Sam. 14:45)

Jonathan…..A Brave Warrior
Jonathan was a brave warrior and dared to enter the enemy camp without fear. He knew God’s ability and putting his hope in Him said, “perhapsLORD will work for us, (1 Sam. 14:6) LORD was with Jonathan and delivered twenty men into their hands. It was Jonathan’s courageous “the LORD is able” attitude.

Jonathan…..Loved God
Jonathan understood something Saul did not – “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.“ (Deuteronomy 6:5)

Jonathan…..Obeyed God
Later, we find Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as himself. (1Sam. 18:1) What immediately comes to mind is “love your neighbor as yourself .”(Leviticus 19:18). The life story of Jonathan is exemplary of living out this great commandment. We are not only commanded to love our friend, brother or companion, but also to love the stranger as ourselves. Now, because Jonathan loved David as himself, he made a covenant with him – that is, a solemn agreement or pact, not a casual relationship but a permanent commitment.

Jonathan…..Defended the just
When Jonathan discovered Saul’s intentions to kill David (out of jealousy) he defended David, saying “Why should he be put to death? What has he done?” risking even his own life!(1Sam. 20:32-33). He dared to speak the just even if it was against his own father.

Jonathan…..Humble and Selfless
Jonathan being the legal heir to the throne yet he remained selfless in his love for David. Perhaps he knew that David was anointed by God to become king, and His respect for God’s decisions kept him free of envy. And he would encourage David to not be afraid, saying “my father will not find you, and you will be king over Israel, and I will be next to you”( 1Sam. 23:17) brought together or torn apart, their friendship remained strong.

Jonathan…..Loyal to the Kingdom
Jonathan was loyal to his Kingdom till the end of his life, honest and faithful executing his duties and responsibilities. He died on the battlefield with his father Saul and his brothers. (1Sa. 31:2). When David heard, he lamented saying “I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother; you were very dear to me. Your love for me was wonderful,wonderful than that of women. ”(2Sam. 1:26).
Later, King David not only enquired of his family, but also gave royal treatment to his household for Jonathan’s sake. “ So …ate… David’s table like one of the king’s sons. “(2 Sam. 9:1-11)

Jonathan…..Loved to Uphold The Lord’s will
Jonathan was interested in establishing God’s kingdom rather than his own. And God was planning to establish his kingdom through David. I can want the best for someone else, but if it comes in conflict with what I want, it’s difficult to not “look out for #1.” It only is through recognizing God as #1, and His better plan, that I can overcome my own selfish ambitions. If Jonathan held onto what was “rightfully his” – he would not have been blessed with such a wonderful friendship.

Jonathan…..Maintained Friendship
Jonathan and David didn’t just befriends, they talked about being friends. They “defined the relationship” – making their intentions known to each other. Not once, but several times did they renew their covenant and vows to one another. If I had a friendship so good, I would cling to it. Yet when they needed to depart, Jonathan and David couldlet go. Together, even when apart – I’m sure they remained in the thoughts and prayers of each other. Jonathan just had to see his friend again, and looked for David in the wilderness.

Jonathan…..Was just and Impartial
Jonathan was a risk taker, not only in fighting Philistines, but also confronting his father – who was the king of Israel. Twice it is recorded that Jonathan became aware of his fathers intention to kill David, and both times he came to David’s defense. He also took the risk of being with David, and going out to find David when Saul was seeking to kill him. Sometimes doing what’s right involves facing our fears and moving ahead despite them. I know I have trouble taking risks like that.

Jonathan…..Was concerned for his family
Jonathan maintained concern for his family – it was even part of his pact with David
(1Sam. 20:15).

Jonathan…..Was wise
Jonathan did not just go along with whatever his friend said. When Saul sought to kill David, Jonathan was determined to find out for himself if it could be true. Jonathan did not die defending David, but defending Israel from the Philistines alongside his father. Despite all the evil Saul had done, Jonathan continued to honour his father. But I can’t understand why Jonathan stayed by his father instead of joining David’s men – other than to say that loving our parents is as important to God as loving our neighbor. (Exodus 20:12)


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