The text for this lesson is 1 Samuel 18:1–30; 20:1–42.
- Just as God filled Jonathan’s heart with love for David and David’s with love for Jonathan, so Christ fills our heart with God’s love, enabling us to love our neighbor.
- Law: Hatred and envy shatter ties, even the closest of family ties. They turn a mother against her daughter, a father against her son, as they did Saul against Jonathan. This, in turn, spawns murderous thoughts, if not murder itself.
- Gospel: “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy” (1 Corinthians 13:4). Jonathan’s love for David and David’s for Jonathan was the love of God within their hearts spilling over into each other’s lives. We love because God first loved us (1 John 4:19), giving us His Son: love enfleshed.
By this point in the story, Saul is working toward his own downfall. Samuel has already prophesied that God will take the kingship away from Saul and give it to “a neighbor” who was “better than [Saul]” (1 Samuel 15:28). Not only is Saul green with envy and red with rage, but another darker, more sinister evil attacks him from time to time: “an evil spirit from the Lord” (1 Samuel 16:14–23; 18:10; 19:9). This spirit “tormented him” (1 Samuel 16:14), leading to many of his attempts at murder by spear-point. Doubly doomed, both by his own evil and this evil spirit, Saul will stop at virtually nothing to defend the throne that GOd has already ripped from him and given to David.
Saul is no dummy; he can put two and two together. This unnamed “neighbor”—who could it be but David? Saul sees David as the threat to his place as king of Israel and as a result David has been in Saul’s crosshairs. Today we are going to hear about Jonathan, Saul’s son, who befriends and defends David even as his father the king tries to kill them both.
Discussion Points and Questions
- How is the way our culture portrays love different from the way the Bible portrays love?
- Read 1 Samuel 18:1–5. What did David and Jonathan have in common that prepared them to be great friends?
- Read 1 Samuel 18:6–12 and 1 Samuel 15:27–28. Why did Saul react so strongly to the words of the women who greeted his army? After Saul tried to kill David, who was filled with fear?
- Read 1 Samuel 20:1–11. How does David demonstrate his devotion to his king and to the Lord?
- Read 1 Samuel 20:12–23. How do Jonathan’s words reflect the command of our Lord in Matthew 22:39?
- Read 1 Samuel 20:18–23. As David and Jonathan make their plans, how do they both demonstrate sacrificial love?
- Read 1 Samuel 20:24–34. How does Saul illustrate the opposites of sacrificial love?
- Read 1 Samuel 20:35–42. How do these verses emphasize God’s love?
- What was the source of David and Jonathan’s sacrificial love (see 1 John 4:7–12)? Can we love with that same love? Does this mean we can love perfectly?
- David and Jonathan are portrayed as flawless examples of selfless love in this passage. When does David’s selflessness break down later? Why should that not surprise us?
- When our love breaks down like David’s did, where can we turn for comfort?
Next week we will move from studying the Old Testament to the New Testament. To prepare for next week, read Luke 1:26–38. As you read these familiar words, consider how the event would have affected Mary. How difficult would it have been for her to say, “Let it be to me according to Your word?”
Additional CPH Resources
|Arch Books: David and His Friend, Jonathan (59-1593)
This book tells the story of the friendship between David and Jonathan, son of King Saul (1 Samuel 18-20).
The Arch® Books series tells popular Bible stories through fun-to-read rhymes and bright illustrations. This well-loved series captures the attention of children, telling scripturally sound stories that are enjoyable and easy to remember.
This product is part of the Accelerated Reader™ program and carries a point value of .5.
Spanning the events of just over one hundred years, 1 and 2 Samuel describe a time when Israel rebelled against God, demanding an earthly king to lead her. However, these books also tell the story of how a merciful God intervened to usher in the reign of King David, Israel’s greatest king and an ancestor of Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:1-16). In the pages of 1 and 2 Samuel, you will:
Also available as a downloadable resource (20-3395).
|People’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Samuel (12-8201)
Christ-centered Bible truths unfold as you read this complete series of commentaries designed for spiritual growth and reading enjoyment. These trustworthy commentaries help you comprehend what you’ve read in Scripture as well as apply it to your life.