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January 2, 2021 12:01 am
When King Saul sought to destroy David, Jonathan's loyalties were tested. Would he serve his father and betray his friend? Today, R.C. Sproul looks at the bond that David and Jonathan shared--one that even death could not break.
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King Saul hated young David, and Jonathan was caught between the two.
His father and his friend, but in his loyalty to David. He has to be disloyal to his own father, and I don't think we can skip over that lightly. And the tension that had to be in the heart of Jonathan when he knew that he was being torn between the ties of blood. The loyalty of family and the love he had for his friend David and Jonathan demonstrated toward one another is legendary. Their friendship provides one of the most gripping narratives in Scripture, a friendship that was tested many times, but as we learned in this and future lessons, even death could not break up on Dr. RC's for as we continue our study of the life of David, we turn our attention now to chapter 20 of four Samuel which chapter gives us that wonderful narrative of the deep love and affection that existed between David and Jonathan. What I want us to see in this episode is the expression of loyalty that takes place between France and among brothers and sisters. I remember being on an airplane many years ago. On the way to California from Pittsburgh and I happen to be seated next to a man whose name was the Barlow. It wasn't the young, the Barlow that owns the San Francisco 49ers. It was his father who was the head of this vast corporate empire in America and in the course of that trip. We had all kinds of interesting discussions and we talked about how to put together a team of people to work in an organization for a common cause and how to find good managers and that sort of thing and I said to Mr. Barlow. What's the single most important quality that you look for, among your managers and he never hesitated. He looked at me and he said loyalty I had mixed feelings at that moment because all the books I had read it.
So yes, it's important to have loyalty and so on. But the person who surround himself by yes-men and by people who were sycophants who were just do whatever the person says can be construed as being loyalists, but they won't tell the leader what the leader needs to hear in times of crises. That really isn't loyalty. But why would this man who would build an empire still say in spite of all of the downfalls and downsides to looking for loyal people that he say the number one consideration he had was loyalty because he understood that in any enterprise where people are involved working together whether it's a family whether it's a home whether it's a church, whether it's a company, whether it's a football team.
Loyalty is absolutely essential for that operation for us to work together in any enterprise. We have to be able to trust each other and trust is a fickle thing. It's an extremely fragile thing. I've often said it takes years and years for deep levels of trust to develop between two people and five minutes to destroy and some people after you have broken a trust to look at you and say please forgive me. Trust me, but trust to a certain degree is not something that one can do voluntarily.
I can push a button in my soul in sight. Now I trust you. Do you mean well I act in a trusting way will I take risks with you. Yes, I'm prepared to do that but will I have a confidence in my soul that you are trustworthy. I can't push a button for that. I often wonder why it is that God allows one ground, at least for the dissolution of a marriage. Which of the grounds of adultery. It seems to me if there's any human relationship where we are the most vulnerable and the most dependent upon trust is the relationship of marriage and when that sacred trust is violated and broken is very hard, particularly to ask a woman to say trust him again. This is the reason why we make covenants. This is the reason why we make promises. This is the reason why we enter in the pack's & written agreements because we are not trustworthy.
I used to take a very loose attitude to resist things that I made a sonic contract on the this he knows my words good. Your words good until I had an agreement like that once in the other person violated it blatantly and I went to that person and I said you said that we were going to do this this this and this and the person look me in the eye and said he have in writing and I said no I don't but that's what you said he simple if you know that erotic don't come to me and say give me this.
I said you said stuff doesn't mean anything hi Chris, terribly disillusioned by that and it bothers me to even ask to have anything in writing, but it's because all of us are covenant breakers, all of us have violated our word in the past that we resort to covenants not what we have in the story of David and Jonathan is a precious narrative of human loyalty and yet we need to see that in that story of such a deep and profound loyalty. There is an emphasis and stress that is put upon covenant. Let's look if we will add chapter 20 David fled into Rama and went and said the Jonathan, what I done. What is my iniquity.
What is my sin before your father that he seeks my life and Jonathan said to him by no means you shall not die, indeed my father will do nothing either great or small, without first telling me and why would my father hide this thing for me it is not so David, you're being paranoid.
My father's not have to kill you. My father's not going to try to get you and David could've said look, if you just went back and read the last chapter he was thinking that my wife Michael had to bring my bed at home and put a dummy in the bed because your father sent his soldiers over to my house in order to kill me and I got blood down out of the window and I escaped from that situation.
Jonathan, he's serious.
He means business.
Your father is trying to kill me, David. If my father was trying to kill you know about it.
Whatever he plans to do whether something monumental important sort some trivial matter. He discusses it with me and David took an oath and he said your father certainly knows that I have found favor in your eyes, and he has said do not let Jonathan know this, lest he be grieved, but as the Lord lives and as your soul lives.
There is but a step between me and death of the purpose of this oath is to assure Jonathan David means what he is saying. He said Jonathan I promise you, your father's try to kill. I will swear to it before God that I know that this is what's happening so Jonathan said to David verse four of chapter 20 whatever you yourself desire.
I will do it for you is mixed loyalty here and we have a tendency to praise Jonathan to high heaven. Because of his loyalty to David, but in his loyalty to David. He has to be disloyal to his own father, and I don't think we can skip over that lightly. And the tension that had to be in the heart of Jonathan when he knew that he was being torn between the ties of blood. The loyalty of family and the love he had for his friend. We say that blood is thicker than water. And that family should hang together and stick together the most loyal people on this planet to me on the members of my family and I know that I can remember an incident that took place several years ago in Ethiopia at the time when Hallie Selassie was still alive and was the Emperor of that country.
Hallie Selassie left the country went to another nation on some international mission and while he was gone. Some gorillas, some renegades came in letter and uprising and came into the airport at Addis Ababa and captured Hallie Selassie sent and at gunpoint, forced Hallie Selassie's son to turn over the radio station and the reins of government to this group of usurpers while a message somehow reached the ears of Hallie Selassie and he hastened to return to Ethiopia and he came back into the country and with hours after his return into the country. He was able to put this coup attempt down and to regain control of his own government and secure the release of his son. After the dust settled and the uprising was over Hallie Selassie son was brought into the presence of his father and the Emperor said to his son. Why did you do and his sons and father had no choice. They had a gun to my head and Hallie Selassie look at his son and he said I am glad my son that you are alive, but I would have been proud to have attended your funeral well. Can you imagine how you would feel if your father looked at you and said I would be proud to attend your funeral. Hallie Selassie was saying to his son son you betrayed me.
I know was under duress and all the rest, but still you betrayed me, and this is what Jonathan is doing here. What possible justification does Jonathan have, to take part in a conspiracy against his father at least a conspiracy of warning, David, and so on. Is not a conspiracy against Saul, but for David, while the Scripture tells us how it was that Jonathan was able to remain loyal to David and not to his own father and that is because Jonathan understood that Saul was wrong and Jonathan was not about to say my father right or wrong. My father, I love my father were flesh and blood, but my father is attacking an innocent man without cause and it is my duty to warn him and so we come, then, and he says to David whatever you desire. I will do it for you. So David said the Jonathan indeed tomorrows. The new moon and I shall not fail to sit with the king to eat but let me go that I may hide in the field until the third day at evening, and if your father misses me at all, then say David earnestly asked permission of May they might run over to Bethlehem, his city, for there is a yearly sacrifice there for all the family and if he said that's fine. Your server will be safe. But if he is very angry. Be sure that evil is determined by him therefore you shall deal kindly with your servant for your brought your servant into a covenant of the Lord with you. Nevertheless, if there is iniquity in me, kill me yourself. For why should you bring me to your father, Jonathan said, far be it from you, for I know certainly that evil was determined by my father to come upon you. If I knew that would I not tell you. And so David uses little white lie here know remember we been calling David. David the great and David the man after God's own heart.
What were beginning to see would David as he gets more and more distressed by Saul's hostility in pursuit of him. David does not always act with integrity about David's sinful nature becomes more and more evident as this drama develops. Yes, he was a man after God's own heart, but he was a sinner after God's own heart. And let's not forget that and already he's concocting this story that have Jonathan go back ally to solve in his behalf and say that David has to go to Bethlehem for the feast, and so on.
And this is a test to find out what the reaction of Saul may be in the meantime, they cook up a scenario by which David can be warned, if indeed Saul is determined to kill and so David said the Jonathan verse 10 chapter 20, who will tell me were one of your father answers you roughly Jonathan said to David, let's go to the field and they went out in the field and Jonathan said to Dave, the Lord God of Israel is witness when I have sounded out my father tomorrow or the third day. Indeed, there is good toward David and I did not send you and tell you. May the Lord do so much more to Jonathan, but if it pleases my father to you. Do you evil than ever, reported to you and send you a way that you may go in safety and the Lord be with you and then you will show me the kindness of the Lord. While I still live that I may not die but you shall not cut off your kindness from my house forever know not when the Lord is cut off every one of the enemies of David from the face of the earth.
Let's not forget that they make a pact they make a solemn covenant that whatever happens in this. Jonathan is saying the David that you will remember me in your kingdom. I'm not trying to have your kingdom, David.
I know that the kingdom has been prepared for you, but I would sure like to be on your team. I would sure like to still be your friend. I would still like to sit in your kingdom. And if all the enemies of of view David of my father's house are destroyed spare my family.
Remember that because one of the most moving episodes of David's life happens.
Years later when Saul dies and David scours the kingdom to find a remnant of the house of Jonathan in order for him to keep the words of this covenant, and of this vile that he takes here on this occasion. Verse 17 Jonathan again caused David to vile DC. This chapter is filled with vials and promises and covenants between these two men. Jonathan caused David Devall because he loved him, for he loved him as he loved his own soul.
And then they work out this arrangement on the next day. David will be hiding out in the field someplace and Jonathan will find out what the plans of Saul Lauren Hill take a servant for their and hills shoot some arrows as if he shooting at some game out in the wilderness. There, and when he shoots those arrows and he sends the servant to fetch those arrows he's arranged a code with David where if he tells the servant to go in one direction that communicates to David that he's in trouble that Saul is planning to take his life and David must flee for safety. But if he sends them in a different direction. It's all Aeolian comfrey you can come on in, David.
You can bring arrows in and come in yourself because Saul has no evil intentions and so David hid in the field. In this episode took place and in the meantime, Jonathan speaks to his father Saul and he tells them the story that David had cooked up the David asked permission to go to Bethlehem and so on. In verse 30 of the text we read then Saul's anger was aroused against Jonathan and he said to him, you son of a perverse rebellious woman if you can translate that in the vernacular on your own.
You need my help but notice he stopped taking credit for Jonathan's being his son is now cursing his wife are bearing Jonathan do I not know that you have chosen the son of Jesse to your own shame and to the shame of your mother's nakedness for as long as the son of Jesse lives on the earth. You shall not be established, nor your kingdom.
Now therefore send and bring him to me for he shall surely die in with these words Jonathan without a doubt that Saul was planning to kill and so Jonathan arose from the table and fierce anger eight. No food.
The second day of the month, for he was grieved for David because his father had treated him shamefully and so in the morning the arrows were released into the air and David was given the warning and we read in verse 41 as soon as the land had gone. David arose from a place toward the South fell on his face to the ground and bowed down three times and David and Jonathan kissed one another and they wept together, but David more so and then Jonathan said to David, go in peace. Since we have both sworn in the name of the Lord, saying, May the Lord be between you and me between your descendents and my descendents forever so he arose and departed, and Jonathan went into the city when we were kids in youth group, we used to give the Mizpah benediction at the end of every Fellowship meeting May the Lord watch between you and me while we are absent one from the other which is taken from the book of Genesis and we tend to think of that benediction is simply asking for God's protection no that vile is this. We have made a commitment to each other. I'm going to trust my life to you. You're going to trust your life to me, and right now were all in one accord. I'm going to go my way you're going to go your way. I don't know what tomorrow is going to bring in your life you know what tomorrow is going to bring in my life. You may change your mind about your loyalty to you may be seduced by one of my enemies tomorrow and if that happens, remember that God's will and that God is watching me because he is the one who will go hard. Our friendship, David and Jonathan enjoyed is an example for all of us stay with us here on Renewing Your Mind, Dr. RC Sproul returned to just a moment with a final thought about the loyalty of these two friends as we study the life of David each Saturday at Dr. Strohl is taking the time to help us see David's place in redemptive history.
King David is an important figure in both the old and new Testaments resource offered today provide you with a firm understanding of how Scripture fits together.
The old and the new.
It's the special edition of RC series dust, the glory, there are 57 messages in the series, plus a disk containing the study guides you can request this special resource when you go to Renewing Your Mind.org work when you call us at 800-435-4343 to supplement your study of David that I would encourage you to consider subscribing to our monthly devotional magazine table talk for more than 40 years it's been bringing articles in daily Bible studies to more than 100,000 subscribers unilaterally receive the monthly physical magazine, but you'll also have access to the firstname.lastname@example.org. I just did a search and there are numerous articles on the life of David. You'll find additional content online. It's not in the print edition.
You can learn more and email@example.com. Dell hears RC with a quorum.
Dale thought Porras I want to speak to you for a moment about trust and about loyalty. Every person who hears my voice right now has had the experience of somebody's breaking trust with you.
You know what it means to put your trust in someone and depend upon their loyalty and have them Atreyu by the same token, you know in your own mind and in your own memory. Those people in your life that you have betrayed, where you have broken trust with them, and most significantly, we have broken trust with God himself.
We have made promises to God promises to Christ violence that are sacred and holy and we have broken those promises. That's why the Bible warns us against the rash making of vials and pledging of oaths and promises because the Bible said it is better not to file than to vile and not keep the vile and yet we need the security of promises, solemn promises of covenants and of agreements that are made among ourselves because we are fallen people and we are people who break our promises.
Let this lesson in the life of David and Jonathan be burned into your mind is an example of the importance of loyalty of trust in the keeping of promises because of that loyalty and trust that David and Jonathan demonstrated King Saul's jealousy only increases and leads to a life on the run from David. We hope you'll join us next Saturday for Renewing Your Mind