David and Jonathan Became Friends
This week in The Gospel Project for Kids, your kids learned that David and Jonathan became friends. David, as he played the harp for Saul, met Saul’s son Jonathan. David and Jonathan became great friends. Jonathan gave David several gifts. He gave him a robe, a military tunic, a sword, a bow, and a belt. God gave David success in everything he did.
Saul, unlike Jonathan, did not like David. As a matter of fact, Saul tried on several occasions to kill David. Jonathan warned David of Saul’s rage and suggested that David go hide himself until Jonathan could talk to Saul. In Jonathan’s meeting with his father, it was obvious that Jonathan knew he would not be the next king in his father’s place—but David would be, and Saul was intent on killing David.
Jonathan and David devised a plan to determine the extent of Saul’s hatred. Once Saul’s full intent was brought out, and he tried to kill his own son, Jonathan went to warn David that he needed to flee. Jonathan took a servant and went to a field to shoot three arrows. By giving David a signal, David knew he would have to leave and would likely never see his friend Jonathan again. David and Jonathan said their goodbyes, and David left.
Jonathan and David were true friends. Jonathan serves to give us a picture of what Jesus does for us. Jesus is the mighty friend of sinners. In John 15:15 Jesus calls us friends. Jesus willingly gave up His place in heaven to come to earth and die for our sins, and now intercedes for us before God in heaven.
David and Jonathan Became Friends
1 Samuel 18:1-12; 19:1-10; 20:1-42
David, the youngest son of Jesse from Bethlehem, had done the seemingly impossible. With a sling and a stone, David killed Goliath, the mighty Philistine warrior.
David lived at the king’s palace. Jonathan, the son of King Saul, became best friends with David. Jonathan gave gifts to David: his robe, military tunic, sword, bow, and belt.
David was successful at everything Saul asked him to do, and Saul made David a high officer in his army. But Saul didn’t love David like Jonathan did. In fact, Saul was jealous of David’s success, and he wanted to kill David. Saul even asked Jonathan to kill David! Jonathan really liked David, so he warned him, “My father wants to kill you. Go hide in a safe place until I can talk to him.”
The next morning, Jonathan talked to Saul about David. “Why would you want to kill David?” Jonathan asked. “He has done nothing but help you.” Saul agreed and promised not to kill David. Jonathan told David the good news, and David returned to serve Saul as he had done before.
But King Saul did not keep His promise very long. One day when David was playing the harp for Saul, Saul was bothered by an evil spirit, and he threw a spear at David. David escaped. He went to Jonathan and told him what had happened.
“That can’t be!” Jonathan said. “My father tells me everything, and he hasn’t told me he wants you dead.”
“It’s true,” David replied. “He didn’t tell you because he knows we are such good friends. He didn’t want to upset you.”
“How can I help?” Jonathan asked.
David came up with a plan to figure out how Saul felt about David. “The New Moon festival is tomorrow,” David explained. “I’m
supposed to be at the meal, but I’m not going. If Saul asks where I am, tell him I asked for your permission to go to Bethlehem. If he gets angry, you will know he wants to kill me.”
Jonathan told David that he would give him a sign so David would know how Saul responded. Jonathan would find David in the field and shoot three arrows. If David was safe, Jonathan would send his servant
to get the arrows, and Jonathan would say, “The arrows are to the side of you!” But if Saul wanted to kill David, Jonathan would say, “The arrows are beyond you!”
So Jonathan went to the New Moon festival with his father. When Saul sat down to eat, he asked, “Where’s David?”
“David is in Bethlehem. I gave him permission to go,” Jonathan said.
Saul became very angry. “David deserves to die!” he yelled. “Why?” Jonathan asked. “What has he done wrong?”
Saul threw his spear at Jonathan, and Jonathan left the table. He was
sad that his father wanted to kill David.
The next morning, Jonathan went to the field where David was hiding. He shot three arrows and sent his servant to retrieve them. “The arrow is beyond you!” Jonathan shouted. That was Jonathan’s sign to David that Saul wanted to kill him. Jonathan sent his servant away, and David came out from where he was hiding. David fell to the ground because he was so sad. David and Jonathan cried and said their good-byes.
“Take care of yourself,” Jonathan said. The two men parted ways knowing that no matter what, they would always be friends.
Christ Connection: Jonathan was a true friend to David. Jonathan’s life gives us a glimpse of Jesus, the mighty friend of sinners. Jesus calls us friends (John 15:15). He gave up His position in heaven to come down to us, gave up His life to save us, and intercedes for us before God.