Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Chapter 5: Jonathan: The Man Who Would (Not) Be King

Come, let us go over to the Philistine's garrison that is on the other side...Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; it may be that the Lord will work for us.  For nothing restrains the Lord from saving by many or by few.  -  1 Samuel 14:1, 6

Then Jonathan, Saul's son, arose and went to David in the woods and strengthened his hand in God.  And he said to him, "Do not fear, for the hand of Saul my father shall not find you.  You shall be king over Israel, and I shall be next to you."  - 1 Samuel 23:16-17

In Chapter 5 of Twelve Unlikely Heroes by John MacArthur, we learn about Jonathan.  Jonathan is Saul's son and finds out that because of Saul's actions, he will never be king.  Imagine hearing those words.  Most people would be angry and honestly, pitch a fit.  Jonathan, however, accepted the idea of someone else being the king.  He knew that it was God's plan and he trusted God.

Below are the points in Chapter 5 that reached out to me the most:

*  ...Jonathan's response was very different-and that's what made him such an unlikely hero.  p. 96

*  Jonathan was fearless-not because he was confident in his own ability, but because he had placed his faith firmly in the promised will and power of God.  p. 96

*  The Lord responded to the faith and courage of Jonathan by sending the enemy into full retreat, thereby delivering the outmatched Israelites from death and defeat.  p. 97

*  While Saul sat under a pomegranate tree fretting about what to do next, his daring son once again took the initiative and saw the mighty power of God unleashed in victory.  p. 97

*  Jonathan willingly gave up his own claim to the throne because he understood that the Lord had chosen David instead of him.  And he had no resentment, only affection for the one who would reign in his place.  p. 104

*  Jonathan's character is evidenced most clearly in his attitude toward David.  Without question, he was a mighty warrior, a noble prince, and a loyal friend.  But it was his unwavering faith in the Lord's plan for him and his future that set him apart as an unlikely hero.  p. 104

*  David and Jonathan shared a manly commitment that was noble, loyal, and selfless-a camaraderie born out of threat and conflict and cemented by their mutual faith in the Lord.  p. 105

*  When Saul was doubtful and disobedient, Jonathan operated in faith and courage.  p. 107

*  Rather than fighting against his future, the prince embraced it-to the extent that he became a loyal friend to the man who would one day be king instead of him.  p. 107

*  Unlike his small-minded father, this noble prince was eager to obey the Lord.  p.108

*  But close to it is the sacrifice of one's life in life-gladly giving up all personal honor, power, and position for a friend who takes those things because it was the will of God to do so.  p. 108

What an amazing friend David had in Jonathan.  To not only remain faithful to God and his plan, but to be there for his friend through it all.  For me, it would seem difficult to be truly happy and want to help the person who just received a blessing that I've been waiting to receive.  I know that sounds very selfish of me but if I'm being completely honest with you, than I will tell you that it would be hard for any of us to accept.  Jonathan's faith in God is so strong and unwavering.  It really shows me where my faith needs to grow more.  I know I will always accept God's will in my life and my family's life.  However, I never stopped and thought "what would I do?" if I were in a similar situation like Jonathan was.  Could I truly be happy deep down inside and become close to someone who just received a blessing I've been praying over?  Can I remain faithful to God in situations like this?  Jonathan has taught me so much.  His faithfulness in God, his true caring towards others and most importantly his reaction to not getting what he wanted are things that we can all learn from.  I'll be honest with you, I know how I would react.  I would be truly happy for my friend who received the blessing.  However, I know I would turn and ask "what about me?"  My selfish nature would over take me and jealousy would come into play.

After reading this chapter about our unlikely hero, Jonathan, I now know what I need to pray over in my life.  I pray that God will give me faith, a heart and a reaction like Jonathan's when I am faced with similar situations in my life.   It's so easy to be tempted by jealousy, anger and fear in this world.  We need to remember that there is a much bigger picture out there that God has perfectly painted just for us.

 It's so exciting to read this book and to meet our unlikely heroes.  People whom I barely remember reading about in the Bible.  What's even more exciting is to see how God is reaching us and strengthening our faith through these heroes.

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