I Samuel 20:1-42

Sunday, February 8th, 2015



It should be the goal of every believer to be living completely for the Lord. Now, when I say living completely for the Lord, I mean that he is saved, that he has dedicated his life to the Lord, that he is doing his best to study his Bible and to submit his mind and his life to what is taught in the Bible, that he is faithful in the church services, that he is a faithful witness, that he keeps caught up on confessing his sins, and that he desires above all else to be pleasing to the Lord regardless of what it may cost him.

Now if we are going to be living completely for the Lord, we will find ourselves facing certain things throughout our lives. I ask you, Are we willing to face them? By the way, you may face some of these things even if you aren't living completely for the Lord.

We who have surrendered our lives to the Lord have told Him in advance that we will go anywhere He asks us to go without knowing where He might ask us to go. We have agreed in advance that we will do anything He asks us to do without knowing what He might ask.

In this message we see a number of things in I Samuel 20 that we must be willing to face if we are going to do what the Lord wants us to do. As we consider each one of these things, we need to be asking ourselves whether we are really willing to face these things or similar things in order to be living our lives for the Lord.

David and Jonathan were both godly men who were earnestly seeking to do God's will. Their experiences and attitudes demonstrate this.


I Samuel 20:1 - And David fled from Naioth in Ramah, and came and said before Jonathan, What have I done? what is mine iniquity? and what is my sin before thy father, that he seeketh my life?

I am reminded of II Timothy 3:12 .

II Timothy 3:12 - Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

By the way, anyone who even claims to be a Christian may face persecution one of these days because there are people who hate Christians of any kind. The Muslims, for example, don't care whether you are a Baptist or a Catholic or other cultist. In their minds these are all Christians even though they are not; and they hate them all.


I Samuel 20:2-3 - (2) And he [i.e. Jonathan] said unto him [i.e. unto David], God forbid; thou shalt not die: behold, my father [i.e. King Saul] will do nothing either great or small, but that he will shew it me: and why should my father hide this thing from me? it is not so. (3) And David sware moreover, and said, Thy father certainly knoweth that I have found grace in thine eyes; and he saith, Let not Jonathan know this, lest he be grieved: but truly as the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, there is but a step between me and death.

Although David perceived that his life was in danger, was he ever really in any danger of being killed by Saul? Absolutely not. God had appointed David to become the next king of Israel. In order to become Saul's successor, he would have to outlive Saul. In spite of this, it appeared that his life was in grave danger.

We are reminded of Romans 8:31 .

Romans 8:31 - What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

The answer is nobody, but it may not seem like this on some days.

Consider the two witnesses in Revelation of Jesus Christ 11 . They were divinely protected until their ministry was complete -

Revelation of Jesus Christ 11:1-12 - 1 And there was given me a reed like unto a rod [i.e. like a measuring rod]: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. 2 But the court which is without the temple [i.e. outside the temple] leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months [i.e. 3 1/2 years]. 3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days [i.e. or forty-two months or 3 1/2 years- throughout the last half of the tribulation, the period known as the Great Tribulation], clothed in sackcloth. 4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.

[This is a reference to something written in Zechariah. John is using this reference in the same way as Zechariah did. The two olive trees provide olive oil for fuel for the two lampstands. In Zechariah's time, Joshua, the high priest, and Zerubbabel were the leaders of Israel. God had raised them up to be witnesses for Himself and had empowered them with the Holy Spirit. Similarly, God will raise up two witnesses in the time of the great tribulation who will be empowered with the Holy Spirit rather than by some human means.]

5 And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. 6 These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy [like Elijah did]: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will [like Moses did in Egypt]. 7 And when they shall have finished their testimony [but not until they have finished what God appointed for them to do], the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. 8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified [i.e. Jerusalem]. 9 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer [i.e. permit or allow] their dead bodies to be put in graves. 10 And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. 11 And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. 12 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.

Remember that God had chosen David to be Israel's next king. Therefore, David had to outlive Saul. So, regardless of how bad his circumstances may have seemed to him at the time, David could not be killed by Saul. He had to become king after Saul's death. I remind you of I Samuel 16:1 , 4-13 -

I Samuel 16:1 , 4-13 - 1 And the LORD said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons.

4 And Samuel did that which the LORD spake, and came to Bethlehem. . . . 5 . . . And he sanctified Jesse and his sons, and called them to the sacrifice. 6 And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the LORD'S anointed is before him. 7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. 8 Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, Neither hath the LORD chosen this. 9 Then Jesse made Shammah to pass by. And he said, Neither hath the LORD chosen this. 10 Again, Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel. And Samuel said unto Jesse, The LORD hath not chosen these. 11 And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither. 12 And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he. 13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.


I Samuel 20:4-7 - (4) Then said Jonathan unto David, Whatsoever thy soul desireth, I will even do it for thee. (5) And David said unto Jonathan, Behold, to morrow is the new moon, and I should not fail to sit with the king at meat [i.e. I should not fail to sit with the king to eat or I am supposed to dine with the king]: but let me go, that I may hide myself in the field unto the third day at even [i.e. until the third day at evening]. (6) If thy father at all miss me, then say, David earnestly asked leave [i.e. (permission)] of me that he might run to Bethlehem his city: for there is a yearly sacrifice there for all the family. (7) If he say thus, It is well; thy servant shall have peace: but if he be very wroth [i.e. very angry], then be sure that evil is determined by him.


I Samuel 20:8-9 - (8) Therefore thou [i.e. Jonathan] shalt deal kindly with thy servant [i.e. with David]; for thou hast brought thy servant [i.e. David] into a covenant of the Lord with thee: notwithstanding [i.e. but, nevertheless], if there be in me iniquity, slay me thyself [i.e. kill me yourself]; for why shouldest thou bring me to thy father? (9) And Jonathan said, Far be it from thee: for if I knew certainly that evil were determined by my father to come upon thee, then would not I tell it thee?


I Samuel 20:10 - (10) Then said David to Jonathan, Who shall tell me? or what if thy father answer thee roughly?

We should remember God's promise -

I Corinthians 10:13 - There hath no temptation [i.e. testing or trial] taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer [i.e. will not permit or will not allow] you to be tempted [i.e. to be tested or to be tried] above that ye are able; but will with the temptation [i.e. with the testing or trial] also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it [i.e. to endure it].


I Samuel 20:11-23 - (11) And Jonathan said unto David, Come, and let us go out into the field. And they went out both of them into the field. (12) And Jonathan said unto David, O Lord God of Israel, when I have sounded [i.e. when I have sounded out] my father about to morrow any time, or the third day, and, behold, if there be good toward David, and I then send not unto thee, and shew it thee; (13) The Lord do so and much more to Jonathan: but if it please my father to do thee evil, then I will shew it thee, and send thee away, that thou mayest go in peace: and the Lord be with thee, as he hath been with my father. (14) And thou shalt not only while yet I live shew me the kindness of the Lord, that I die not: (15) But also thou shalt not cut off thy kindness from my house for ever: no, not when the Lord hath cut off the enemies of David everyone from the face of the earth. (16) So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, Let the Lord even require it at the hand of David's enemies. (17) And Jonathan caused David to swear again, because he loved him: for he loved him as he loved his own soul. (18) Then Jonathan said to David, To morrow is the new moon: and thou shalt be missed, because thy seat will be empty. (19) And when thou hast stayed three days, then thou shalt go down quickly, and come to the place where thou didst hide thyself when the business was in hand, and shalt remain by the stone Ezel. (20) And I will shoot three arrows on the side thereof, as though I shot at a mark. (21) And, behold, I will send a lad, saying, Go, find out the arrows. If I expressly [i.e. specifically] say unto the lad, Behold, the arrows are on this side of thee, take them; then come thou: for there is peace to thee, and no hurt; as the Lord liveth. (22) But if I say thus unto the young man, Behold, the arrows are beyond thee; go thy way: for the Lord hath sent thee away. (23) And as touching the matter [i.e. as for the matter] which thou and I have spoken of, behold, the Lord be between thee and me for ever.

Proverbs 3:5-6 - 5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Romans 12:1-2 - (1) I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. (2) And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.


I Samuel 20:24 - (24) So David hid himself in the field: and when the new moon was come, the king sat him down to eat meat [i.e. King Saul sat down to eat food].


I Samuel 20:25-34 - (25) And the king sat upon his seat, as at other times, even upon a seat by the wall: and Jonathan arose, and Abner sat by Saul's side, and David's place was empty. (26) Nevertheless Saul spake not any thing that day: for he thought, Something hath befallen him, he is not clean; surely he is not clean. (27) And it came to pass on the morrow, which was the second day of the month, that David's place was empty: and Saul said unto Jonathan his son, Wherefore cometh not the son of Jesse to meat [i.e. Why has the son of Jesse not come to eat], neither yesterday, nor to day? (28) And Jonathan answered Saul, David earnestly asked leave [i.e. (permission)] of me to go to Bethlehem: (29) And he said, Let me go, I pray thee; for our family hath a sacrifice in the city; and my brother, he hath commanded me to be there: and now, if I have found favour in thine eyes, let me get away, I pray thee, and see my brethren. Therefore he cometh not unto the king's table. (30) Then Saul's anger was kindled against Jonathan, and he said unto him, Thou son of the perverse rebellious woman [i.e. you son of a perverse rebellious woman - not necessarily a reference to Jonathan's mother], do not I know that thou hast chosen the son of Jesse to thine own confusion [i.e. to your own shame], and unto the confusion [i.e. unto the shame] of thy mother's nakedness [i.e. of the mother who gave birth to you]? [i.e. Saul is basically saying that David will rob you and your mother of the honor you should have in becoming the next king.] (31) For as long as the son of Jesse liveth upon the ground, thou shalt not be established, nor thy kingdom [i.e. as long as David is alive, Jonathan, my kingdom will not continue; and you will not succeed me as king.] Wherefore now send and fetch him unto me, for he shall surely die. (32) And Jonathan answered Saul his father, and said unto him, Wherefore shall he be slain? [i.e. Why should he be killed?] what hath he done? (33) And Saul cast a javelin [i.e. a spear] at him to smite [i.e. to kill] him: whereby Jonathan knew that it was determined of his father to slay David. (34) So Jonathan arose from the table in fierce anger, and did eat no meat [i.e. food] the second day of the month: for he was grieved for David, because his father had done him shame [i.e. had done David shame].


I Samuel 20:35-42 - (35) And it came to pass in the morning, that Jonathan went out into the field at the time appointed with David, and a little lad with him. (36) And he said unto his lad, Run, find out now the arrows which I shoot. And as the lad ran, he shot an arrow beyond him. (37) And when the lad was come to the place of the arrow which Jonathan had shot, Jonathan cried after the lad, and said, Is not the arrow beyond thee? (38) And Jonathan cried after the lad, Make speed, haste, stay not. And Jonathan's lad gathered up the arrows, and came to his master. (39) But the lad knew not any thing: only Jonathan and David knew the matter. (40) And Jonathan gave his artillery [i.e. weapons] unto his lad, and said unto him, Go, carry them to the city. (41) And as soon as the lad was gone, David arose out of a place toward the south, and fell on his face to the ground, and bowed himself three times: and they kissed one another, and wept one with another, until David exceeded [i.e. but David (wept) more or but David (wept) more so]. (42) And Jonathan said to David, Go in peace, forasmuch as we have sworn both of us in the name of the Lord, saying, The Lord be between me and thee, and between my seed and thy seed for ever [i.e. The Lord is the witness of a bond between us and our children forever - Jonathan is saying that his own bond of loyalty with David would never be broken.]. And he arose and departed: and Jonathan went into the city.


How far are we willing to go to live for the Lord? We should be willing to go anywhere and to do anything. We should never draw any lines beyond which we would not be willing to go. For example, we should never say, I'll do anything for the Lord except witness, or I'll do anything the Lord asks except go to Chicago, or I'll serve the Lord anywhere except in Fort Walton Beach.

When we give our lives to the Lord, we are saying that we will go anywhere He asks us to go and that we will do anything He asks us to do without knowing in advance what these things are.

Are you really saved? If you aren't really saved or aren't sure of your salvation, why don't you make sure of your salvation today?

Have you given yourself to the Lord? If you haven't, why don't you do this today?