Monday, June 28, 2010
Jonathan And David - Jonathan And Moses
Yesterday at Church during Sunday School, we were talking about the qualities of a true friend while studying Saul, his son Jonathan and David.
Because Saul didn't listen to God, he lost the blessing of the throne he held as King of Israel. David was anointed to become King upon the death of Saul. Which meant that Jonathan, who would by the world's standards have been the presumptive King, would lose the crown to David.
The interesting part of this comes in Chapter 18 of 1 Samuel in the Old Testament. Particularly in Verse 4:
4 And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle.
These are the very vestments that would display what rank Jonathan had in the Kingdom of Israel, and yet, he had the humility to give them to David with the love of a brother, rather than an adversary for the throne of Israel. In other words, you would think Jonathan would be prideful, jealous or even resentful of David, but he wasn't. He had the integrity to know the throne of Israel was not his to assume and it had already been anointed on David upon his father's death, and gave his love as well as his allegiance to David, even over his own father when Saul repeatedly tried to kill David.
Now, having read back in Chapter 17 Verse 37:
7 David said moreover, The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the Lord be with thee.
David is telling Saul, essentially, that God had prepared David to fight, not as the man of war Goliath was, but as a soldier of the Almighty God.
Here is my thought/question. How was Jonathan prepared to follow the will of God, no matter what happened, in supporting David? How does God prepare someone to have that level of unconditional love, humility and integrity to not only strip himself of his princely vestments but also all of the other acts of loyalty to David that Jonathan was called upon afterwards?
An example, to some degree, might be Moses who left the palaces of Egypt to become the Hebrew slave he was actually born to become. Later, after having proved his integrity, becoming the prophet who would lead Israel out of Egyptian bondage.
In my religion we have the belief that these were among the great and noble spirits before the world was created. But I do wonder if there was some preparation during the upbringing of these honorable men to shape them into whom they became.
Just a thought to ponder.