1 Samuel 18:1-16 (Part 3) – Do You See Others as Orbiting Around You?

Posted: February 27, 2018 in 09-1 Samuel
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1 Samuel 18:1-16 (Part 3 of 3)
Saul Becomes Jealous of David

Would you give up your seemingly rightful claim to a position that should be yours because of succession to someone who was more talented than you? What if you were in line for a promotion but the company brought in a new guy from the outside to take the position? Would you be able to handle the blow to your pride? Would you be able to work with that person in the future – knowing they took the position that should have been yours but you knew in your heart that they were more talented. Could you swallow that humble pie?

That’s kind of what a portion of this passage today, 1 Samuel 18:1-16, is about. The story of Jonathan and David is one of the greatest friendships of the Bible. We glory in the brotherhood between these two guys. They were the best of pals. They would have hung out together even if they had not been royal. They just genuinely were like the best of brothers without being blood relations. They knew when the other was going to zig so they would then zag. They were ying and yang. They were frick and frack. But when you think about it, these two could have been and most likely should have been mortal enemies.

The way that Jonathan reacted to David’s anointing as king when the throne of Israel by rights in human standards should have been his is nothing short of amazing. Jonathan was Saul’s son and was next in line to be king of Israel. But God took the bloodline of Saul away and gave the royal line to David. Jonathan could have easily been enraged by jealousy to the point he wanted to kill David to regain his hold on the bloodline to the throne. That’s what most people would have done. Killing family and friends and enemies to gain a throne is as old as the concept of royalty through the ages. Jonathan was different. Jonathan was a contrast to even his own father. Saul spent the second half of his reign as king going insane with jealousy and murderous intent toward David.

Yesterday, we talked about how jealousy in reconciling relationships that have suffered infidelity can destroy the reconciliation process. Jealousy can destroy the very thing that a person is wanting to save for themselves. Jealousy can consume and destroy the feelings one person has for another. Saul was so consumed with jealousy that it ruined half his reign as king of Israel. He was so consumed with jealousy and murderous intent toward David that he basically forgot to rule the nation. However, Jonathan was so different. He saw David not as a threat to him but rather as just another guy doing what he’s got to do in life. Some of us let other people live rent free in our head as the saying goes. Jonathan could have become obsessed with David like his dad while David went about life not realizing that he was the object of someone’s sick and twisted obsession. Jonathan just saw another guy with the right to live his life. Jonathan saw that David was not supposed to be orbiting his planet and that David was a planet of his own. Sometimes, we get so focused on ourselves that we see all others as orbiting around us not as independent people of their own. Jonathan started from a place of seeing the world as more than just his playground. There’s a humility in learning that fact. The fact that we are not the center of the universe. When we see others as having the same right to breath as us, we can have close friendships like David and Jonathan.

With that idea of being humble enough to see others as having the same right to breath, so to speak, as us, let us read today’s passage for the third and final of three reads, 1 Samuel 18:1-16:

Chapter 18
1 After David had finished talking with Saul, he met Jonathan, the king’s son. There was an immediate bond between them, for Jonathan loved David. 2 From that day on Saul kept David with him and wouldn’t let him return home. 3 And Jonathan made a solemn pact with David, because he loved him as he loved himself. 4 Jonathan sealed the pact by taking off his robe and giving it to David, together with his tunic, sword, bow, and belt.

5 Whatever Saul asked David to do, David did it successfully. So Saul made him a commander over the men of war, an appointment that was welcomed by the people and Saul’s officers alike.

6 When the victorious Israelite army was returning home after David had killed the Philistine, women from all the towns of Israel came out to meet King Saul. They sang and danced for joy with tambourines and cymbals.[a] 7 This was their song:

“Saul has killed his thousands,
and David his ten thousands!”

8 This made Saul very angry. “What’s this?” he said. “They credit David with ten thousands and me with only thousands. Next they’ll be making him their king!” 9 So from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David.

10 The very next day a tormenting spirit[b] from God overwhelmed Saul, and he began to rave in his house like a madman. David was playing the harp, as he did each day. But Saul had a spear in his hand, 11 and he suddenly hurled it at David, intending to pin him to the wall. But David escaped him twice.

12 Saul was then afraid of David, for the Lord was with David and had turned away from Saul. 13 Finally, Saul sent him away and appointed him commander over 1,000 men, and David faithfully led his troops into battle.

14 David continued to succeed in everything he did, for the Lord was with him. 15 When Saul recognized this, he became even more afraid of him. 16 But all Israel and Judah loved David because he was so successful at leading his troops into battle.

In this passage, we see that, when David and Jonathan met, they became close friends at once. Their friendship is one of the deepest and closest recorded in the Bible. They based their friendship on their mutual and independent commitments to the Lord their God and not just on each other. They let nothing come between them, not even career or family problems. They drew closer together when their friendship was tested. And, they remained friends to the end of their time together on earth. Isn’t it amazing that Jonathan, the prince of Israel, later realized that David, and not he, would the next king, but even that did not weaken his love for David? Jonathan would have much rather have lost the throne than lose his closest friend.

Are you capable of seeing those people in your sphere of influence as equal to you or maybe even greater than you? Are you able to see the rights of others as more important than your own? Do you have a friend that you would lay down your life for? Are you willing to admit that someone in your sphere of influence is a better leader, a better employee, a more talented person than you? Are you willing to say, hey, this dude is just more talented than me and I need to submit to his leadership rather than bellyaching and scheming against that person? Or are you going to let jealousy consume you and you become obsessed wit that person and let them live rent free in your head? Are you going to let your obsession with them become your god?

Or are you going to be like Jonathan? Jonathan is a Old Testament symbol of sorts for Jesus Christ. By all rights Jesus is the Son of God and does not need to humble Himself for anyone. He is of one and the same essence as the Father and the Holy Spirit. He is God. He does not need to submit to anyone. He is rightfully the king of the universe. He is the Creator. However, he so loved us that he submitted Himself to live in the flesh. He submitted Himself to the Father in heaven while He was on earth. He did not have to do this. He could have said I will not. He could have said I am a co-equal part of the Trinity and I will not lower myself to live in the flesh and submit myself to the leadership of the Father, to whom I am co-equal along with the Holy Spirit. However, because of the entire trinity of God so loving us they He sent His Son and His Son willingly submitted Himself to live in the flesh and live under the leadership of the Father so that the Son could become the perfect sinless sacrifice for all time for all men’s sins. Jesus did this because He loved us and was willing to do all this so that we would have a way to be reconciled to Him, the Father, the Holy Spirit. Jonathan so loved David as his best friend that he willingly gave up his right to the throne without a fuss and submitted himself to David’s leadership because he knew that was what was best for Israel.

Jonathan did that for David. Jesus did that for us. How can we be so arrogant as to think that all the people in the world orbit around us and that the world is here to serve us. Let us be humble enough to see others with the same humility and servantlike hearts and Jonathan and Jesus.

Amen and Amen.

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