True friendship (Jonathan and David)…and heartfelt prayer (Jesus prays for His disciples)

11 06 2011

DAY ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY-SEVEN : 1 Samuel 19 v. 1 – 29 v. 42; John 17 v. 6 – 26; Psalm 68 v. 7 – 14

1 SAMUEL
Saul Tries to Kill David – Saul’s anger and jealousy towards David increases and he tells his son, Jonathan, and attendants to kill David. Jonathan, however, warns his friend, David, to go into hiding, and he will let David know what his father Saul is saying about him.
Jonathan tries to persuade his father to see the good in David, and not do him harm. Saul listens to his son and pledges  that David will not be ‘put to death’.
So, Jonathan brings David back into his father’s presence.
Another episode follows when the Philistines rise up and David leads a successful campaign against them.
And when David is back playing his harp for the king, Saul is gripped by an evil spirit and hurls his spear at David, but he is able to flee, once again.
David’s wife, Michal, helps him escape from the men Saul sends to kill him, by letting him out of a window and putting an ‘idol’ in the bed to make it look like David is lying there ill.
Sending his men back to bring the supposedly sick David to him to kill him, Saul discovers the dummy in the bed, that Michal has deceived him, and determines to go after David.
David has gone to Ramah to see Samuel and they both go Naioth. David fills Samuel in on everything that has happened.
Saul discovers where David is, and sends men to sieze him. When they find arrive in Naioth they find people (including Samuel) prophesying –
‘the Spirit of God came upon Saul’s men and they also prophesied’.
Displeased, Saul sends a second group, and then a third group of men, but each time the Spirit turns the aggressors into prophets !
As a last resort, Saul goes himself to grab David, but similarly the ‘Spirit of God came upon even him, and he walked along prophesying…he stripped off his robes and also prophesied in Samuel’s presence….’, and news gets round, people asking if Saul is ‘amongst the prophets’.

Saul has clearly broken his earlier oath that he won’t seek to kill David; but the power of God’s Spirit is greater than the anger and jealousy in him, and is able to turn the aggressor into a prophet (sort of reminds me of the Saul/Paul transformation in Acts….interesting that’s it’s a Saul transformation in both OT and NT!!)

David and Jonathan – David runs away again, to Jonathan, begging to know what he has done to deserve Saul’s wrath. Jonathan pledges to do all he can to prevent David’s death, trusting that his father will continue to confide in him everything he’s thinking and planning to do. David is more suspicious, knowing that Saul is unhappy with his and Jonathan’s friendship.
Jonathan says what every good friend says:
‘Whatever you want me to do, I’ll do it for you’
They make an arrangement that David will be noticeably missing from the New Moon festival, and that Jonathan will ‘sound out’ his father – whether Saul is favourably disposed to David, or not. Then Jonathan will go out to near where David is in hiding (the stone Ezel), and shoot arrows as a sign to tell David whether Saul is after him or not.
So over the next couple of days, Jonathan experiences his father’s anger towards to David, and even has the spear thrown at him because of the feeling Saul has that Jonathan is siding with David. Jonathan is left in no doubt that his father is out to kill his friend, David.
The sign is given next day, through the shooting of an arrow, and the loud message to his servant that the arrow is ‘beyond you’ (the sign for David to flee).
‘Hurry! Go quickly ! Don’t stop !’

David and Jonathan just have time to say goodbye – David, bowing down before Jonathan three times, face to the ground. ‘Then they kissed each other and wept together – but David wept the most.’
Jonathan’s final words to his friend, David, are
‘Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship with each other in the name of the Lord, saying, ‘The Lord is witness between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants for ever.”

There are several pledges and oaths of allegiance in this chapter, very touching and symbolic of the deep friendship and commitment to each other.

JOHN
Jesus Prays for His Disciples – Jesus continues in prayer, reminding God how he has revealed the Father to those He has been given. They have accepted the words Jesus has given them.
‘All I have is Yours, and all You have is mine. And glory has come to me through them.’
Jesus prays protection for them, once He is not alongside them as He has been.
Jesus prays that they may be ‘one as we are one’, praying the same unity which binds the Son to the Father.
Jesus prays for the ‘full measure of joy’ for His disciples.
Jesus prays not that Father God takes His disciples out of the world, but that He protect them from the evil one.
Jesus prays that the disciples will be sanctified (made holy) by the word of truth.
Jesus is sanctified (by surrendering Himself completely to the cross) so that His disciples might be ‘truly sanctified’.

Jesus Prays for All Believers – Jesus goes on to pray for all who will believe (ooh, that includes us !!) because of the message of the first disciples.
Jesus prays that they (we) may be one, as Jesus and the Father are one.
Jesus prays that they (we) may be ‘in us’ (walking and living in relationship with Father, Son, Spirit), so that the world might believe.
Jesus prays that they (we) may be ‘brought to complete unity to let the world know that You sent me…’
and finally, Jesus prays that they (we) may continue to know that the Father sent the Son, so that the ‘love You have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.’

PSALM
‘Your people settled in it (your inheritance), and from Your bounty, O God, You provided for the poor.’

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