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Jonathan's Encouragement;

David Betrayed Again (1 Samuel 23:15-29; Psalm 54) November 10

Jonathan understands and believes that David is destined to be king of Israel and that nothing can upset God's plan. Incredibly, Jonathan reveals that, deep down, Saul realizes it too (1 Samuel 23:17). David and Jonathan, so much alike, renew their covenant pledge to one another (verses 18; 18:3; 20:8).

Notice these particular words of Jonathan: "You shall be king over Israel, and I shall be next to you" (23:17). Jonathan, heir to Saul's throne, is content to take second place beside David. However, this is not to be, as Jonathan will soon die.

Yet who knows what God has in store? We know that David, when resurrected at Christ's return, will again reign as king over Israel (Ezekiel 37:24). And it appears that Jonathan, by the amazing character he displays and the deep closeness and fellowship he shares with the spiritually-minded David, may himself have been one of the few in the Old Testament period who, like David, received God's Spirit before it was more generally given in New Testament times. If so, then Jonathan too will be in the first resurrection with David. Then, might he not at last stand next to David, assisting him in ruling over Israel? That would, perhaps, give Jonathan's words a prophetic sense. Whether or not his words were inspired, this scenario as fulfillment of them remains an intriguing possibility.

But God's Kingdom is yet far away as we read these verses. David is here betrayed again. First the Keilahites and this time the Ziphites betray him to Saul (verses 19-20). Saul then takes God's name in vain as before by crediting God with the Ziphites' evil betrayal of David (verses 7, 21).

Saul's forces surround David (verses 22-26). Betrayed and seemingly facing imminent death, David goes to God with the words recorded in Psalm 54. In cases like this, when all seems lost, deliverance arises in unseen ways. This time a Philistine invasion diverts Saul's attention so that David and his men are saved once again. Here is a lesson for us to look to when it seems that things just aren't going to work out.

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