During this time, Israel was so to say without a leader. Saul had
sinned against God and lost contact with God. David was the anointed of the Lord. The Lord
gave Israel victory over Goliath and the Philistines through the hands of David. Even
Jonathan acknowledged to David that he knew he would become king. But at this time David
could not yet lead the nation. His hands were tied because of Sauls persecution.
Saul became a symbol of the devil. David was cast out of Gods inheritance for a time
and had to live outside Israel. He was pushed aside and he could no longer lead Israel in
battle. It was a difficult time. Saul was full of hatred and jealousy, in spite of all
Davids humility and goodness towards Saul. Even when Saul was in Davids hand,
he twice spared his life. That didnt help and Saul continued to persecute David.
Nobody came to David's help. He was left all alone, and had to live as a fugitive.
This incident we read about was during a battle. Saul started with
3,000 men to fight against the Philistines and eventually he ended up with only 600. And
Saul acted more foolishly in that he forbade his soldiers to eat any food until the
evening. He was applying a principle from Gods Word, of fasting, but at the wrong
time. Why? Because there was sin in his life. And so if theres sin in your life, a
sin ruling your life, you may read Gods Word and apply principles from Gods
Word, but apply them at the wrong time and place, and in the wrong way.
The Christian life starts with humility. It starts with you and me
being convicted of our sin. Where you dont come to God with a smile on your face but
with a broken heart. This mystery was hidden from Saul.
A certain building contractor spoke to dr Albu that God had told
him that there was something that would keep him out of heaven. He had been in charge of
the tenders for new contracts, before he himself became a building contractor. At one time
he got tenders for a certain project. There was this specific one that also put in a
tender, but then phoned him 2 weeks later that he wanted to build him a swimming pool for
his house. Nothing was said about bribing and even if the conversation would have been
taped, nothing could be proven. He didnt even agree specifically to them building
the swimming pool, but before he knew it a truck arrived with all the equipment and men to
build him the swimming pool and they built it. Others quoted much cheaper, but he
eventually gave that man the contract. This thing bothered him for years and he
couldnt sleep because of it. Eventually he decided to humble himself and bring it to
the light and confess it. It required great humility to acknowledge that.
Jonathan was in a very difficult spot. Saul was his own father. He
knew that he was the next in line to become king. But at the same time he knew that David
was the anointed of God. One can just imagine how the devil whispered into Jonathans
ear. "Who is David? You were born a prince. And your father was anointed by God to be
king". Jonathan had the kingdom so to say in his hands. Thats what makes some
temptations the most difficult to resist. When the devil puts what your flesh desires
right in your lap. When youre a young man and theres a young girl running
after you and you know that you have her in your hand. You can virtually touch the sin,
its right in front of you. The devil gives it to you in a silver tray. Thats
the position Jonathan was in. His father Saul was growing old and the kingdom so to say
already belonged to him. And more than that, if he would be humble and submit that David
would be king, there would be no earthly reward for being obedient, humble and faithful,
living in the fear of God. Jonathans secret was humility.
Humility is a fortress that keeps you and me from sinning. People
tend to become dizzy with pride when God lifts them up. But not a true child of God. David
prayed "Lord lead me onto a rock that is higher than I" (Ps 61:2).
Sometimes God leaves us alone in order to test us whether there is
pride in our lives. God did that to Moses. When Israel built the golden calf, and
Gods anger burned against Israel, He said to Moses, let Me wipe Israel out and make
a new nation from you (Ex 32:10). Moses could choose to become a great nation, and God
would do it as He had said. God gave Moses a choice to see what was in his heart. But
because of his humility and his love for God and His people, he intervened and reasoned
with God. Thats the most difficult times when God leaves us alone to see what is in
our hearts, where He purposefully leaves us to make a choice.
God also left king Hezekiah alone during the visit of the
emissaries from Babylon to see what was in his heart (2Chron 32:31). Hezekiah failed the
test. The pride in the heart of Hezekiah did to him what the army of the Assyrians
Pride brings contention and strife (Prov 13:10).
What was the next temptation for Jonathan?
To just sit down and do nothing. He could have thought, "I
wont fight against David because hes Gods anointed. But I also
wont fight against the Philistines". But no, his humility gave him godly zeal
to do whats right and fight against Gods enemies. Humility doesnt mean
that you become a jellyfish and allow evil to carry on and flourish! That was the curse of
the rest of the nation of Israel. They became passive because there was no clear leader.
They just allowed evil to flourish. That is not humility. That in fact is a sign of pride,
because youre not burning for God and against satan.
Are you still on fire for God? Have you lost your fire for God and
desire to stand up and do whats right? That is important in your personal life, but
its also important on a national scale? People are trying to legalise dagga. Are you
happy to simply mind your own business or do you become angry when you see evil coming
over the country? Theyve been trying to legalise euthanasia. What are you doing? Are
you organising an action group? That is what the pro-euthanasia lobby is doing.
Jonathan was no jellyfish. He was on fire for God. When everyone
had lost hope, this man who was in the most difficult position and had every reason to
lose hope, was in tune with God to act and get the victory over the Philistines. He
didnt need a priest to burn incense for him or do specific rituals. No, because his
life was right with God and he had a living relationship with the Living God, God could
speak to him and lead and guide him. Israel was outnumbered by the Philistines. But he
kept the faith and trusted God, even though they were just two. And God gave them a great
Jonathan was a type of Christ in that he was willing to give up
his position and even his life for his friends just as Jesus gave up His life for His
friends. Saul, his own father, wanted to kill him, because of his allegiance to David.
John 15:13 "Greater love has no one than this: to lay down ones life for
Jonathan also interceded for his friend. He reasoned with his
father on behalf of David. Christ intercedes for us too against the great accuser satan.
Luke 22:31-32, "Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. 32 But I
have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back,
strengthen your brothers."
Heb 7:25, "Therefore he is able to save completely those who
come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them."
Jonathan encouraged David. He sent messages to David and even went
to David to strengthen him. So Christ encourages His friends. The Bible is full of
examples, e.g. "fear not for I am with you till the end of the world" (Matt
28:20). Jonathan was faithful to God till the end. He did not grow lukewarm. May God grant
that we too would stay on fire for God.