Jonathan

His story is told in 1 Samuel 13—31. He is also mentioned in 2 Samuel 9.

 

Had boldness because he concentrated on God.

1 Sam 14:6  "Let’s go across to see those pagans," Jonathan said to his armor bearer. "Perhaps the Lord will help us, for nothing can hinder the Lord. He can win a battle whether he has many warriors or only a few!"

Jonathan was not afraid of his problems because he believed that God is able to help him no matter what the odds. If God is to intervene in our situation, we must not doubt. If we doubt, we are hindering God from doing His work.

But before Jonathan said, by "nothing can hinder the Lord", he precedes it with an interesting remark, "Perhaps the Lord will help us." Whether or not God will help us in our difficulties depend on these two things. God must be both willing and able to help us. We already know He is able. He must also be willing.

There may be reasons why God may not be willing to help you solve your difficulties now. It may be that these difficulties are teaching you something precious. It may be that these difficulties are testing our faith. Paul told the early Christians that they will encounter trials which will actually be good for them. We need to rest on God's sovereignty and know that despite His not resolving our problems immediately, He still loves us and wants the situation to benefit us. Can you think back of all the difficulties you had in the past? Have they thought you something? In my own experience, I have found that those difficult times are the ones I learnt from most.

Are you encountering any problems today that you need God's help to win the "battle" for you? Commit the situation to Him and pray until something positive happens. At the meantime, rest in God's sovereignty and believe that for as long as the problems remain, God is teaching you something.

 

Blatantly disobeyed his father's authority

(1 Sam 14:24-29) Now the men of Israel were in distress that day, because Saul had bound the people under an oath, saying, "Cursed be any man who eats food before evening comes, before I have avenged myself on my enemies!" So none of the troops tasted food. {25} The entire army entered the woods, and there was honey on the ground. {26} When they went into the woods, they saw the honey oozing out, yet no one put his hand to his mouth, because they feared the oath. {27} But Jonathan had not heard that his father had bound the people with the oath, so he reached out the end of the staff that was in his hand and dipped it into the honeycomb. He raised his hand to his mouth, and his eyes brightened. {28} Then one of the soldiers told him, "Your father bound the army under a strict oath, saying, 'Cursed be any man who eats food today!' That is why the men are faint." {29} Jonathan said, "My father has made trouble for the country. See how my eyes brightened when I tasted a little of this honey.

Tasting honey by itself is not wrong. It may even be true that Saul had not acted wisely by issuing this command. But what was wrong is Jonathan's disobedient attitude towards his king and father. It is true we should not obey our leaders if their instructions are sinful but if they are not, we should obey them even though it may seem foolish to us. The Bible says that we should submit to authority because God has allowed them to be in those positions to govern us. The only time we disobey them is when they go against God.

Have you been unable to submit to your leaders because you feel that their decisions are foolish? Why not exercise humility and submit to them? God will work in the situation and improve it.

 

Was a loyal friend who put friendship before personal well-being

(1 Sam 20:32-33) "Why should he be put to death? What has he done?" Jonathan asked his father. {33} But Saul hurled his spear at him to kill him.

Jonathan often helped David even at the expense of his life. If we want to help someone, it may be at a cost. For example, we may speak up and defend a colleague at the office at the risk of offending our bosses. We may draw close to a colleague who is disliked by everyone at the risk of also falling out of favor with the rest.

Jonathan was a faithful friend and although he did not make it to kingship, his life was recorded for us to follow. When one thinks about genuine friendship in the Bible, the name Jonathan comes to mind immediately.

God placed a high priority on friendship. When Jesus was on earth, He was a friend to the people He met. He was there to intermingle with them and to meet their needs. And at times, he helped people at the expense of provoking the people.

Is there someone who needs your friendship? Are you willing to provide that friendship even if it comes at a cost?

 

His loyalty was guided by truth

He suffered a conflict of loyalty between his father and his friend. His ultimate loyalty is to God and his determination to do what is right.

(1 Sam 19:4-5) Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father and said to him, "Let not the king do wrong to his servant David; he has not wronged you, and what he has done has benefited you greatly. {5} He took his life in his hands when he killed the Philistine. The LORD won a great victory for all Israel, and you saw it and were glad. Why then would you do wrong to an innocent man like David by killing him for no reason?"

We may have to come to this situation like Jonathan did and be forced to choose sides in a conflict. Remember how Jonathan chose. He did not choose his father because Saul was part of his family. He did not choose David simply because he believed that David could be the next king. He chose what was right.

Let our loyalty also be determined by God's standards. Let's choose what is right.