Jonathan

People Who Shaped David:  Jonathan

I Samuel 18:1-4

 

1.   In this session we are going to look at some of the people who shaped the life of David…going to explore one of the great friendships on pages of Scripture...to this point in our study we have looked at—

            --Samuel who believed in David...anointed as future king of Israel...

            --Saul who mistreated David...constantly sought to kill him...

            --Goliath who challenged David...

      In this session we will focus on the  relationship between Jonathan, the son of Saul, and David...

4.   From a purely human perspective the friendship between Jonathan and David should never have happened...

            --couldn’t have had more different upbringings...Jonathan was royalty ...his father was the king...appeared he was destined to inherit the throne...David was a shepherd boy...appeared he was destined to herd sheep all his life...

            --as David rose to national prominence after his confrontation with Goliath, the most natural thing would have been for him and Jonathan to  be rivals...but it was at that point in time that their friendship began to flourish...

5.   The story of this remarkable friendship stretches over several chapters is I Samuel...cannot possibly deal with it all in one session...want direct attention of I Samuel 18:1-4...(text)

 

Before get to heart of what want say today, want to lay to rest a terrible misconception which is sometimes associated with Jonathan and David... because—

            --the Bible repeatedly says that Jonathan loved David as himself...

            --I Sam. 20:41 speaks of Jonathan and David kissing each other...

            --at the death of Jonathan, David said of his friend, “Your love to me            was more wonderful than the love of a woman.” (2 Sam.1:26b)

Some have asserted that the relationship between David and Jonathan was a homosexual relationship...nothing could be further from the truth...as look are relationship between Jonathan and David, need keep three things in mind:

--the OT specifically and unequivocally condemns homosexuality...for David, the main character of the OT, to be portrayed as homosexual in a book that forbids such relationships would be totally inconsistent...

--the word “love” used to describe the relationship between Jonathan and David is not the Hebrew word used to described sexual activity, either heterosexual or homosexual...that word, which is normally translated “know” in most English Bibles such as in the Genesis 4:1 which says, “And Adam knew his wife and she conceived and bore Cain...”, is never used to describe the relationship between David and Jonathan...the word used of Jonathan and David means a sense of deep kinship and genuine affection...has nothing to do with sex...

--in eastern culture, even to this day, not unusual for men to show openly affection of each other...not uncommon in some parts of the world to see men walking together holding hands...not mean homosexual...meant close friends...

It is a perversion of the Scripture to read into this story anything about homosexuality

 

I want direct your attention to what we can learn from Jonathan and David...one writer says, “The relationship between David and Jonathan constitutes an OT picture of a NT reality – the relationships God intended to exist in the body of Jesus Christ.” [Getz, David: Seeking God Faithfully, p.82]...Jesus stated clearly and succinctly the standard for relationships among Christians...He said in John 13:35 – “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”...the relationship between David and Jonathan shows us what it means to love one another...their relationship shows that...

 

I.    Jonathan and David show us that love binds us together

  1. A beautiful thing is said about David and Jonathan in 1 Sam. 18:1 ...”...the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David...”...word translated “knit” literally means “chained”...they were chained together, bound together in an inseparable relationship...nothing could come between them/divide them/drive them apart...and that is precisely how the Lord desires for us to relate to each other as brothers and sisters in Christ in the church...

2.      In Colossians 3:14 Paul describes love as “the perfect bond of unity”...that is, love is the glue which holds the fellowship together... where love is absent there is fragmentation, division, and strife...where love is present there is unity, oneness of spirit, and peace...that’s why the Scripture emphasizes over and over again the importance of Christians being bound together in love...

3.      As I’ve told you many times before, being bound together in love does not mean that we have to all think exactly like...Jonathan and David didn’t always agree on everything...in 1 Sam. 20 Jonathan at first refused to believe David’s claim that Saul, Jonathan’s father, was out to kill David...but that disagreement did not shatter their relationship...

4.      And from that we can learn that being bound together in love does not mean that we all agree on every minute detail of theology, biblical interpretation, or application of the Bible to life...doesn’t mean like same music...doesn’t mean have same tastes and preferences...it doesn’t even mean that we have the same warm, emotional feelings toward every individual...but it does mean that we do not allow our differences to divide us...being bound together by love means our common commitment to, union with Christ keeps us together in spite of our differences...

 

1.      James Irwin was one of a handful of astronauts who had he privilege of walking on the moon...he wrote a book about his experience...the book is entitled To Rule the Night...in the book he tells how his flight into space and especially his time on the moon awakened him spiritually...after returning to earth he began to have a growing conviction that God had a special mission for his life...he committed his life to Christ and began sharing Christ with anyone who would listen to him...want you to hear one thing that James Irwin says in his book: “Prior to my commitment to Christ, my wife and I had some differences that threatened to destroy our marriage.  However, since renewing my relationship with Christ, those differences have paled.”...and he adds, “When you know Jesus Christ, differences fade away.

 

II.  Jonathan and David show us that love is unselfish ... it is giving

1.      It seems that Jonathan was always giving to David...18:4 says “... Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, with his armor, including his sword and his bow and his belt.”...and that was only a preview of a far greater gift to come...

2.      As the son of King Saul, Jonathan was next in line to be King of Israel...in the eyes of Saul and in the eyes of the people of Israel, before David burst on the scene, it was a given that Jonathan would one day become king...

3.      In 1 Sam. 23:17 Jonathan makes an amazingly unselfish statement to David...he said, ”...you will be king over Israel and I will be next to you...”...in other words, Jonathan was willing unselfishly to step aside and let David be king...

 

1.      Love and selfishness are mutually exclusive...where you have one, cannot have the other...if characterized by love, will not be selfish...if characterized by selfish spirit, will not have love...

2.      George Truett story...each winter went through numerous overcoats... not unusual be walking in downtown Dallas on cold day and take of new, warm overcoat and give it to some unfortunate street person...was so giving and unselfish church had take steps to protect him from his propensity give things away...built a house for him...insisted deed be put in Mrs. Truett’s name so the pastor couldn’t give it away... [Pastoral Letter, Truett Seminary, May, 2003]

3.      It is the nature of love  to give...

 

III.    Jonathan and David show us that love shines under pressure

1.      Saul correctly understood that David was a great threat to Jonathan becoming king...in 20:31 Saul told Jonathan, “For as long as the son of Jesse lives on the earth, neither you nor your kingdom will be established.”...and Saul put great pressure on Jonathan to abandon David and protect his inheritance of the kingdom...

2.      But to Jonathan’s credit, he did not cave in to that pressure...he stood his ground and protected David from the evil plots of Saul...and in doing so he risked the scorn of his own father and those in the court of his father...

3.      And from that we can learn that genuine love, the kind of love God wants to characterize the fellowship of the church, doesn’t bail out when things get tough...as matter of fact, it does just the opposite...it takes the heat...and remains loyal...

 

  1. A few months ago the move “42” came out which is the story of Jackie Robinson who the first black man to play Major League baseball. In his first season with the Brooklyn Dodgers, Robinson faced venom nearly everywhere he traveled. Pitchers threw fastballs at his head. Runners spiked him on the bases, brutal epithets were written on cards and spoken from the opposing dugouts. Even the home crowds in Brooklyn saw him as an object of reproach. During one game in Boston, the taunts and racial slurs seemed to reach a peak. To make matters worse Robinson committed an error and stood at second base humiliated while the fans hurled insults at him. Another Dodger, a Southern white man by the name Pee Wee Reese, called timeout. He walked from his position at shortstop toward Robinson at second base, and with the crowds looking on, he put his arm around Robinson's shoulder. The fans grew quiet. Robinson later said that arm around his shoulder saved his career. [Brett Blair, www.SermonIllustrations.com, February 2003]
  2. That’s what real love does...when the pressure is on, it comes through...

Conclusion

1.   As studied the relationship between Jonathan and David this week thought struck me that we all need in our lives people like Jonathan...

            --people with whom we have a close, unbreakable bond...

            --people who are unselfish and self-giving...

            --people who will stand beside us, especially in times of difficulty...

2.   And in the fellowship among the people of God is the place we will find such relationships.

 

 

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