1 Samuel 20

* David consults Jonathan. (1-10) Jonathan's covenant with

David. (11-23) Saul, missing David, seeks to kill Jonathan.

(24-34) Jonathan takes leave of David. (35-42)

1-10 The trials David met with, prepared him for future

advancement. Thus the Lord deals with those whom he prepares

unto glory. He does not put them into immediate possession of

the kingdom, but leads them to it through much tribulation,

which he makes the means of fitting them for it. Let them not

murmur at his gracious appointment, nor distrust his care; but

let them look forward with joyful expectation to the crown which

is laid up for them. Sometimes it appears to us that there is

but a step between us and death; at all times it may be so, and

we should prepare for the event. But though dangers appear most

threatening, we cannot die till the purpose of God concerning us

is accomplished; nor till we have served our generation

according to his will, if we are believers. Jonathan generously

offers David his services. This is true friendship. Thus Christ

testifies his love to us, Ask, and it shall be done for you; and

we must testify our love to him, by keeping his commandments.
11-23 Jonathan faithfully promises that he would let David know

how he found his father affected towards him. It will be

kindness to ourselves and to ours, to secure an interest in

those whom God favours, and to make his friends ours. True

friendship rests on a firm basis, and is able to silence

ambition, self-love, and undue regard for others. But who can

fully understand the love of Jesus, who gave himself as a

sacrifice for rebellious, polluted sinners! how great then ought

to be the force and effects of our love to him, to his cause,

and his people!
24-34 None were more constant than David in attending holy

duties; nor had he been absent, but self-preservation obliged

him to withdraw. In great peril present opportunities for Divine

ordinances may be waved. But it is bad for us, except in case of

necessity, to omit any opportunity of statedly attending on

them. Jonathan did wisely and well for himself and family, to

secure an interest in David, yet for this he is blamed. It is

good to take God's people for our people. It will prove to our

advantage at last, however it may now be thought against our

interest. Saul was outrageous. What savage beasts, and worse,

does anger make men!
35-42 The separation of two such faithful friends was grievous

to both, but David's case was the more deplorable, for David was

leaving all his comforts, even those of God's sanctuary.

Christians need not sorrow, as men without hope; but being one

with Christ, they are one with each other, and will meet in his

presence ere long, to part no more; to meet where all tears

shall be wiped from their eyes.

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