Who Loves God’s Anointed?
The Original Game of Thrones

Gary Combs ·
April 25, 2021 · exposition · 1 Samuel 18-20 · Notes


We all want to be loved. God made us that way. We were created to love and be loved. We were created to love God. Yet, we have rebelled and rejected His love. And this has led to the sin and suffering we see in our world today. And God demonstrated His own love for us by giving us His anointed, Jesus, to pay for our rebellion and to reconcile us to God. Why? Because God loves us.

Do you love Him with all your heart, your soul, your mind and your strength? Do you love Him above all others? Above your spouse, your children, your friends? Above your self? Do you love Him enough to surrender the throne of your life to Him and to put Him ahead of yourself and all others? In the book of 1 Samuel, people responded to David in many ways, but a man named Jonathan responded to God’s anointed with steadfast love. We can respond to God’s anointed Jesus with steadfast love.


Below is an automated transcript of this message

Good morning, church! We’re continuing our series in the book of 1 Samuel. We started this series last Spring; we covered the first fifteen chapters and now we’re continuing in part two. Today, we’ll be covering chapters 18 through 20. We’ve entitled this series, “The Original Game of Thrones.” This theme comes from 1 Samuel 8:7, where it says this, “And the Lord said to Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them.”

And so, as the Lord told Samuel, it has been so, not just in the book of 1 Samuel, but all the way back to the book of Genesis. Adam and Eve chose to go their own way; they decided that they wanted to be in charge. They wanted to wear the crown, they wanted to sit on the throne of their own life. This put humanity on that same course for the rest of time. That’s the wrestling match. That’s the game we play with God. We say, I want to be the god of my life. I want to be in charge. I want to do it my way. The bible calls this sin. The attitude of rebellion is called sin, where we want to do it our way rather than God’s way, so we’re in this perpetual “game of thrones.” But, we don’t have to be; we can surrender our lives, we can surrender the throne and the crown of our lives to the Lord Jesus and know His grace and His salvation.

As we continue in this series, in chapter 18 through 20, we’ll see that we’re primarily talking about David who is the anointed king that God has chosen, Saul is the rejected king and the tension that takes place there. We are at chapters 18 through 20. As we think about this, I’ve entitled this message, “Who loves God’s anointed?”

The word, “anointed,” points to David, but David points to Christ. One of the principles, I believe, that helps us read the Old Testament is that when we read the Old Testament, we should look for Jesus. The Old Testament prepares us for the New Testament, which prepares us for Jesus. As we’re reading this, we need to ask, Where is Jesus in these three chapters? Where’s the Lord’s anointed?

His name is Jesus Christ. The word, “Christ,” comes from the greek word, Xριστός (Christos) which means “the anointed One.” The Hebrew equivalent is “Messiah;” “Messiah” means “the anointed One.” David is the anointed one in this story; he’s a Christological type. In other words, David is a foreshadowing of Jesus. There are many of these in the Old Testament that were preparing the people of God so that, when Jesus would come, they would recognize Him because He would look like what they had seen before, except even more so.

As we’re talking about this today, I want us to think about this question. It’s a question I’m going to continue asking you to consider, “Do you love God’s anointed? Do you love Him?” When you think about love, I want you to think about it like this; the way Jesus describes it in Mark 12:30 (ESV) “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. Do you love Him like that? It’s not just any kind of love. It’s what the bible calls “agape” love; unconditional love which is full and steadfast. It’s amazing to me that God even cares about that.

I remember, I think I was in second or third grade, I wrote my first, ”Do you love me?” letter. Guys and gals, do you remember doing this? Did you do this? I made a mistake though. I gave three choices. I said, “ I love you. Do you love me? Check one.” There’s the “yes” box, the “no” box and the “maybe” box. I should never have thrown in that “maybe” box because that’s the box she checked. Then, you’re left with, I don’t know. Here’s the problem for many of us today; a lot of us have checked the “maybe” box with Jesus because we’re trying to balance our love of other things with Him. We want Him, but we’re not sure because we also want our own way, too. So, we check the “maybe” box.

Jesus said to Peter and He asks us today, in John 21:15, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. Do you love Me? Do you love Me with all your heart, your soul, your mind, your strength or have you checked the “maybe” box?

As we’re looking at this today, I just want you to think about something. You know, we all want to be loved. You know why God made us that way; He made us so that we want to be loved and we want to give love. Even more than that, He made us so that we could be recipients of His love, but also love Him back. It’s amazing to me that God cares about that, that He wants us to love Him. He asks us, “Do you love Me?” as He asked Peter.

At the end of the sermon, I’m going to ask you again. I want you to be thinking about it. Do you really love Jesus? Do you love Him with all your heart, your soul, your mind and your strength?

In the book of 1 Samuel, people responded to David, who was God’s anointed, in many ways. A man, named Jonathan, loved Him with a steadfast love, a different kind of love, a deeper kind of love.

I believe, today, that we can learn from this story how to love God’s anointed, Jesus, and that we can love Him with a steadfast love. As we look at the text today, I think we’ll see three ways that we can love God’s anointed, the Lord Jesus Christ, with a steadfast kind of love. Let’s read chapter 18. What we’re going to do is, we will read a chapter and talk about it. We will read another chapter and talk about it… This will be the Sunday that you went to church and got to hear three chapters of the Bible. How about that? We’re going to hear chapter 18 and then we’ll talk about it. You know, when Timothy heard from Paul in his letter, he said, “Devote yourself to the public reading of scripture, teaching and exhortation.” That’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to read the scripture and then I’m going to teach and exhort out of it. Get ready, get your seatbelts on; here it comes.

1 Samuel 18 (ESV) 1 As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. 2 And Saul took him that day and would not let him return to his father’s house. 3 Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. 4 And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, and his armor, and even his sword and his bow and his belt. 5 And David went out and was successful wherever Saul sent him, so that Saul set him over the men of war. And this was good in the sight of all the people and also in the sight of Saul’s servants. 6 As they were coming home, when David returned from striking down the Philistine, the women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tambourines, with songs of joy, and with musical instruments. 7 And the women sang toone another as they celebrated, “Saul has struck down his thousands,and David his ten thousands.” 8 And Saul was very angry, and this saying displeased him. He said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed thousands, and what more can he have but the kingdom?” 9 And Saul eyed David from that day on. 10 The next day a harmful spirit from God rushed upon Saul, and he raved within his house while David was playing the lyre, as he did day by day. Saul had his spear in his hand. 11 And Saul hurled the spear, for he thought, “I will pin David to the wall.” But David evaded him twice. 12 Saul was afraid of David because the Lord was with him but had departed from Saul. 13 So Saul removed him from his presence and made him a commander of a thousand. And he went out and came in before the people. 14 And David had success in all his undertakings, for the Lord was with him . 15 And when Saul saw that he had great success, he stood in fearful awe of him. 16 But all Israel and Judah loved David, for he went out and came in before them. 17 Then Saul said to David, “Here is my elder daughter Merab. I will give her to you for a wife. Only be valiant for me and fight the Lord’s battles.” For Saul thought, “Let not my hand be against him, but let the hand of the Philistines be against him.” 18 And David said to Saul, “Who am I, and who are my relatives, my father’s clan in Israel, that I should be son-in-law to the king?” 19 But at the time when Merab, Saul’s daughter, should have been given to David, she was given to Adriel the Meholathite for a wife. 20 Now Saul’s daughter Michal loved David. And they told Saul, and the thing pleased him. So 21 Saul thought, “Let me give her to him, that she may be a snare for him and that the hand of the Philistines may be against him.” Therefore Saul said to David a second time, “You shall now be my son-in-law.” 22 And Saul commanded his servants, “Speak to David in private and say, ‘Behold, the king has delight in you, and all his servants love you. Now then become the king’s son-in-law.’” 23 And Saul’s servants spoke those words in the ears of David. And David said, “Does it seem to you a little thing to become the king’s son-in-law, since I am a poor man and have no reputation?” 24 And the servants of Saul told him, “Thus and so did David speak.”

(Commentary from Pastor Gary: “ Bride price. We don’t really have those today. We have destination weddings. They’re pretty expensive. Bride price still takes place in tribal countries today. That’s where the the groom’s family has to pay the bride’s family before they can have a wedding, they have to pay them for the bride. It’s not so much that they’re buying her, but they’re helping the family recover from having given their daughter away. When we go to Africa on our mission trips, I remember the first time we went to Uganda, we met a young man named Alex. Alex would talk to me and say, Pastor Gary, pray for me; I’m trying to work hard and raise the money because I love this woman that I met at school. He worked about five years to raise the money for the bride price. And I still remember being there whenever Pastor George, Alex and the other family met together to arrange the bride price. This is a big deal. David is saying here that he is too poor. Saul’s got a solution for it.)

25 Then Saul said, “Thus shall you say to David, ‘The king desires no bride-price except a hundred foreskins of the Philistines, that he may be avenged of the king’s enemies.” Now Saul thought to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines. 26 And when his servants told David these words, it pleased David well to be the king’s son-in-law. Before the time had expired, 27 David arose and went, along with his men, and killed two hundred of the Philistines. And David brought their foreskins, which were given in full number to the king, that he might become the king’s son-in-law. And Saul gave him his daughter Michal for a wife. 28 But when Saul saw and knew that the Lord was with David, and that Michal, Saul’s daughter, loved him, 29 Saul was even more afraid of David. So Saul was David’s enemy continually. 30 Then the commanders of the Philistines came out to battle, and as often as they came out David had more success than all the servants of Saul, so that his name was highly esteemed.” This is God’s Word. Amen.

We can respond to Jesus with steadfast love: 1. By loving Him selflessly.

We can respond to Jesus, God’s anointed, with steadfast love. The first way is by loving Him selflessly. Did you notice how, in chapter 18, everyone loved David? He was easy to love, as we read in previous chapters. He was young, he was good looking, he had a good sun tan and beautiful eyes. More than that, he was a hero. He was like the quarterback who won the game. He had just defeated the giant Goliath, the Philistine. And so he was so popular that the number one song hit,that was number one for year after year, was that great hit, “David killed his tens of thousands.” Why were the women singing this? Because their sons and their husbands came home, not in caskets, but riding on their donkeys, walking and cheering. They were so proud of knowing this day.

But you see, it’s easy to love the quarterback; it’s easy to love the cheerleader. It’s easy to love the one who wins the victories. And David was easy to love . Well, most everybody loved him. When we looked at verse 16, Israel and Judah loved him because he went out and came back in winning battles. Even Saul’s daughter, Michal loved him.

There’s so many parts to this story that harkens back to the past and also leaps forward and gives us a preview of the future. Remember back when Jacob was in love with Rachel and Laban offered Leah, the first daughter? That’s kind of what Saul does. He offers David the first daughter, Merab, but then he gives him the second daughter Michal, because she loves him. Michal loves him, everybody loves him except for Saul. Saul was jealous of him. In fact, Saul wants to kill him. Saul responds differently.

There’s one other I should mention. His name is Jonathan. Jonathan loved David selflessly. Notice what it says; it says that “he loved him as his own soul,” in verse one. It’s there again, in verse three. He loved him as he loved himself. He loved him so much that he made a covenant with him.

What’s a covenant? What is the difference between a covenant and a contract? A contract is legally binding. A covenant is spiritually binding. A contract is an agreement. A covenant is a pledge. A contract can be broken. A covenant is a perpetual promise. A covenant is based on love. A contract is based on law. The bible’s picture for marriage is covenantal, not contractual.

What we see here, is that Jonathan sees in David God’s anointing on him. It looks familiar to him because, if you remember, Jonathan was the champion. Only a few chapters before , Jonathan sees a man after God’s own heart just as he is. Know this about Jonathan, Jonathan is the crown prince. In other words, he’s next in line for the throne. When Saul dies, Jonathan would be king; he’s the crown prince. But, what does he do? Look at verse four, “And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David.” He took off the majesty of his royal robes, he took off his sword, he took off everything and he stripped himself of his royalty and he gave it to who? He gave it to David. He sees in David that he is God’s anointed. He wants David to take the throne and so he strips himself. David receives selfless love from Jonathan. That’s unlike any of these other characters when we’re reading this chapter, chapter 18.

I want you to think, as I was thinking, which one of these represents you? Well , I want to be David, don’t you? Everybody loves David. Well, most everybody loves David. David, though, is not the one that we are like; he represents Christ. We tend to be one of those other people. We tend to be the people who are all good at singing the songs as long as he’s winning the victories; we tend to be one of the others. Very few of us check the “yes” box like Jonathan does and says, I’m all in.

Did you notice that Saul is a tragic character in this story? Even with his daughters, he sees a possible way of getting David killed. He offers him his eldest daughter thinking, because he’s the king’s son in law, he’ll go out and fight and eventually the Philistines will kill him for me. Then he hears that his daughter Michal actually loves him and he hopes she can be a snare to David. She can hook him. But David is just too humble. Who am I? I don’t have any money to afford the bride price. So, Saul comes up with the way he can pay him. It’s perfect; let those Philistines kill David. Give me proof that David has killed 100 uncircumcised Philistines. Oh, it’s graphic; it’s ugly, but it’s often the way of humanity. David, because he’s the overachiever, goes and kills twice as many; he kills 200 Philistines and he brings the proof back. He gets the princess and he marries Michal.

What do we learn from this? We should want to be like Jonathan. I think that’s what the Lord wants us to see here. Jonathan is like John the Baptist, who was a forerunner for Jesus. He was the one announcing the way and preparing the people. When Jesus comes, John the Baptist says, “I must decrease and He must increase.” We see in Jonathan, one of the great followers of God in the Bible, but yet, he knows he needs to surrender the training of his life.

You see, Jesus taught his disciples this, in Matthew 16:24 (ESV) “Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Who are you in the story? Have you denied yourself? Have you stripped yourself of your crown, of your self control? I’ve often said this. I should probably look in the parking lot today to see what’s on your bumpers. If you have that bumper sticker that says, God is my co-pilot, you are a heretic. You need to stop that. God should be your pilot. Maybe we should get in the trunk. Instead say, God, You’re the pilot and the co-pilot. You are in the back seat. Give Jesus the keys to your life. Give Jesus charge of your life.

Who are you in the story? Will you love Him selflessly? Let’s read chapter 19.

1 Samuel 19 (ESV) 1 And Saul spoke to Jonathan his son and to all his servants, that they should kill David. But Jonathan, Saul’s son, delighted much in David. 2 And Jonathan told David, “Saul my father seeks to kill you. Therefore be on your guard in the morning. Stay in a secret place and hide yourself. 3 And I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where you are, and I will speak to my father about you. And if I learn anything I will tell you.” 4 And Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father and said to him, “Let not the king sin against his servant David, because he has not sinned against you, and because his deeds have brought good to you. 5 For he took his life in his hand and he struck down the Philistine, and the Lord worked a great salvation for all Israel. You saw it and rejoiced. Why then will you sin against innocent blood by killing David without cause?” 6 And Saul listened to the voice of Jonathan. Saul swore, “As the Lord lives, he shall not be put to death.”

(Commentary from Pastor Gary – If you’re reading an english translation, you’ll notice that Lord is in all caps, which means, Jehovah, Yahweh. As Yahweh lives. Saul swears by the covenantal name of the Lord.) 7 And Jonathan called David, and Jonathan reported to him all these things. And Jonathan brought David to Saul, and he was in his presence as before. 8 And there was war again. And David went out and fought with the Philistines and struck them with a great blow, so that they fled before him. 9 Then a harmful spirit from the Lord came upon Saul, as he sat in his house with his spear in his hand. And David was playing the lyre. 10 And Saul sought to pin David to the wall with the spear, but he eluded Saul, so that he struck the spear into the wall. And David fled and escaped that night. 11 Saul sent messengers to David’s house to watch him, that he might kill him in the morning. But Michal, David’s wife, told him, “If you do not escape with your life tonight, tomorrow you will be killed.” 12 So Michal let David down through the window, and he fled away and escaped. 13 Michal took an image and laid it on the bed and put a pillow of goats’ hair at its head and covered it with the clothes. 14 And when Saul sent messengers to to take David, she said, “He is sick.” 15 Then Saul sent the messengers to see David, saying, “Bring him up to me in the bed, that I may kill him.” 16 And when the messengers came in, behold, the image was in the bed, with the pillow of goats’ hair at its head. 17 Saul said to Michal, “Why have you deceived me thus and let my enemy go, so that he has escaped?” And Michal answered Saul, “He said to me, ‘Let me go. Why should I kill you?’” 18 Now David fled and escaped, and he came to Samuel at Ramah and told him all that Saul had done to him. And he and Samuel went and lived at Naioth. 19 And it was told Saul, “Behold, David is at Naioth in Ramah.” 20 Then Saul sent messengers to take David, and when they saw the company of the prophets prophesying, and Samuel standing as head over them, the Spirit of God came upon the messengers of Saul, and they also prophesied. 21 When it was told Saul, he sent other messengers, and they also prophesied. And Saul sent messengers again the third time, and they also prophesied. 22 Then he himself went to Ramah and came to the great well that is in Secu. And he asked, “Where are Samuel and David?” And one said, “Behold, they are at Naioth in Ramah.”

(Pastor Gary – commentary – This is what you do when you say something like this; you can’t get anything done unless you do it yourself. Saul said, I’m just going to go myself.)

(Pastor Gary – commentary – If you recall, the last time David met with Samuel before he became king, he went to a well looking for his father’s donkeys and he asked the same question. “Where’s the prophet? Samuel?” He’s looking for him; he’s asking the same thing except he’s in a different place in his life.)

23 And he went there to Naioth in Ramah. And the Spirit of God came upon him also, and as he went he prophesied until he came to Naioth in Ramah. 24 And he too stripped off his clothes, and he too prophesied before Samuel and lay naked all that day and all that night. Thus it is said, “Is Saul also among the prophets?”

(Pastor Gary – commentary) We didn’t know about that part where there are three groups of messengers and they’ve all stripped off their clothes and they have prophesied. Samuel lay naked all that day and all that night and prophesied.)

Here is Saul, who won’t surrender his crown. His son, Jonathan, surrenders that; he strips himself of the crown. But God had to strip Saul because he wouldn’t surrender. God puts him in this situation where he is humiliated in front of Samuel. Samuel is God’s representative in this story. There, he lays naked, along with three sets of messengers. Well those messengers got a better deal than the messengers that the king sent to see Elijah because Elijah called fire down from Heaven on them. These guys all got to prophesy. I don’t know what this looks like. It must have been ecstatic, speaking in a way that was beyond them normally . And the fact that they’re saying that is Saul among the prophets is a way of saying he’s not really the king. Should he really have been this instead of that? But Saul, who clings to the crown, has symbolically had it stripped from him.

Here’s our second way that we can love the anointed with steadfast love. 2. By loving Him favorably.

Now, as we’re reading these chapters, let’s see what Jonathan does. It says, as we begin chapter 19, that when his father comes saying, You kill him, I’ve plotted all I can, you kill him, Johnson goes and warns David. Why does David do this? Because, it says, “he delighted much in David.” Another way of translating that is, “he favored David much.” He was favorable to David above all others . He favored David. And so, he warns David to go hide.

Then, Jonathan goes to his father. He doesn’t lie to his father, He doesn’t put on, he goes to his father and he spoke well (it says in verse four) of David. He spoke favorably; then he tells his father, “Let not the king sin against his servant David, because he has not sinned against you, and because his deeds have brought good to you.” So he rebukes his father and he reminds him what David had done, how he had killed Goliath and how, at first, you were all for him and you rejoiced. Saul listened to the voice of Jonathan and swore by the continental name, Jehovah Yahweh God, that he would not be killed.

But just as Saul had broken God’s command, he breaks his own command, his own vow using God’s covenantal name. It doesn’t take long before he gets jealous again. It’s amazing how jealousy will deform and change one’s mental state so that they do things that are so unloving and opposite of what they would be if they could put that jealousy away. Verse eight says that there was war again and David starts winning victories again. Saul gets crazy again and tries to kill him a third time by hurling a spear at him.

We see that, in this story, there are different kinds of love. We see Saul responding as he did before. We see Jonathan responding favorably. And then we see this strange story about his wife, Michal. Remember earlier, he said, “Let me give her to him, that she may be a snare for him and that the hand of the Philistines may be against him.” Maybe there’s a further hint of what Saul was thinking here, because she had a household god at her fingertips ready to put in the bed. This is a crazy story. Why does she have this? Is she still trying to live in two worlds and and follow God and also keep her household idols?

It reminds me, back again, of Jacob, his father in law, Laban and Rachel. Rachel was the woman that Jacob loves so much. When they escaped from Lebron, Rachel stole her father’s household gods. Do you remember that part of the story? What we have here is kind of a repeat of that story. Michal did it to rescue David and she told him to run away. She loved him enough to help him run away. But she didn’t love him so much that when Saul came in with rage and asked her why she would do that she would tell him the truth. The truth was because David was innocent and she should have asked why Saul would want to kill him. Instead, she said, “He said to me, ‘Let me go. Why should I kill you?’” He threatened my life. She actually made it worse for David . She loved him up until the point where it would get her in trouble. She’s checked the “maybe” box, not the “no” box. She loves him unless it costs her too much.

Jesus says, in John 14:15 (ESV) “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” If you love Me, you’ll favor My way, not your way. If you love Me, you’ll let Me drive you, you’ll follow My way. I see Jonathan doing that, Jonathan’s forthcoming, he’s upright, he delights in God’s anointed. And so, Jonathan defends David and he tries to reconcile his father.

Then, we have this crazy ending in chapter 19, where Saul gets stripped of his clothes and lays naked before Samuel, who is a representation of the Lord in the story. I want you to know something; there’s a sense in which all of us are stripped before God. He sees every aspect, there’s no hiding from Him. If you try to keep the crown, you’re in rebellion. So we see this humiliating conclusion to chapter 19. Let’s continue to chapter 20, the longest chapter. By the way, this is the longest reading we will have in this series. But it was important because it begins with Jonathan and David in Chapter 18 and it ends in the same way. The “arc” of the story is three chapters long; in order to preach well, I didn’t want to do harm to it. Let’s read chapter 20.

1 Samuel 20 (ESV) 1 Then David fled from Naioth in Ramah and came and said before Jonathan, “What have I done? What is my guilt? And what is my sin before your father, that he seeks my life?” 2 And he said to him, “Far from it! You shall not die. ! Behold, my father does nothing either great or small without disclosing it to me. And why should my father hide this from me? It is not so.” 3 But David vowed again, saying, “Your father knows well that I have found favor in your eyes, and he thinks, ‘Do not let Jonathan know this, lest he be grieved.’ But truly, as the Lord lives and as your soul lives, there is but a step between me and death.” 4 Then Jonathan said to David, “Whatever you say, I will do for you.” 5 David said to Jonathan, “Behold, tomorrow is the new moon and I should not fail to sit at table with the king. But let me go, that I may hide myself in the field till the third day at evening.”

(Gary Combs – commentary- In other words, it’s a new month and at the new month, there’s a festival.By the way, it’s from the book of Numbers. Leviticus talks about it as well, that at the beginning of every month, at every new moon, they were to have a special sacrifice in the festival. And so, David is thinking about this.)

(Gary Combs – commentary – What did I tell you about David? He’s a foreshadowing of Jesus. Do you see it even here, in these little details?)

6 If your father misses me at all, then say, ‘David earnestly asked leave of me to run to Bethlehem his city, for there is a yearly sacrifice there for all the clan.’ 7 If he says, ‘Good!’ it will be well with your servant, but if he is angry, then know that harm is determined by him. 8 Therefore deal deal kindly with your servant, for you have brought your servant into a covenant of the Lord with you. But if there is guilt in me, kill me yourself, for why should you bring me to your father?” 9 And Jonathan said, “Far be it from you! If I knew that it was determined by my father that harm should come to you, would I not tell you?” 10 Then David said to Jonathan, “Who will tell me if your father answers you roughly?” 11 And Jonathan said to David, “Come, let us go out into the field.” So they both went out into the field. 12 And Jonathan said to David, “The Lord, the God of Israel, be witness! When I have sounded out my father, about this time tomorrow, or the third day, behold, if he is well disposed toward David, shall I not then send and disclose it to you? 13 But should it please my father to do you harm, the Lord do so to Jonathan and more also if I do not disclose it to you and send you away, that you may go in safety. May the Lord be with you, as he has been with my father. 14 If I am still alive, show me the steadfast love of the Lord, that I may not die;

(Gary Combs – commentary – “Steadfast,” in the Hebrew, is “Chesed.” It’s the closest thing to “agape,” which is the Greek New Testament word for God’s kind of unconditional, covenantal, everlasting, steadfast love. This is the word that he says. He says. “If I am still alive, show me steadfast (chesed) love of the Lord, that I may not die;”) 15 and do not cut off your steadfast love from my house forever, when the Lord cuts off every one of the enemies of David from the face of the earth.” 16 And Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, “May the Lord take vengeance on David’s enemies.” 17 And Jonathan made David swear again by his love for him, for he loved him as he loved his own soul. 18 Then Jonathan said to him, “Tomorrow is the new moon, and you will be missed, because your seat will be empty. 19 On the third day go down quickly to the place where you hid yourself when the matter was in hand, and remain beside the stone heap. 20 And I will shoot three arrows to the side of it, as though I shot at a mark. 21 And behold, I will send the boy, saying go find the arrows.’ If I say to the boy, ‘Look, the arrows are on this side of you, take them,’ then you are to come, for, as the Lord lives, it is safe for you and there is no danger. 22 But if I say to the youth, ‘Look, the arrows are beyond you,’ then go, for the Lord has sent you away. 23 And as for the matter of which you and I have spoken, behold, the Lord is between you and me forever.” 24 So David hid himself in the field. And when the new moon came, the king sat down to eat food. 25 The king sat on his seat, as at other times, on the seat by the wall. Jonathan sat opposite, and Abner sat by Saul’s side, but David’s place was empty. 26 Yet Saul did not say anything that day, for he thought, “Something has happened to him. He is not clean; surely he is not clean.” 27 But on the second day, 25 The king sat on his seat, as at other times, on the seat by the wall. Jonathan sat opposite, and Abner sat by Saul’s side, but David’s place was empty. 26 Yet Saul did not say anything that day, for he thought, “Something has happened to him. He is not clean; surely he is not clean.” 27 But on the second day, the day after the new moon, David’s place was empty. And Saul said to Jonathan his son, “Why has not the son of Jesse come to the meal, either yesterday or today?” 28 Jonathan answered Saul, “David earnestly asked leave of me to go to Bethlehem. 29 He said, ‘Let me go, for our clan holds a sacrifice in the city, and my brother has commanded me to be there. So now, if I have found favor in your eyes, let me get away and see my brothers.’ For this reason he has not come to the king’s table.” 30 Then Saul’s anger was kindled against Jonathan, and he said to him, “You son of a perverse, rebellious woman, do I not know that you have chosen the son of Jesse to your own shame, and to the shame of your mother’s nakedness?

(Pastor Gary – commentary- This is the Hebrew cursing, basically . What’s going on here is he’s using every kind of graphic, filthy thing he can say to to his son. He’s revealing his heart.) 31 For as long as the son of Jesse lives on the earth, neither you nor your kingdom shall be established. Therefore send and bring him to me, for he shall surely die.” 32 Then Jonathan answered Saul, his father, “Why should he be put to death? What has he done?” 33 But Saul hurled his spear at him to strike him. So Jonathan knew that his father was determined to put David to death. 34 And Jonathan rose from the and ate no food the second day of the month, for he was grieved for David, because his father had disgraced him. 35 In the morning Jonathan went out into the field to the appointment with David, and with him a little boy. 36 And he said to his boy, “Run and find the arrows that I shoot.” As the boy ran, he shot an arrow beyond him. 37 And when the boy came to the place of the arrow that Jonathan had shot, Jonathan called after the boy and said, “Is not the arrow beyond you?” 38 And Jonathan called after the boy, “Hurry! Be quick! Do not stay!” So Jonathan’s boy gathered up the arrows and came to his master. 39 But the boy knew nothing. Only Jonathan and David knew the matter. 40 And Jonathan gave his weapons to his boy and said to him, “Go and carry them to the city.” 41 And as soon as the boy had gone, David rose from beside the stone heap and fell on his face to to the ground and bowed three times. And they kissed one another and wept with one another, David weeping the most. 42 Then Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, because we have sworn both of us in the name of the Lord, saying, ‘The Lord shall be between me and you, and between my offspring and your offspring, forever.’” And he rose and departed, and Jonathan went into the city.

We won’t hear much else from Jonathan after this, Jonathan will decrease in the story and David will increase. He’s loving him faithfully here. How do we love the anointed when we love Him selflessly? We love Him favourably by doing and favoring what He tells us to do. And then, finally, how do we love Him faithfully?

We can respond to Jesus with steadfast love: 3. By loving Him faithfully.

What I have in mind is, if someone asks a man, Have you been faithful to your wife? , what do they mean? They mean, Have you kept yourself just for her or have you gone after other women? When you say, “I do,” in marriage, you’re also saying, “I do,” to one woman. You’re saying, “I don’t” to every other woman. Jonathan’s having to come to grips with this. He starts off chapter 20 thinking he has it worked out. But, he doesn’t know about the part how Saul has been going up to respond, chasing after David trying to kill him. He doesn’t know because Saul is not telling him now, He’s still trying to work it out.

That’s what we do. We try to accommodate our former life by loving the world and still loving Jesus. We try to do both. We try to sit on the fence, but it always happens. There always comes a point where we have to choose.

What will Jonathan do? Will he favor and show faithfulness to David or Saul. Jonathan chooses the Lord’s anointed; in doing so, he has to become unfaithful to Saul. He has to say “no” to the world’s king in order to say “yes” to Christ, the anointed one, the real king. He has this steadfast love, this “ Chesed” love. He talks about it. It’s so touching here at the end you can just see them. They really only see each other maybe one more time in the scriptures. There, again, Jonathan reiterates his covenantal love for David.

I named my oldest son New Testament names; his name is Stephen Andrew. Stephen means “crowned one” and Andrew means “the man.” I named my second son, Jonathan David. He’s the pastor at our Rocky Mount campus. I thought, these are the two greatest friends in all the bible, perhaps in all of human history. Some have tried to put inappropriate descriptions of the love they had for each other. But this is not the view at all. These are the kind of friends that are like battle buddies; people who have been through thick and thin together. They love each other in a way that’s hard to describe. This is how we are being taught now, how to faithfully love God’s anointed Jesus.

He says Jesus says this in Matthew 6:24 (ESV) “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” You have to choose who you will love with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.

I want to pop up three circles that might help us think about those three boxes: the “yes,” “no” and “maybe” boxes that we have talked about. The three circles are on the back of your bulletin. People who say “no” to Jesus is the first circle; you’ll notice that that person has Jesus outside of their life and they have self on the throne. They are their god; they are on the throne of their life. The aspects of their life are managed by self. This person has said “no;” this is how we’re all born. We’re all born spiritually dead, apart from God, still given to our sinful nature.

This bottom circle is the spiritual person; that person has said “yes.” They’ve checked the “yes” box. They’ve invited Christ into their life. Christ is on the throne, directing all the aspects of their life.

Then, there’s the third circle; a lot of christians fall here. I pray it’s not you, I pray it’s not you that checked the “maybe” box. It’s called the carnal christian. Christ is in their life; they believe in Him and they’ve trusted Him but they won’t give Him control as their Savior. He’s not Lord; they’re not letting Him have the keys to the car. They’ve checked the “maybe” box and, as a result, their life looks an awfully lot like the same people who said “no” to God. Of these three circles, the person that’s the most joyful is the spiritual person, but the one who is the most miserable, surprisingly, is the carnal person. The word, “carnal,” means “fleshly.” It means you’re still letting the flesh rule and you’re trying to live in a straddle of the two worlds. You’re trying to follow Saul and also love David, you’re trying to follow the world’s king, Satan, but also love Jesus. You can’t do it, you have to choose.

This is what this story is really about. This is what the Bible is about. This Bible, from cover to cover, is really about Jesus. What will you do with Him? Do you love Jesus? Do you love God’s anointed? Let’s pray.

Lord, I pray right now, first of all, for that person that, up until now, has said “no.” Today, they want to say, “yes.” Is it you? If you are watching at home or wherever you are right now, in your seat in this room, you can say, “yes” to Jesus right now. He’s listening. How do you do it? Just by praying. You can pray like this, Dear Lord Jesus, I say “yes” to you, I want You to come into my life. I believe You died on the cross for my sins and that You live today. Come and live in me. I put you in charge. I put You on the throne of my life; make me the person You want me to be. I love You and I want to follow You. If you’re praying that prayer right now, believing and expressing faith in your heart, He will save you and make you a child of God. Others are here and, maybe, you’ve asked Christ into your life, but if you would admit it today. You would repent and say, I’ve been trying to be in charge, I’ve been trying to do both, I’ve been trying to still live like the world, but also follow Jesus. Today, my heart is broken. I repent. I repent. I want You on the throne, Lord! I know You’re in my life. I know You have saved me, but I surrender the throne of my life back to You. Forgive me for trying to be in control. In Jesus’ name. Amen.