Tag Archives: 1 Samuel 18

Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 90/260: Jonathan

Read 1 Samuel 18:1-4; 19:1-24; 20:1-42

True Friendship

It was Jonathan, the son of king Saul, who attempted to reconcile the relationship between David and his father, and who on multiple occasions came to David’s defense against his father’s allegations. The Scriptures describe their friendship such that “the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul” (1 Samuel 18:1).

It should come as no surprise that Jonathan was upset by his father’s actions against his friend. Wanting to smooth things over between the two, he had a conversation with Saul and encouraged him, “Let not the king sin against his servant, against David, because he has not sinned against you, and because his works have been very good toward you” (1 Samuel 19:4). In response, the Scriptures state that “Saul swore, ‘As the Lord lives, he shall not be killed’” (1 Samuel 19:6). How trustworthy was Saul’s oath? Had he not been insincere and violated such in the past?

Indeed, Saul’s true colors were shown as his jealousy and paranoia returned. He attempted “to pin David to the wall with the spear” (1 Samuel 19:10), and then “sent messengers to David’s house to watch him and to kill him in the morning” (1 Samuel 19:11). David escaped with the help of his wife, Saul’s daughter, Michal. David then fled to Ramah to find Samuel and told him all that had occurred. Saul pursued him there; David fled again, and again his true friend Jonathan was there to help.

Saul became terribly angry with his son, calling him the “son of a perverse, rebellious woman,” warning Jonathan that “as long as the son of Jesse lives on the earth, you shall not be established, nor your kingdom” (1 Samuel 20:30-31). Saul was determined that David must die.

Despite the knowledge that he would never be king, Jonathan defended his friend. “Why should he be killed? What has he done?” (1 Samuel 20:32). Saul, enraged by his son’s loyalty to David, threw a spear at Jonathan in an attempt to kill him!

Do you have friends that will defend you when you are wrongly accused? Are you the type of friend that will stand up against false allegations against your friends? May we all strive to be friends like Jonathan and David.

Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 88/260: David

Read 1 Samuel 18:1-16

Wisdom or Fear?

God had already told Saul through the prophet Samuel that the kingdom would be taken away from him. After God indicated to Samuel that the next king would be David, “a distressing spirit” came upon Saul. Could it be that Saul became paranoid, always looking over his shoulder, always wondering when he would lose the throne?

The inspired record states, “So David went out wherever Saul sent him, and behaved wisely” (1 Samuel 18:5). Upon one occasion, the women danced and sang, “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands” (1 Samuel 18:7). Saul’s reaction was one of anger, and he asked, “Now what more can he have but the kingdom?” (1 Samuel 18:8). He was jealous of David’s popularity and he realized that losing favor in the sight of the people would lead to his downfall more quickly. He kept an eye on David from that time forward, and even threw his spear at him.

1 Samuel 18:12 is very telling: “Now Saul was afraid of David, because the LORD was with him, but had departed from Saul.” God had given up on Saul as the king had disobeyed Him time after time, and Saul knew that God was no longer with him. He could clearly see that the Lord was with David, though, which caused terror in the king’s heart and mind.

David’s behavior was always one of wisdom before the king. David’s behavior troubled Saul because he knew that the Lord would bless David as long as he was faithful and wise. Not only that, but David’s behavior fostered love in the hearts of “all Israel and Judah” (1 Samuel 18:16). There was little Saul could do right in the sight of the people; there was little David could do wrong.

Our reputation is important, as long as it is based on our character and integrity. We should desire people to speak well of us and be honest with their reports. One of the qualifications for the eldership in the church today is that a man “must have a good testimony among those who are outside” (1 Timothy 3:7). And when someone does speak poorly of us, we should let our character speak for itself so that “those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed” (1 Peter 3:16). Let us labor to be wise and faithful, and put away thoughts of paranoia and fear when others do well!