I Samuel Chapter 20

"Hostility to David"
"Visit of David to Jonathan"

This Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's transcription is provided with written permission by http://www.theseason.org

David was God's special chosen person that He loved very much, and God allowed much trouble to come into David's life. God expected much from David, for it was through the loins of David that the Messiah would come in future generations. David did not attempt anything that he could not handle, and even in the killing of Goliath. David had faith and confidence that Goliath could be brought down by the means that God put in his hands.

When the prior chapter ended, Saul was stripped from his outer garments of his royal robes that gave him rank by appearance. Saul ran around for a whole day unrobed but in the apparel of the prophets. He ran with the prophets for that day, and did exactly as they were doing, prophesying. The picture that God wanted us to see from this, was that even though Saul was the man that the people wanted for a king, Saul had an evil spirit. God has stripped Saul of his outer covering to show the people exactly what they have chosen to lead them.

Sure, Saul even said the words that were as the prophets speak, and they sounded so right in their context. However, by the next day Saul would be the same man, with the evil spirit that would cause him to do the evil that he did. God is showing us in this, that He can use any person that He chooses for the task that needs to be done. Yet at the same time Saul was the same evil person in his heart.

God wants to be the King of our lives, and it doesn't matter how another man or woman dresses themselves in the physical life, if you focus on a man rather than God you will probably end up having problems just as old Saul did.

I Samuel 20:1 "And David fled from Naioth in Ramah, and come 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?

David is confused, for Saul had told him how much he loved David, yet under the influence of the evil spirit that possessed Saul, he had attempted to kill David several times. Saul had thrown his javelin at David three times. Saul wanted to give wealth to David, and even his daughter in marriage, yet this evil thought remained within Saul to kill David. This was the question that David is trying to understand, and was seeking from Jonathan, Saul's oldest son. Three times Saul sent messengers to David to bring him so that David could be killed, yet all the messengers had their minds changed by God in the protection of David.

We are to learn personally from these things that were in David's and Saul's life. When you try to do nothing but good in your life, and yet in the end nothing but bad results from it; then check out the spirits that are in the area. Talk to Father and order anything negative out out of your life. However just as everything turned out right in the long run for David, so also it will be with you, when you put your trust in God.

I Samuel 20:2 "And he said unto him, "God forbid; thou shalt not die: behold, my father 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."

This is Jonathan's answer to David. Jonathan is convinced that Saul his father would do nothing great of small, but that he would reveal his actions to Jonathan first. However, remember that Saul had already lied to Jonathan once about this already. Back in the sixth verse of the prior chapter Saul swore to Jonathan that he would not kill David, yet in the next verse Saul was trying to kill David again.

I Samuel 20:3 "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."

Though Jonathan sought in his own mind to understand his father Saul, David is explaining the facts to Jonathan as to how things really are. David saw the protection that Saul had for his son, and that he knew that Jonathan loved David. It was for the protection of Jonathan that Saul did not reveal to Jonathan his intentions of killing David. All the time David knew that his life was in danger, and kept focused on that danger. Though even the servants loved David, they were still loyal to their king and David knew it. To violate the kings orders would cause their own death. So David was revealing to Jonathan that the king knows how close we are, and naturally he is not going to tell you he is going to kill your best friend.

I Samuel 20:4 "Then said Jonathan unto David, "Whatsoever thy soul desireth, I will even do it for thee." "

Jonathan assured David that he would find out what was on his father Saul's mind and warn you.

I Samuel 20:5 "And David said unto Jonathan, "Behold, to morrow is the new moon, and I should not fail to sit with the king at meat: but let me go, that I may hide myself in the field and the third day at even."

We know that the "new moon" is the "Sabbath", and the three days are the exact time that our Lord would be in the tomb. This "third day" after the high Sabbath was always a feast day, a time to recount the past and to celebrate. It took place once a year, and was a special Sabbath that lead into the Passover.

I Samuel 20:6 "If thy father at all miss me, then say, 'David earnestly asked leave of me that he might run to Bethlehem his city: for there is a yearly sacrifice there for all the family."

By David leaving to be with his family on this special Sabbath fixes the time to be on the Passover. Jesus Christ was born from the loins of David, He became our Passover Lamb that would be the sacrifice for one and all time. When Christ went to the cross it would end the need for this sacrifice Passover for Christ became our Passover. Remember that Bethlehem, the place where David is going for this Passover sacrifice, was the very same location that Jesus would be born. There is much to be learned in this passage to prepare ourselves from the enemy that would do us harm.

Our enemy is Satan and his evil spirits, and he is the same in our generation as he was in David and Saul's generation. Satan is the same, only his methods of deceiving and tricking mankind changes from generation to generation.

I Samuel 20:7 "If he say thus, 'It is well;' thy servant shall have peace: but if he be very wroth, then be sure that evil is determined by him."

The fact that Saul had an evil spirit should have been obvious by this time.

I Samuel 20:8 "Therefore thou shalt deal kindly with thy servant; for thou hast brought thy servant into a covenant of the Lord with thee: notwithstanding, if there be in me iniquity, slay me thyself; for why shouldest thou bring me to thy father?"

David is reminding Jonathan that they have covenanted to make themselves as blood brothers, yet David is telling Jonathan that if you find that I have done your father wrong in any manner, than you can slay me. David is completely honest with Jonathan, and he is asking Jonathan; Why would you have to bring me to your father? Jonathan knew the honesty of David's heart.

I Samuel 20:9 "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?"

Jonathan reaffirms to David that if he knew that Saul was planning evil against David, I would tell you of the plan. This closeness between the two was well known by Saul.

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

I Samuel 20:11 "And Jonathan said unto David, "Come, and let us go out into the field." And they went out both of them into the field,"

Even today walls have a way of having ears, and people the servants would think nothing of telling the terms of this contract to Saul. What was said between David and Jonathan was said in complete confidence.

I Samuel 20:12 "And Jonathan said unto David, "O Lord God of Israel, when I have sounded 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;"

Jonathan reaffirmed to David that if he had heard anything either on the morrow, the feast day of the Passover, or on the third day after the Passover, or any time in-between, I shall let you know that there is danger. Notice the example that Jonathan is setting for us. Jonathan did not do a thing without praying first to the Father.

I Samuel 20:13 "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."

Though Jonathan didn't see it at this time, the Lord had left his father Saul, and Saul had allowed himself to become under the control of evil spirits. You have two fighting men of war that stood side by side in the heat of battle, sealing a friendship for life. Both of these men were fighting for Saul and his army, yet Saul is seeking to claim the life. This isn't just a contract between two men, but they brought the Almighty God into their plans, and their lives.

I Samuel 20:14 "And thou shalt not only while yet I live shew me the kindness of the Lord, that I die not:"

They are taking an oath to each other by the trust in the eternal God. They are swearing as you would in a court of Law.

I Samuel 20:15 "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 every one from the face of the earth."

Jonathan is asking David to swear then in an oath to God. As long as David lived, that he would not cut off, or turn against Jonathan's family. This promise between David and Jonathan was remembered long into the future. Even when David became king, David kept this oath that he made to Jonathan.

I Samuel 20:16 "So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, "Let the Lord even require it at the hand of David's enemies."

I Samuel 20:17 "And Jonathan caused David to sware again, because he loved him: for he loved him as he loved his own soul."

Jonathan and David were true friends, sealed in the heat of battle and now bound in this oath between the two of them. God was with both of these men, and the guide for each of their lives. The love of God binds together the hearts, minds and souls of each of them.

I Samuel 20:18 "Then Jonathan said to David, "Tomorrow is the new moon: and thou shalt be missed because thy seat will be empty."

Jonathan is reminding David that tomorrow you will be missed at the dinner table for your seat will be empty.

I Samuel 20:19 "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."

The "stone of Ezel" is the stone that sat at the place of departure. Stones have always marked the spot of important events down through the years. So this was what they would do if the sentence that Jonathan brings back to David, was Saul's command for David's death.

I Samuel 20:20 "And I will shoot three arrows on the side thereof, as thought I shot at a mark."

When Jonathan returns back to this spot with his message, he brought with him his bow and arrows. The warning would be indicated by where Jonathan's arrows landed, with respect to the stone.

I Samuel 20:21 "And, behold, I will send a lad, saying, 'Go, find out the arrows.' If I expressly 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."

This was the sign agreed upon. As David sat in hiding, he watched Jonathan shooting his arrows. If these words. "Go, find the arrows, Behold, the arrows are on this side of thee," come out of Jonathan's mouth it meant that Saul is not trying to kill David, and things are right back home. In other words, if Jonathan shoots the arrows short of the stone, than things are right for David. However if the arrows are shot beyond the stone than you are in danger for your live in Saul's household.

I Samuel 20:22 "But if I say thus unto the young man, 'Behold, the Lord be between the and me for ever."

In this hidden message, the Lord is taken into their consideration. It wasn't Jonathan or even Saul that was sending David away, but the Lord was sending David to safety.

I Samuel 20:23 "And as touching the matter which thou and I have spoken of, behold, the Lord be between thee and me for ever."

I Samuel 20:24 "So David hid himself in the field: and when the new moon was come, the king sat him down to eat meat."

This is as it was daily.

I Samuel 20:25 "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."

Abner was the commander of Saul's army.

I Samuel 20:26 "Nevertheless Saul spake not any thing that day: for he thought, Something hath befallen him, he is not clean; surely he is not clean."

This was a holy feast that they were partaking of, and Saul felt he was unable to take part in the feast for some reason or another. It could well have been that the demonics possessed Saul during this time, so that he suspected that all was not right.

I Samuel 20:27 "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, neither yesterday, nor today?"

During the first day Saul noticed that David was gone, but he said nothing. However now on the second day, Saul noticed that David's place was empty, and this bothered Saul. He wanted to know where David was.

I Samuel 20:28 "And Jonathan answered Saul, "David earnestly asked leave of me to go to Bethlehem:"

"Bethlehem" means in the Hebrew tongue "the place of bread", and this was the birth place of Jesus a thousand years later, and it was also the home town of David.

I Samuel 20:29 "And he said, 'Let me go, I pray thee; for our family hath a sacrifice in the city; and my brother, he hath commanded 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." "

This is Jonathan repeating to Saul what David had told him in the sixth verse. Jonathan is telling Saul that David was not at the table because he gave David permission to leave and go back home for the sacrifices [Passover feast days].

I Samuel 20:30 "Then Saul's anger was kindled against Jonathan, and he said unto him, "Thou son of the perverse rebellious woman, do not I know that thou hast chosen the son of Jesse to thine own confusion, and unto the confusion of thy mother's nakedness?"

Saul's anger was against Jonathan, his own son, for allowing David's leave. This was one of the worst insults that one could throw at another person. Remember that to uncover your "father's nakedness" is to lie with your mother, so to "sin the confusion of thy mother's nakedness" in this case, was to accuse Jonathan of sleeping with his sister, the wife of David. It was accusing Jonathan of very wicked acts. This was an untrue accusation against Jonathan and Saul knew it.

I Samuel 20:31 "For as long as the son of Jesse liveth upon the ground, thou shalt not be established, nor thy kingdom Wherefore now send and fetch him unto me, for he shall surely die."

"For he shall surely die" in the manuscripts reads, "for he is the son of death". Thus it reads, David is doomed to die. Remember that the "son of death, or perdition" is Satan, and yet the lineage of David was the very lineage that Jesus Christ would be born. This than was an evil spirit speaking through Saul. It was the spirit of the "son of death, or perdition" that inhabited Saul. Can you see how the evil spirits can take and twist the truth and make something righteous appear to be evil?

This is a type of the confusion that will come and is already here dominating the world in these end times. If you do not have this "key to David" in our times, you could easily be deceived, for if an supernatural entity comes to earth saying he is Christ, those without the truth in their minds will be led to believe him. Satan is coming as an supernatural person, with all the supernatural things and powers most Christians expect Jesus to have. Those who are not sealed in their minds with the truth from God's Word will be deceived by him, and believe Satan. This happens at the sixth trump, while the gathering back to the True Christ happens at the seventh trump.

So we here see the evil spirit within Saul calling the spirit of the Living God within David a fake. Claiming him to be of the Devil. Good becomes bad, and evil becomes the right thing to do.

I Samuel 20:32 "And Jonathan answered Saul his father, and said unto him, "Wherefore shall he be slain? what hath he done?"

Jonathan is asking his father Saul, What has he done that cause you to pronounce the death sentence on David. How can you call David the son of death.

I Samuel 20:33 "And Saul cast a javelin at him to smite him: whereby Jonathan knew that it was determined of his father to slay David."

When Saul heard Jonathan defending David, he grabbed his javelin and threw it at Jonathan, his own son. At that point there could be no doubt, Jonathan knew that Saul was intending to kill David.

I Samuel 20:34 "So Jonathan arose from the table in fierce anger, and did eat no meat the second day of the month: for he was grieved for David, because his father had done him shame."

Saul had shamed Jonathan's mother, his sister and himself, as well as David. Saul was a liar, and about to be a murderer. He was most definitely a evil possessed man.

I Samuel 20:35 "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."

The day has come to give David the warning.

I Samuel 20:36 "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."

I Samuel 20:37 "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?"

Jonathan shouted the command to the lad loud enough that David, hiding in the bushes could hear. This was the warning for David to leave, for his life was in danger by Saul.

I Samuel 20:38 "And Jonathan cried after the lad, "Make speed, haste, stay not." And Jonathan's lad gathered up the arrows, and came to his master."

This message was directed to David, "make speed and get out of the area". Though the lad thought the message was to him, Jonathan was talking to David.

I Samuel 20:39 "But the lad knew not any thing: only Jonathan and David knew the matter."

The message was clear to David.

I Samuel 20:40 "And Jonathan gave his artillery unto his lad, and said unto him, "Go, carry them to the city." "

Jonathan gave the bow and arrows to the lad, and sent him back home. Now Jonathan was alone with David, and he had no fear of his dear friend. The two men were the best of friends, and David's departure was all for the sake of the evil spirit that had possessed Saul.

I Samuel 20:41 "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."

They kissed each other with the eastern kiss of friendship. From this point on, David had lost everything. The king, the highest authority of the land was out to kill David. David will have no possessions, and will be separated even from his family because of Saul quest to kill him. David lost his country, his people, his king, his friends, his family and his wife. Next time you feel that you have given up something for the stand you have taken, think of David. Both Jonathan and David knew this, and the loss was great for both of these two friends. David has lost every thing except God.

David could have ended this threat to his life by simply taking the life of Saul, but by doing such a thing, he would have defied the anointed of God, for Saul was the anointed king of God to lead the nation of Israel. In saving his live in that act, he would have turned Jonathan against him. Remember that David and Jonathan had made an oath to each other and that would have broken that oath. The oath of I Samuel 18:3-5 was not only of friendship between themselves but for the sake of their families, and David chose by himself to leave and protect that oath.

I Samuel 20:42 "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.' And he arose and departed: and Jonathan went into the city."

This ends the early segment of David's life. David suffered much for the same of keeping God's Word, and remaining true to the Father. David had the love of God in him, and he gave it out to those around him, but he had that love thrown back in his face and repaid with evil, at the hand of Saul. David was completely loyal to Saul, yet Saul was possessed by an evil spirit, and saw David as a threat and sought to kill him.

This is all part of what God had warned the people of before they had chose to have an earthly king. God through the prophets warned that this king, being a man, would take the best that you had, and your sons and daughters for his servants, not God's service, and will tax you to the point of taking your very best.

Character is everything when it comes to leadership. The nation of Israel under the rule of Saul was following a perverted and evil possessed mind. Under an evil ruler, character means nothing. Yet David was just the opposite of Saul, loyal and true to God, his friends, and to those things that he knew to be right and of God.

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