SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR THIS SERMON:
1 Samuel 19:1-20:42
19:1 Then Saul told his son Jonathan and all his servants to kill David. But Saul’s son Jonathan liked David very much. 2 So Jonathan told David, “My father Saul is trying to kill you. So be careful tomorrow morning. Find a hiding place and stay in seclusion. 3 I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where you are. I will speak to my father about you. When I find out what the problem is, I will let you know.”
4 So Jonathan spoke on David’s behalf to his father Saul. He said to him, “The king should not sin against his servant David, for he has not sinned against you. On the contrary, his actions have been very beneficial for you. 5 He risked his life when he struck down the Philistine, and the Lord gave all Israel a great victory. When you saw it, you were happy. So why would you sin against innocent blood by putting David to death for no reason?”
6 Saul accepted Jonathan’s advice and took an oath, “As surely as the Lord lives, he will not be put to death.” 7 Then Jonathan called David and told him all these things. Jonathan brought David to Saul, and he served him as he had done formerly.
8 Now once again there was war. So David went out to fight the Philistines. He defeated them thoroughly, and they ran away from him. 9 Then an evil spirit from the Lord came upon Saul. He was sitting in his house with his spear in his hand, while David was playing the lyre. 10 Saul tried to nail David to the wall with the spear, but he escaped from Saul’s presence, and the spear drove into the wall. David escaped quickly that night.
11 Saul sent messengers to David’s house to guard it and to kill him in the morning. Then David’s wife Michal told him, “If you do not save yourself tonight, tomorrow you will be dead!” 12 So Michal lowered David through the window, and he ran away and escaped.
13 Then Michal took a household idol and put it on the bed. She put a quilt made of goats’ hair over its head and then covered the idol with a garment. 14 When Saul sent messengers to arrest David, she said, “He’s sick.”
15 Then Saul sent the messengers back to see David, saying, “Bring him up to me on his bed so I can kill him.” 16 When the messengers came, they found only the idol on the bed and the quilt made of goats’ hair at its head.
17 Saul said to Michal, “Why have you deceived me this way by sending my enemy away? Now he has escaped!” Michal replied to Saul, “He said to me, ‘Help me get away or else I will kill you!’”
18 Now David had run away and escaped. He went to Samuel in Ramah and told him everything that Saul had done to him. Then he and Samuel went and stayed at Naioth. 19 It was reported to Saul saying, “David is at Naioth in Ramah.” 20 So Saul sent messengers to capture David. When they saw a company of prophets prophesying with Samuel standing there as their leader, the Spirit of God came upon Saul’s messengers, and they also prophesied. 21 When it was reported to Saul, he sent more messengers, but they prophesied too. So Saul sent messengers a third time, but they also prophesied. 22 Finally Saul himself went to Ramah. When he arrived at the large cistern that is in Secu, he asked, “Where are Samuel and David?” They said, “At Naioth in Ramah.”
23 So Saul went to Naioth in Ramah. The Spirit of God came upon him as well, and he walked along prophesying until he came to Naioth in Ramah. 24 He even stripped off his clothes and prophesied before Samuel. He lay there naked all that day and night. (For that reason it is asked, “Is Saul also among the prophets?”)
20:1 David fled from Naioth in Ramah. He came to Jonathan and asked, “What have I done? What is my offense? How have I sinned before your father, that he is seeking my life?”
2 Jonathan said to him, “By no means are you going to die! My father does nothing large or small without making me aware of it. Why would my father hide this matter from me? It just won’t happen!”
3 Taking an oath, David again said, “Your father is very much aware of the fact that I have found favor with you, and he has thought, ‘Don’t let Jonathan know about this, or he will be upset.’ But as surely as the Lord lives and you live, there is about one step between me and death!” 4 Jonathan replied to David, “Tell me what I can do for you.”
5 David said to Jonathan, “Tomorrow is the new moon, and I am certainly expected to join the king for a meal. You must send me away so I can hide in the field until the third evening from now. 6 If your father happens to miss me, you should say, ‘David urgently requested me to let him go to his town Bethlehem, for there is an annual sacrifice there for his entire family.’ 7 If he should then say, ‘That’s fine,’ then your servant is safe. But if he becomes very angry, be assured that he has decided to harm me. 8 You must be loyal to your servant, for you have made a covenant with your servant in the Lord’s name. If I am guilty, you yourself kill me! Why bother taking me to your father?”
9 Jonathan said, “Far be it from you to suggest this! If I were at all aware that my father had decided to harm you, wouldn’t I tell you about it?” 10 David said to Jonathan, “Who will tell me if your father answers you harshly?” 11 Jonathan said to David, “Come on. Let’s go out to the field.”
When the two of them had gone out into the field, 12 Jonathan said to David, “The Lord God of Israel is my witness! I will feel out my father about this time the day after tomorrow. If he is favorably inclined toward David, will I not then send word to you and let you know? 13 But if my father intends to do you harm, may the Lord do all this and more to Jonathan if I don’t let you know and send word to you, so you can go safely on your way. May the Lord be with you, as he was with my father. 14 While I am still alive, extend to me the loyalty of the Lord, or else I will die. 15 Don’t ever cut off your loyalty to my family, not even when the Lord has cut off every one of David’s enemies from the face of the earth 16 and called David’s enemies to account.” So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David. 17 Jonathan once again took an oath with David, because he loved him. In fact Jonathan loved him as much as he did his own life. 18 Jonathan said to him, “Tomorrow is the new moon, and you will be missed, for your seat will be empty. 19 On the third day you should go down quickly and come to the place where you hid yourself the day this all started. Stay near the stone Ezel. 20 I will shoot three arrows near it, as though I were shooting at a target. 21 When I send a boy after them, I will say, ‘Go and find the arrows.’ If I say to the boy, ‘Look, the arrows are on this side of you; get them,’ then come back. For as surely as the Lord lives, you will be safe and there will be no problem. 22 But if I say to the boy, ‘Look, the arrows are on the other side of you,’ then get away. For in that case the Lord has sent you away. 23 With regard to the matter that you and I discussed, the Lord is the witness between us forever.”
24 So David hid in the field. When the new moon came, the king sat down to eat his meal. 25 The king sat down in his usual place by the wall, with Jonathan opposite him and Abner at his side. But David’s place was vacant. 26 However, Saul said nothing about it that day, for he thought, “Something has happened to make him ceremonially unclean. Yes, he must be unclean.” 27 But the next morning, the second day of the new moon, David’s place was still vacant. So Saul said to his son Jonathan, “Why has Jesse’s son not come to the meal yesterday or today?”
28 Jonathan replied to Saul, “David urgently requested that he be allowed to go to Bethlehem. 29 He said, ‘Permit me to go, for we are having a family sacrifice in the town, and my brother urged me to be there. So now, if I have found favor with you, let me go to see my brothers.’ For that reason he has not come to the king’s table.”
30 Saul became angry with Jonathan and said to him, “You stupid traitor! Don’t I realize that to your own disgrace and to the disgrace of your mother’s nakedness you have chosen this son of Jesse? 31 For as long as this son of Jesse is alive on the earth, you and your kingdom will not be established. Now, send some men and bring him to me. For he is as good as dead!”
32 Jonathan responded to his father Saul, “Why should he be put to death? What has he done?” 33 Then Saul threw his spear at Jonathan in order to strike him down. So Jonathan was convinced that his father had decided to kill David. 34 Jonathan got up from the table enraged. He did not eat any food on that second day of the new moon, for he was upset that his father had humiliated David.
35 The next morning Jonathan, along with a young servant, went out to the field to meet David. 36 He said to his servant, “Run, find the arrows that I am about to shoot.” As the servant ran, Jonathan shot the arrow beyond him. 37 When the servant came to the place where Jonathan had shot the arrow, Jonathan called out to the servant, “Isn’t the arrow farther beyond you?” 38 Jonathan called out to the servant, “Hurry! Go faster! Don’t delay!” Jonathan’s servant retrieved the arrow and came back to his master. 39 (Now the servant did not understand any of this. Only Jonathan and David knew what was going on.) 40 Then Jonathan gave his equipment to the servant who was with him. He said to him, “Go, take these things back to the town.”
41 When the servant had left, David got up from beside the mound, knelt with his face to the ground, and bowed three times. Then they kissed each other and they both wept, especially David. 42 Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, for the two of us have sworn together in the name of the Lord saying, ‘The Lord will be between me and you and between my descendants and your descendants forever.’”
(21:1) Then David got up and left, while Jonathan went back to the town of Naioth.