Summary: Saul’s Jealousy, David’s loss, Jonathan's friendship
• Two friends were walking through the woods when they thought they heard something.
• They turned around and saw a big black bear coming towards them.
• Both men started to run towards safety;
• When one of them stopped to change into training shoes.
• The other friend said
• 'You don't have time to change shoes. You can't outrun that bear!'
• The first friend replied;
• “I know I can't outrun the bear. I only have to outrun you!”
• In times of danger, when the heat is on – you find out who your friends are!
• The Poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge once described friendship as;
• “A sheltering tree”
• True friends are those who like a great leafy tree,
• Who spread themselves over us and provide us with shade from the sun
• Whose presence is a stand against the blast of winter’s wind of loneliness.
• A great sheltering tree – a good description for a friend!
• In chapter 20 of 1 Samuel we meet a man called Jonathan;
• Who was not just a ‘sheltering tree’ to David but was an entire forest!
• In a recent survey on friendship;
• These were the qualities that were most valued in a friend:
• (1). The ability to keep confidences
• (2). Loyalty
• (3). Warmth and affection.
• Jonathan who was a friend to David had those qualities in abundance;
• We see two sides to Jonathan’s loyalty and friendship in these early verses:
• Jonathan was a friend to David both to his face:
• i.e. He warned David to his face, that his father was out to kill him;
• (1 Samuel chapter 19 verses 1-3).
• Jonathan was also a friend to David:
• Behind David's back, when he wasn't around:
• (1 Samuel chapter 19 verse 4): "Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul".
• In this verse Jonathan defends David before his father King Saul,
• Arguing David's case, sticking up for David;
• Despite the consequences that would take place as a result of his actions.
• So when David need a friend and companion;
• He found a genuine mate in Jonathan.
• You will have already noted that friendship in previous studies (1 Samuel chapter 18).
• These two chapters that I have been asked to speak on cover 65 verses;
• So we are obviously not going through them verse by verse,
• Unless you want a very long sermon;
• This week I was reading about the great Methodist preacher John Wesley;
• Who got so into his text that he hardly knew how to stop;
“…at Cardiff almost the whole town came together. Wesley spoke on the Beatitudes with such enlargement of heart, that he knew not how to give over,
so that they “continued three hours.”
• Well you will be glad to know that I don’t intend preaching for three hours;
• But I do want to divide these 65 verses into three headings.
• And pick out from them three key themes.
(1). Saul’s Jealousy (vs 1&9-10):
Quote: American Comedian Rodney Dangerfield used to joke about jealousy:
“My wife's jealousy is getting ridiculous.
The other day she looked at my calendar and wanted to know who May was".
• More seriously Antisthenes (An-tis-then-es);
• Was a Greek philosopher and a pupil of Socrates – he said:
• "As iron is eaten away by rust, so the envious are consumed by their own passion".
As iron is eaten away by rust, so Saul was consumed by his jealous passion:
• Verse 1:
• “Saul told his son Jonathan and all the attendants to kill David.”
“But an evil spirit from the LORD came on Saul as he was sitting in his house with his spear in his hand. While David was playing the lyre, 10 Saul tried to pin him to the wall with his spear, but David eluded him as Saul drove the spear into the wall. That night David made good his escape”.
• The writer H.G. Wells says of one of his strange characters, Mr Polly;
• “He was not so much a human being as a civil war”
• That is a perfect description of Saul.
• He became a living civil war, miserable, possessed of an evil spirit,
• Mentally breaking down, a suspicious angry and jealous man.
• And as a result;
• He struck out against the most trusted and trustworthy servant in his camp – David.
• Because Saul was unable to deal with his jealousy of David;
• His appreciation of David soon turned into hatred;