Jonathan was the son of the first king of Israel, Saul, and the best friend and brother-in-law to David, the second and most known king of Israel. Jonathan is a unique individual in that he defined the roles of his life through the Spirit of God and not through the prescribed doctrine of the culture. During his lifetime, Jonathan followed Jewish law, which held family bonds and relationships higher than any other bond found in the community. He was both a devout son and friend, but through his actions he exhibited a connection more through spirit than blood. I think that his life could be summed up into three phrases: Speak it. Believe it. Achieve it.
Jonathan was a great soldier and warrior, but he also had an amazing relationship with God. He was able to discern and consult with God in some of the most profound adventures and journeys in his life.
Speak it. Believe it. Achieve it.
I Samuel 14:6-15
6 Jonathan said to the young man who carried his armor, “Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised. It may be that the Lord will work for us, for nothing can hinder the Lord from saving by many or by few.” 7 And his armor-bearer said to him, “Do all that is in your heart. Do as you wish.[b] Behold, I am with you heart and soul.” 8 Then Jonathan said, “Behold, we will cross over to the men, and we will show ourselves to them.9 If they say to us, ‘Wait until we come to you,’ then we will stand still in our place, and we will not go up to them. 10 But if they say, ‘Come up to us,’ then we will go up, for the Lord has given them into our hand. And this shall be the sign to us.” 11 So both of them showed themselves to the garrison of the Philistines. And the Philistines said, “Look, Hebrews are coming out of the holes where they have hidden themselves.” 12 And the men of the garrison hailed Jonathan and his armor-bearer and said, “Come up to us, and we will show you a thing.” And Jonathan said to his armor-bearer, “Come up after me, for the Lord has given them into the hand of Israel.” 13 Then Jonathan climbed up on his hands and feet, and his armor-bearer after him. And they fell before Jonathan, and his armor-bearer killed them after him. 14 And that first strike, which Jonathan and his armor-bearer made, killed about twenty men within as it were half a furrow’s length in an acre[c] of land. 15 And there was a panic in the camp, in the field, and among all the people. The garrison and even the raiders trembled, the earth quaked, and it became a very great panic.[d]
This is a great example of Jonathan’s mindset and spirit. Jonathan has a plan and then he SPEAKS the words of how to proceed. He gives two possible scenarios of how the conversation with the enemy might and states if the responds is “Come up to us” the Lord is with us and the Lord has given the enemy into the hands of Jonathan. Unlike his father, Jonathan gave God a way to show his ultimate authority and power. There could have been many other possibilities that this interaction could have taken, but he had the foresight to provide a way that only God would know the outcomes. Sometimes in our lives, how much better would the outcomes be if we presented two sides of the scenario and allowed God to work in the midst with the answer we seek.
Speak it. Believe it. Achieve it.
I Samuel 20: 3-11; 35-42
But David vowed again, saying, “Your father knows well that I have found favor in your eyes, and he thinks, ‘Do not let Jonathan know this, lest he be grieved.’ But truly, as the Lord lives and as your soul lives, there is but a step between me and death.” 4 Then Jonathan said to David, “Whatever you say, I will do for you.” 5 David said to Jonathan, “Behold, tomorrow is the new moon, and I should not fail to sit at table with the king. But let me go, that I may hide myself in the field till the third day at evening. 6 If your father misses me at all, then say, ‘David earnestly asked leave of me to run to Bethlehem his city, for there is a yearly sacrifice there for all the clan.’ 7 If he says, ‘Good!’ it will be well with your servant, but if he is angry, then know that harm is determined by him. 8 Therefore deal kindly with your servant, for you have brought your servant into a covenant of the Lord with you. But if there is guilt in me, kill me yourself, for why should you bring me to your father?” 9 And Jonathan said, “Far be it from you! If I knew that it was determined by my father that harm should come to you, would I not tell you?” 10 Then David said to Jonathan, “Who will tell me if your father answers you roughly?” 11 And Jonathan said to David, “Come, let us go out into the field.” So they both went out into the field.
In the morning Jonathan went out into the field to the appointment with David, and with him a little boy. 36 And he said to his boy, “Run and find the arrows that I shoot.” As the boy ran, he shot an arrow beyond him. 37 And when the boy came to the place of the arrow that Jonathan had shot, Jonathan called after the boy and said, “Is not the arrow beyond you?”38 And Jonathan called after the boy, “Hurry! Be quick! Do not stay!” So Jonathan’s boy gathered up the arrows and came to his master. 39 But the boy knew nothing. Only Jonathan and David knew the matter. 40 And Jonathan gave his weapons to his boy and said to him, “Go and carry them to the city.” 41 And as soon as the boy had gone, David rose from beside the stone heap[f] and fell on his face to the ground and bowed three times. And they kissed one another and wept with one another, David weeping the most. 42 Then Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, because we have sworn both of us in the name of the Lord, saying, ‘The Lord shall be between me and you, and between my offspring and your offspring, forever.’” And he rose and departed, and Jonathan went into the city.[g]
Again, Jonathan and David are speaking with the intentional purpose that the Lord is with the two of them. They don’t make large and arrogant claims, but humbly speak about the circumstance. They speak with confidence and are in agreement with each other. They are not fighting and upset with each other, they are at peace with each other over some very powerful and hard matters: the possibility of the King trying to kill David, Jonathan’s best friend and the son-in-law of Saul.
Some of the attributes that we can gain from Jonathan are:
- When we are presented with major or minor life choices we have a chance to give God the opportunity to confirm his purpose in our lives. We have to speak boldly and intentional about the direction God has in our lives.
- When we make a proclamation, we have to have faith that is will be completed. We cannot allow doubt to sway our thoughts. There will be times when we are waiting on the answer, doubt or uncertainty will creep in, but we must remember the promise that God continually give us and has made. He will give you the desires of your heart if you believe.
- Once you have made the proclamation and keep the faith, you will see the fullness of God manifested. He is awesome and amazing and through Jesus and the Holy Spirit, God will show his love to those who speak it, believe it, and they will achieve it.