Saul and David; Jonathan and David; Two Very Different Relationships (1 Samuel 19 – 20)

Saul determined to kill David, and commissioned his men to do so.  Jonathan warned David, then reasoned with his father and convinced him that David had value and should not be killed.  Saul relented, and David was spared.  David won a great battle against the Philistines, and was with Saul as before.  Then the distressing spirit came upon Saul, and David played for him.  Saul threw his spear at David, driving it into the wall, but David slipped away.  Michal, David’s wife, warned him that Saul had men waiting outside to kill him in the morning, and let him down through a window to escape.  She put an image in his bed and covered it up.  She told the messengers that David was sick.  Saul asked for them to bring him in the bed.  When Saul saw he had been tricked, he was angry with his daughter, Michal.  David fled to Samuel, and Saul sent men to get him.  However, when they came near Samuel, who was prophesying, they began to prophesy as well, and could not pursue David.  Three times this happened.  Saul then went and prophesied as well, and stripped off his clothes and lay down naked all that day and night.

David went to Jonathan to discuss the situation with him.  David revealed that Saul had hidden his intentions to kill David from Jonathan because he knew Jonathan loved David.  He asked Jonathan to get him forgiveness for missing the king’s New Moon meal the next day.  David was so shaken, he questions Jonathan’s loyalty to their covenant.  Jonathan re-affirmed his covenant with David, and vowed to meet him in three days to discuss the matter further.  When David did not show up at the feast, Saul inquired as to his whereabouts, and Jonathan told the ruse that David had gone to Bethlehem to sacrifice.  Saul was enraged with Jonathan, and Jonathan spoke up for David and left in anger.  Jonathan shared the account of the events at the feast and sent David on his way for safety.

These two relationship stand in stark contrast to one another.  Saul was hunting down David, who he assumed to be his mortal enemy, even though David was a tremendous help to him in many ways.  Jonathan stood with his friend, however, even when it would cost him much.  Which kind of friend would you want?  Which kind of friend are you?  The book, “Tale of Three Kings,” speaks of the difference in the heart of Saul and David, and encourages individuals to emulate the humble, obedient, righteous king, David, instead of the selfish, paranoid king, Saul.  Today, emulate the relationship between Jonathan and David, a relationship in covenant, based on love and respect, rather than the relationship between Saul and David, adversarial and angry.

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