Jonathon Helps David Flee King Saul
I Sam. 18-31
Review Activities for this Lesson
Saul and his army were
jubilant to see David standing over the mighty Goliath’s body!
Shouting gleefully, they chased down the fleeing Philistines. Now
the shepherd boy was hero to all Israel. Saul’s son Jonathan admired
David so much he gave him his own robe, sword and spear. After the
battle, though, Saul’s feelings for David changed. He was filled
with jealousy to hear the women singing, “Saul has killed his
thousands, but David has killed his ten thousands!” How dare they
honor David with killing ten thousands and him with only thousands!
Brooding over David’s sudden popularity made Saul suspicious, what
if he tried to take over the kingdom? Later when the evil spirit
came back, Saul angrily hurled his spear at David, trying to pin him
to the wall. But Saul missed and David got away. So Saul decided to
get rid of David by sending him into dangerous battles.
How would you have felt, knowing the king wanted you killed? David
had some fearful thoughts, but he didn’t try to carry his heavy
burdens alone. Instead, he prayed for God’s protection. And because
Saul was the anointed ruler of God’s people, David tried to serve
him faithfully, in spite of his cruelty.
God heard David’s prayers and gave him one victory after another.
These victories made him even more famous with the people and more
hated in the eyes of Saul. Now he ordered his servants and his son
Jonathan to kill David. But Jonathan would not hurt his friend.
Instead he tried to reason with his father, pleading, “Let not the
king sin against his servant, against David, because he has not
sinned against you.” Had not David had risked his own life in
killing Goliath? Would the king kill such a brave man without
Saul admitted Jonathan was right. “As the Lord lives, he shall not
be killed,” he promised. As soon as the evil spirit came back,
though, he threw his spear at David again. David fled into the night
to his own house where his frightened wife Micah begged him, “If you
do not save your life tonight, tomorrow you will be killed!” Helping
him escape through the window, she put a statue in his bed to make
Saul’s men think he was asleep.
Saul was furious with Micah’s trick, but David was safe with Samuel
at Ramah. Soon he came out of hiding long enough to see Jonathan.
“What have I done?” he asked his friend. “...What is my sin before
your father that he seeks my life?” Jonathan promised to find out
for David what was in Saul’s mind. If he weren’t safe in his own
country he would have to leave.
Knowing Jonathan was still David’s friend enraged Saul. He couldn’t
believe he would side with someone against his own father! Jonathan
could never become king as a long as David was alive, Saul warned
and commanded, “Now therefore, send and bring him to me, for he
shall surely die,” But Jonathan refused. “Why should he be killed?”
he argued. “What has he done?” This filled Saul with such wrath that
he cast his spear a third time, this time at his son!
Angrily Jonathan left the king’s presence, deeply grieved over his
father’s shameful behavior. The next morning he met David in a field
to say there was no hope for things to change. So the two young men
cried and sadly kissed goodbye. Before they separated, they promised
there would always be peace between them and their children. Then
David went on his way.
Now hunting down David was Saul’s main purpose in life. David had
several chances to kill Saul, but he would not harm him. Once
without knowing David was inside, Saul came into a dark cave. There
David cut a piece of the king’s robe, then showed it to him. When
Saul saw David spared his life, he cried and said he was wrong. But
he soon went back to his old ways.
It was finally all over when Saul and Jonathan fought the
Philistines on Mt. Gilboa. Wounded by an enemy soldier, Saul died on
his own sword so the Philistines would not take him alive and
torture him. Jonathan and two of his brothers died in the battle,
too. Hearing about their deaths distressed David very much. His love
for Jonathan had been great. And he was saddened to think God’s
anointed king had come to such a sad end.