I always wanted to be David.
If you’ve been a believer for any amount of time, you probably understand why. David is an epic Biblical figure. A man after God’s own heart: a poet, a warrior, a king. An epic sinner, to be sure, but one who rested confidently in the redemptive grace of God.
I never wanted to be Jonathan. Very few people do.
At most, it seems, he plays a supporting role in David’s story. He’s a sidekick: the loyal friend, the servant-prince, the background boy. He’s not rattling off Psalms or hiding from his enemies or inspiring armies or committing wild, audacious sins against God before running back into the arms of grace. Mostly, he does everything that he ought to do, and for all his pains his death is early and ignoble. It’s easy to think of Jonathan as a footnote in David’s history.
But reading Jonathan’s story in that way is a disservice. He had his own relationship to God, one marked by a profound faith. He struggled with an abusive, unstable, sharp-tongued father and all too often suffered the consequences of actions in which he had no part. He lived a life bearing the promise of greatness he knew he would never achieve. And he loved – deeply. So deeply that it changed history.
We ignore the richness of Jonathan’s life at our peril. Because God reveals much about His own nature, and the realities of a life of servanthood, in the story of the man we often dismiss as “David’s friend.” I invite you to come with me for the next six weeks to explore Jonathan’s story, and to apply the truths that God reveals through his life to our own.
Prince. Son. Warrior. Accused. Father. Friend.
The study starts the week of January 15.