Sunday, May 20, 2007

Prince, Worthy Son and Loyal Friend

Once in a while the 86 (or there abouts) miles to church just gets a tad bit tiresome to drive. I do miss it today, though it's only the first time I've missed it this year. APU professor Sarah Sumner was to speak on Jonathan today, so let's see what my knowledge of this young hero looks like.

I would suppose that he was a real Prince since he was the oldest son of a King. Therefore, Jonathan, being the oldest son would, most likely, be King some day. He was an awesome Warrior and commanded a few thousand men. King Saul, from what I gather in 2 Sam. 13, seem to take the credit for a few of Jonathan's victories and the boy never complained.

The man (Jonathan) knew God well and lived his life completely submitted to the God of Israel. Even asked Him whether he should go into battle or not. He knew that he would win, even if he faced twenty men or more by himself (with his armor bearer by his side), if God said 'Yes, go. I am with you."

This alone should be enough for me to realize that I, even I, can battle any enemy in life if God is on my side. And He says He is. I try to never go a step without Him. Life is so much sweeter when I include my Saviour in my everyday plans.

The people of Israel loved Jonathan and actually saved him from his father's death curse--nobody eats until the King is delivered from his enemies. Jonathan ate from a fresh supply of honey which covered the ground like dew because he did not hear about his father's foolish curse. He was in battle after all. Read 1 Samuel 14:43-45. Let that be a lesson not to make silly curses or dumb promises. You might have to go through with it. But again, God was on Jonathan's side and the people pleaded for him with the King and spared his life.

Prince J. was also a fiercely loyal friend to David. They were kindred spirits, so to speak. When King Saul looked to kill the young shepherd/musician/future king, Jonathan stepped in and devised a plan to save David's life. Oh to be a friend to God's chosen. That, no doubt, would make one God's chosen also. Don't forget Jonathan knew that David would be the next King of Israel. That, I would imagine, was supposed to be Jonathan's position. But there was no jealously in him. Wow.

How many times have I let jealousy ruin a good day? We won't discuss that here at this moment. Jonathan, on the other hand, had plenty to be jealous about but he would have none of it.

Jonathan died in battle with his father and brothers. When David (who eventually retrieved their bones and buried them in their rightful burial grounds) heard about it he mourned for at least 7 days and wrote this beautiful lamentation:

The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places: how are the mighty fallen!
Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Askelon; lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph.
Ye mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew, neither let there be rain, upon you, nor fields of offerings: for there the shield of the mighty is vilely cast away, the shield of Saul, as though he had not been anointed with oil.
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.
How are the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle! O Jonathan, thou was slain in thine high places.
I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women.
How are the mighty fallen, and the weapons of war perished!

I'm sure Sarah Sumner will have many insights into this story. I hope to write some of it next week.

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