Winners and Losers: Part 3 - JONATHAN
Jonathan: A Man Whose Life was Based on Faith
Kathy's Sunday School Lessons Written for Young Boys and Girls by Kathryn Capoccia
© Copyright Kathryn Capoccia 2001. This file may be freely copied,
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In the Bible we see many people whose lives reflect their trust in the Living God, but few whose lives reflect a total commitment and trust toward Him. Jonathan is one of those rare individuals whose life exudes faith in every aspect. There are three major themes of his life profiled in the Bible: 1) he was trusting 2) he was faithful 3) he was content As the writer of the book of Hebrews admonished in HEB 13:5, “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you,” Jonathan believed that God could be trusted in all things. His life was a difficult one torn between loyalty to his father, the king, and his friend, David, who would become king, but his wonderful character and devotion to God helped him remain true to them both.
I. Who Was He?
A. What was his name? Jonathan: “gift of Yahweh”, or “Yahweh has given”
B. Who were his people? The Jews- he was the oldest son of Saul, the 1st king of Israel
C. When did he live? Somewhere around 900 B.C.
D. Where did he live? In Israel
II. What Did He Do?
A. He Was Trusting
1. when he and his armor bearer were unscathed after they attacked the Philistine outpost (1SA 14:1-15)
a. he had faith in God’s protection
1) he believed that God could give them victory over overwhelming odds (1SA 14:6)
2) he asked for and received a sign portending victory (1SA 14:9-12)
b. his faith was rewarded (1SA 14:13-15)
1) he and his armor bearer killed 20 men in ½ an acre (1SA 14:14)
2) the Philistine army was struck by a panic from God and retreated (1SA 14:15)
2. when he was strengthened by Providential honey he found during the follow-up attack (1SA 14:27)
a. he found honey oozing out of the ground and ate it (1SA 14:27)
b. he criticized the order which prevented the men from benefiting as he had (1SA 14:29)
3. when he was rescued from Saul’s death edict (1SA 14:16-49)
a. Saul decreed that death would punish any who did not fast on battle day (1SA 14:24)
1) Jonathan was ignorant of the edict and innocent of wrongdoing (1SA 14:27)
2) Jonathan was found out and condemned (1SA 14:43,44)
b. he was defended by the troops (1SA 14:45)
CAN YOU SEE THE ARMOR OF GOD ON HIM HERE?
B. He Was Faithful
1. when he made a covenant with David
WHAT IS A COVENANT?
IT IS A SOLEMN, BINDING OATH OR AGREEMENT, TREATY OR TESTAMENT USUALLY BETWEEN TWO MEN (BUT ALSO BETWEEN GOD AND MAN/MEN) TO DO OR KEEP FROM DOING SOME SPECIFIC THING.
a. “Jonathan became one in spirit with David and he loved him as himself” (1SA 18:1)
WHY? PSA 42:7 “Deep calls to deep…”
1) David was full of the Holy Spirit (1SA 16:13)
2) David had just defeated Goliath in the strength of the LORD (1SA 17:37, 45-50)
b. Jonathan unilaterally pledged himself and his resources to aid David (1SA 18:3,4)
1) he stripped himself of his robe and gave it to David (a picture of himself and his office:1SA 18:4)
2) he gave his armor to David (a picture of his resources and power:1SA 18:4)
2. when he kept his covenant with David
a. he protected David from Saul’s first attempt to kill him (1SA 19:1-3)
1) he did not kill David as Saul had ordered him to (1SA 19:1,2)
WAS IT RIGHT FOR JONATHAN TO DISOBEY SAUL’S ORDER?
a) JONATHAN RECOGNIZED THAT DAVID WAS THE LORD’S ANOINTED AND THAT TOUCHING HIM WOULD BE STRIKING AT GOD (ACT 5:29):
b) JONATHAN HAD MADE A COVENANT OF PROTECTION WITH DAVID WHICH HE HAD TO KEEP: c) HE KNEW THAT DAVID WAS INNOCENT OF WRONGDOING AND THAT SAUL WAS JEALOUS OF HIM.
2) he warned David to hide from Saul until peace could be made (1SA 19:2)
3) he defended David to Saul and accomplished reconciliation (1SA 19:4-6)
b. he protected David from Saul’s fourth attack (Michal, David’s wife had helped him in the second, and Samuel and God in the third: 1SA 19:9-24; 20:1-42)
1) David appealed to Jonathan for help (1SA 20:1-4)
a) he asked that Jonathan ascertain Saul’s intentions (1SA 20: 5-8)
b) he asked that Jonathan warn him of any danger (1SA 20:10)
2) Jonathan and David made covenants (1SA 20:14-17)
a) Jonathan made a covenant with David (1SA 20:12-15)
i. he promised to help David (1SA 20:12,13)
ii. he asked that David never kill him and made a covenant of mutual kindness extending to their descendants (1SA 20:14,15)
WHY WOULD JONATHAN FEAR FOR HIS SAFETY?
BECAUSE HE COULD SEE THAT DAVID WAS GAINING POWER AND THAT HE WAS A THREAT AS THE HEIR APPARENT:
“As long as the son of Jesse lives on this earth, neither you nor your kingdom will be established” (1SA 20:31).
b) David made a covenant of lovingkindness with Jonathan (1SA 20:17)
3) Jonathan gave David protection (1SA 20:18-42)
a) he let him hide in a field without detection until Saul’s intentions could be determined (1SA 20:5)
b) he arranged a signal for David to warn him of danger (1SA 20: 20-24)
c) he tested Saul with David’s plan to learn his intentions (1SA 20: 25-34)
d) he warned David and sent him away with a blessing (1SA 20:42)
4) Jonathan and David made a final covenant of peace before God (1SA 23:18)
C. He Was Content
1. when he accepted his position
a. he served Saul and his country
1) he was a soldier
a) he may have served against the Ammonites at Jabesh-gilead
b) he was commander of 1/3 of Israel’s troops
c) he commanded 1,000 troops at Gibeah of Benjamin (1SA 13:2)
d) he attacked the Philistine outpost at Geba which precipitated war (1SA 13:3)
e) he routed the Philistine camp with his armor bearer and slew 20 men (1SA 14:8-14)
2) he was the heir apparent
a) he wore the royal robes of a prince (1SA 18:4)
b) he enjoyed the privilege of customarily dining with the king (1SA 20:25)
c) he was intimately acquainted with the affairs of state (1SA 20:2)
d) he wielded considerable influence with the king (1SA 19:6)
b. he did not use his fame as a soldier as a springboard to the throne (1SA 14:45) *contrast this with David’s sons Amnon and Absalom.
c. he did not seek revenge against Saul when he hurled his spear at him (1SA 20:33)
2. when he did not resent David as God’s choice over him as king (1SA 23:17)
a. he encouraged David to stay close to God (1SA 23:16)
b. he believed that God was providentially protecting David so that he could become the next king (1SA 23:17)
c. he anticipated serving David with joy (1SA 23:17)
3. when he continued to serve Saul until his death (1SA 31:1-6; 2SA 1:23)
III. What Can We Learn From Him?
Added to Bible Bulletin Board's "Kathy Capoccia's Sunday School Lessons for Young Adults" by:
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