Here’s a courageous fellow. And he’s a man fully submissive to God. I think a quick study of this great young man is a good way to begin our week.
For Jonathan, Faithfulness was More Important Than His Career
According to 1 Samuel, Jonathan was the son of King Saul (1 Samuel 13:16). Now, don’t miss that. Jonathan was the Prince. He would be the next in line to follow after his father Saul as the King of Israel. His future was bright. All Jonathan would have to do is remain loyal to his father and one day he would expect to be over the entire nation of Israel. Usually, that’ s the way it worked. Later David’s son Solomon would be King and his son Rehoboam would be King after him. Jonathan was in a great position.
But Jonathan also knew that Saul had displeased God and that God was no longer with him. Instead of trying to defend his father and support him – hoping to keep him in the throne and enjoy the benefits of royalty – Jonathan allied himself with David. Why?
Jonathan allied himself with David because David was God’s man. Jonathan was willing to risk his own life (1 Samuel 20:30-34) for David because it was more important to him to be faithful than to advance his future.
For Jonathan, Courage was His Reputation
It takes courage to be a soldier. I am amazed when I think of some of the horrific missions our soldiers undertake. Jonathan was, first of all, a soldier. He fought with his father on the front lines and was a fierce defender of God’s people against the raging heathen armies. Jonathan finally lost his life in battle (1 Samuel 31:2).
Jonathan also showed courage against his own father, the King. Saul had come to hate David and wanted him dead. Jonathan was willing to speak up for the future King ( 1 Samuel 20:24-34). Remember, at this time there was nothing David could offer Jonathan. David had been forced to flee into the wilderness and live the life of a fugitive. Yet, Jonathan was courageous and did the right thing. He defended an innocent man against his enraged father.
What about Us?
We have our chance to be courageous every day. For us, the world is Saul and David stands for righteousness. Like Jonathan, we must often risk something to be found faithful. We may risk friendships, relationships and even careers when we stand for truth.
Although the Bible never says so directly, Jonathan trusted in and depended upon God. Why else cast his lot with David at the risk of angering his unstable father?
We can be like Jonathan and trust God to provide. Courage is what the world needs and God’s people are in just the right place to give it.
What do you think about Jonathan?