“As soon as David returned from killing the Philistine, Abner took him and brought him before Saul, with David still holding the philistines head. “Whose son are you, young man?” Saul asked him. David said, “I am the son of your servant Jesse of Bethlehem.” After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself” (1 Samuel 17:55-18:1).
Can you picture a young, 15-year-old, ruddy shepherd boy, with a bloody head of a giant? How much would the head of a giant weigh? The grotesquely large head of the so-called elephant man weighed 20 pounds, so I think Goliath was up there in weight. A whole army fled and hid from this giant, but not this young man whose faith was not in men or weapons but in his Father who created it ALL.
Saul becomes jealous and demented in destroying such faith. Oh, who in Israel had witnessed such faith? No one! This was faith that started with David defeating a bear and then a lion. But Jonathan had the wisdom to see a man who had the glory and favor of the Father on him, and instead of being intimidated, he became inspired and in awe of the God that was so big in David.
I pray the Body of Messiah can get to this place. Lay down all our reasons for walls, fears, jealousy, and suspicions. The Body of Yeshua can knit their souls together and put their fingers down and learn from His Torah.
Why could David defeat what a whole army couldn’t?
He tells us in Psalm 119. “How I love your Torah! I meditate on it all day. Because your mitzvoth are mine forever. I have more understanding than all my teachers because I meditate on your instruction. I understand more than my elders, because I keep your precepts” (119:97-100).
“Then said David, O LORD God of Israel, thy servant has certainly heard that Saul seeks to come to Keilah, to destroy the city for my sake. Will the men of keilah deliver me up into his hands? Will Saul come down, as thy servant has heard? O Lord God of Israel, I beseech thee, tell thy servant”
Now here is where it gets interesting. “and the Lord said he will come down” Then said David, will the men of Keilah deliver me and my men into the hand of Saul? AND THE LORD SAID, THEY WILL DELIVER THEE UP!” (1st Samuel 23:11-12 KJV).
HaShem doesn’t say, “No I will destroy them.” He doesn’t say, “You are safe here because you are under the shadow of the Almighty.” He basically says the same thing he told a man named Joseph, “…get up, take the child and his mother and escape Egypt, stay there until I tell you for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him” (Matthew 2:13).
Something happens in the story that seems odd to me. Verse 14 talks about David hiding in the mountains and the strongholds, and how Saul sought to kill him every day. But then you get to verse 16, and it says, “Jonathan Saul’s son arose, and went to David into the wood, and strengthened his hand in God” (23:16 ASV).
Let’s stop there for just a minute. The enemy’s son knew exactly where David was, and he is next in line to be the king. He is up for promotion as King of the land if his father keeps the crown. Jonathan says, “Do not be afraid, because the hand of Saul my father will not find you, and you will be king over Israel, and I will be next to you, and Saul my father knows that also. And they made a covenant before the Lord!” (1 Samuel 23:17 NASB).
Sometimes the people The Father has paired us with are not people our family or friends accept, or even see as good for us. Saul warned his son, “As long as the son of Jesse lives on this earth, neither you nor your kingdom will be established. Now send someone to bring him to me, for he must die!”(1 Samuel 20:31).
Jonathan doesn’t seem to care. He knows in his spirit that God has given the crown to another, and he isn’t going to fight for it.
Some think that when Jonathan tells David, “I shall be next.” He doesn’t mean next in line for kingship; he means he will be right beside him as a guard.
Jonathan sides with his father’s enemy. He protects him, warns him, and is even willing to hand him THE CROWN, the fame, and the honor. He laid it all down. He also gave him his robe and his armor. They wept together, prayed together, and were “friends.”
They were friends over family blood.
Jonathan would soon die in battle, and that dream of him seeing David as king would escape him. David would have to go through a long life’s journey without his best friend, but he would still have his robe and his armor. He would still be able to pull it out on occasion and remember his friendship, and he would receive the thrown.
And when David’s enemy dies in battle, David does something many of us wouldn’t do. He says this, “Oh, how the mighty have fallen!” (2 Samuel 1:25).
“From the blood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty, the bow of Jonathan turned not back, and the sword of Saul returned not empty. Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their death, they were not divided: they were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions. Ye daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you in scarlet, with other delights, who put on ornaments of gold upon your apparel” (2nd Samuel 1:22-24 KJB).
Many of us would have said things like this, “Well, you reap what you sow,” or if Saul had given up his crown and given it to me, this would have never happened. He made so many mistakes as king, and he erred so many times. He was wrong, I was right!”
Yes, many of us would have said just that.
David rose above that attitude. He saw the good in a man that wanted him dead. I have lost some friends and gained some enemies in my lifetime, but I want to get to the place where I have David’s heart. Don’t you? And that is why he was a man after Yah’s own heart.
Photograph by Jeff Manning