1Sam 13 and 14 speaks vividly about these 2 men, father and son. Both were real men, both belonged to the same family, both were true God-believers. Saul was the king of Israel, highly positioned, appointed by God through the greatest prophet in Israel's history, Samuel himself, and he selected 3000 strong men of which 2000 stayed with him and the 1000 stayed with Jonathan his son. What could go wrong? But a lot began to go wrong because something inside king Saul was not in order.
Therefore he was wrongly "located" in God's agenda. The previous chapters bring much insight in his life. Many years later king Salomon wrote: "Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control." and "Better a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city." It is always just a question of time before the inner man catches up with the outer man, before private life catches up with public life. The continuous identity storm inside Saul would ultimately take him out. Samuel had already spoken out loud and clear: "I will teach you the way that is good and right. But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you. Yet if you persist in doing evil, both you and your king will be swept away." Clear words, accurate diagnosis. The most foolish thing was to ignore it. He did and they did.
The beginning of Saul's life and career was chaotic in many ways. Samuel left Saul and went to Gibeah in Benjamin. Saul didn't pay attention, he didn't realize what was developing, and he counted his men, 600 in total. He lost prophetic power and protection, tried to compensate the loss by building up human manpower. One man (Samuel) was more important than 600. Therefore it was doomed to fail. But Saul tried. So do people like Saul. Among christians, leaders and pastors.
The beginning of Jonathan was clear and clean. Something rose inside of him, and he stood up in full righteousness together with his armour-bearer. He took a giant step into the supernatural though practical sphere of Kingdom destiny (1Sam 14). His armour-bearer resonated powerfully and accurately; a supernatural dynamic began to operate between them... something his father never really looked for and consequently came close to. The 2 men attacked the Philistines frontally and God came down and backed them up. His father and his best men as well as the priest were having church on the hill, they sang hill-songs and ate fruits, and had great fellowship. But in the valley the destiny of the nation was developing because 2 young men showed explicit obedience to divine legacy. Saul exploded, but after calming down he moved from the coolness of the top of the hill, from the pomegranates and the sweet fellowship of leaders... yes, even the priest was there, so what could be wrong. The bible mentions that Israelites came out of the forests and joined Jonathan. Maybe they were people raised under the leadership of Samuel, who fled the sick and manipulative regime of Saul. Now they were back, because a new regime was emerging.
Things went extremely quick and well until his father interfered. Flesh will always try to show up on the roads of the Spirit. Yes, God gave Israel a victory, but Saul's intervention limited it. Jonathan was shocked, the men were exhausted and Saul was in rage. All flesh inside of him exploded in everybody's faces, even to the point of wanting to get rid of his own son.
Father and son separated; Jonathan withdrew from the public scene, and there is no mention of him until a shepherd-boy challenged publicly the philistine giant like Jonathan did. Same spirit, same supernatural explosion, same race toward the enemy. Jonathan ran towards the many, David ran towards the big. The big was the sum of the many. And both succeeded. Maybe Jonathan was bored and followed in his father's tent the whole scenario gong nowhere. But I am sure he woke up when he recognised the spirit of David. Saul took David away from his father's house and Jonathan and David connected together. Generational alignment was taking form... Samuel, then David, then Jonathan.
But later Jonathan and David separated, and they wept together. The bible says that "David wept the most". He knew a deep-going and decisive disconnection had just taken place. Covenant relationship had dropped down to become just a friendship. For the second time Jonathan disappeared from the picture. Next time he re-appeared was as a dead man. The bible tells us that the Philistines attacked Israel and chased Saul and his sons. They killed the sons, Jonathan included, and Saul took his own life. Samuel had been right: they didn't change and an evil tsunami swept away the royal family.
Therefore David wrote "The Song of The Bow" recorded in 2Sam 1,19-27, and it says:
"They were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions...
How the mighty have fallen in battle! Jonathan lies slain on your heights.
I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother; you were very dear to me."
Two statesmen, two warriors, two commanders-in-chief, both swift, strong and mighty Two different beginnings, two different minds and spirits, two different paths, two different connectivities. And they met in death.
Their destinies aborted.
This is one of the most intensive scenarios in the bible and there is no way we can avoid considering its serious and practical instructions. Therefore David ordered that the men of Judah be taught this song (2Sam 1,18). It is about legacy and generational transfer. It is about intentional, accurate and consistent connection.
David will show the way, as the man called "a man after God's heart". Finally after all this chaos, somebody did it well and right. Therefore his life is a primary model for believers in all times... just like Abraham's life is and just like the life of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, also is. Matt 1,1 says: "Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham."
We need all the eagles and all the lions... the "Song of the Bow"! must be replaced by the song of the brave.
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