Probably the greatest relationship between one man and another man in the Bible other than Jesus and the 12, that of Jonathan and David. We will look at some snapshots of his life, the first prince in the history of Israel.
1 Sam 14. Jonathan says to his armor bearer let’s cross over to the Philistines garrison, just the two of them, one of them not even a full fledged soldier. And the armor bearer agrees to go, Verse 7. He says to his armor bearer we will reveal ourselves. If they say we’re coming down, we will wait but if they say come on up, we’ll go because then the Lord has given them into our hands. Jonathan is confident the Lord is on his side and the two of them can take this garrison.
Side note: The people of God are never going to be a majority in this world. We have to teach our children that you and God are enough. You do not need a crowd with you to do right.
So the Philistines tell them to come up and Jonathan says the Lord has given them into the hands of Israel. V 24, Saul makes a statement. He said no one is to eat until I have avenged myself against my enemies, he made it personal, unlike Jonathan. Jonathan never heard that and he ends up eating some honeycomb.
V 44-45, Saul finds out it was Jonathan and he says he is going to kill his son for eating honey in the middle of the battle. Seriousyl? He has come undone. But the people rescue Jonathan and tell Saul he has been working with God.
Jump to 1 Sam 17 after Goliath has been slain by David. Saul asked who this young man was and David comes walking up with the head of Goliath. When David is done talking to Saul it says the soul of Jonathan became knit to David and he loved him as himself. And Jonathan makes a covenant with David. This is a terrific story of two men in a strong male relationship, who will support each other and be there for each other. Their souls are knit together. We need to find people to knit our souls to and share spiritual concerns.
Jonathan, 18:4, takes off all his warrior stuff and gives it to David, his robe, his armor, his sword, his bow. It’s a great step of confidence in knowing that David has his back.
Saul is looking at David with suspicion from then on, but not Jonathan.
Lesson: God’s people can be transparent and vulnerable to each other. It is not noble when your heart is broken and someone asks how you are to say I’m fine. Jonathan shows strength in his vulnerability.
Chpt 19 - there is no telling how many things can be accomplished if nobody cares who gets the credit. Jonathan didn’t care. He was willing to be second to David. We need to rejoice with those who rejoice. What’s relevant is that God’s will be done. God’s will was for David to be king and Jonathan was fine with that.
There is so much more we could say. Jonathan never forgets his relationship with his father, as wrong as Saul was. Despite all Saul does, when he is dieing in battle, his sons are there. They die with their Dad. Did he deserve that? No he did not. But he was their father. We need to remember the same thing. People in our family, earthly or spiritual, may do us wrong sometimes, but they are still our family. Think of the prodigal son. We don’t ignore their wrongs but we let them know they are always welcome back if they want to return to the family.
So Jonathan dies and his body is nailed to the wall in the Philistine city and mocked until the Israelites band together and go get those bodies.
What can we learn?
We need to let our brethren know we have their backs. We need to make covenants with them. We need to support one another.