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32. And Jonathan answered Saul his father, and said unto him, Wherefore shall he be slain? what hath he done?
33. And Saul cast a javelin at him to smite him: whereby Jonathan knew that it was determined of his father to slay David.
34. So Jonathan arose from the table in fierce anger, and did eat no meat the second day of the month: for he was grieved for David, because his father had done him shame.
35. And it came to pass in the morning, that Jonathan went out into the field at the time appointed with David, and a little lad with him.
36. And he said unto his lad, Run, find out now the arrows which I shoot. And as the lad ran, he shot an arrow beyond him.
37. And when the lad was come to the place of the arrow which Jonathan had shot, Jonathan cried after the lad, and said, Is not the arrow beyond thee?
38. And Jonathan cried after the lad, Make speed, haste, stay not. And Jonathan's lad gathered up the arrows, and came to his master.
the wife of David, truly loved him, and foiled Saul's plans by aiding David to escape (1 Sam. 19:11-17). This time there seems to have been an almost organized attempt on the part of Saul to capture and kill David, but he failed.
Jonathan's Interesting Plan to Warn David. David seeing Saul's firm purpose to put him to death, appeals to Jonathan to find out the cause. At the feast of the New Moon David would be expected to be in his place at Saul's table. Jonathan plans that David shall stay away from the feast, and give Saul a chance to show his intentions toward him. In this interview, which was intended to be the final one if David was to flee from the palace, he expressly yielded up his hopes of the kingdom to David, only stipulating that David should not kill him when he became king, as was the custom of the times; and further that David should extend to Jonathan's family the protection he had promised to Jonathan himself. In the intensity of his love he made David swear again and again, even at last (v. 17, margin) by his love to him.
According to Jonathan's plan (1 Sam. 20 : 18-23), David was to hide at a certain specified time at “ the stone Ezel,” some well-known landmark ; Jonathan was to find out the intention of the king, and come to inform David. The signal was ingeniously arranged so that no one but David in hiding could understand. The “this side,” to the boy meant that David should come to Jonathan, that the danger was over ; beyond thee,” meant that David must go away. Most probably Jonathan did not intend to see David again.
So David went his way, and Jonathan returned to the palace, and at the risk of his life tried to excuse David, and soothe his father's anger. Saul turned in fierce anger upon David's friend, though he was his own son. He insulted Jonathan by calling him son of a perverse rebellious woman. “ To curse a man's parents and ancestors generally is a familiar trait of the hasty Arab, but the sting of Saul's abuse lies in the insinuation that Jonathan was no son of his !”. New Century Bible. Then Saul reminded Jonathan that David was as much his rival as he was rival of the king, and Jonathan was foolishly destroying his own prospects in favoring the son of Jesse. Finally Saul commanded Jonathan to bring David to him that he might be put to death. Jonathan refused, asking (v. 32), Wherefore shall he be slain ? what hath he done?
But Saul was so angry that he threw a javelin at his son, to wound, if not to kill him. Jonathan rose from the table in fierce indignation, and would eat no meat, food, because his father had done him, David, shame.
At the appointed time Jonathan went out into the country to give his signal to David. He not only bade the boy to go beyond where he was, but he shouted to him, Make speed, haste, stay not, intended for the ears of David.
It seems strange that David and Jonathan should have made the elaborate plan for ' cipher' communication by the shooting of the arrows and the message to the boy, when immediately afterward they joined each other. Perhaps they feared
39. But the lad knew not any thing: only Jonathan and David knew the matter.
40. And Jonathan gave his artillery unto his lad, and said unto him, Go, carry them to the city.
41. And as soon as the lad was gone, David arose out of a place toward the south, and fell on his face to the ground, and bowed himself three times : and they kissed one another, and wept one with another, until David exceeded.
42. And Jonathan said to David, Go in peace, forasmuch as we have sworn both of us in the name of the LORD, saying, The LORD be between me and thee, and between my seed and thy seed for ever.
And he arose and departed: and Jonathan went into the city. that Saul or his representatives might be with Jonathan ; and then, finding that they were entirely alone, took advantage of the opportunity of fellowship again before separating.” — S. S. Times. Or, perhaps he was so anxious to see David again that he threw caution to the winds, when the moment came. At any rate, after the boy had gone Jonathan went to David's hiding place, and the friends kissed one another in the Oriental fashion, and wept. “ “ Talk not of grief till thou hast seen the tears of war-like men,” says Mrs. Hemans.
Then they parted, never to meet again, save once, a year or two later, in the wilderness of Ziph, when David was pursued by Saul. Then Jonathan went out into the wilderness to comfort his friend, and
strengthened his hand in God” (1 Sam. 23:16).
III. THE SSENTIAL CONDITIONS OF TRUE FRIENDSHIP. Friendship is the greatest thing that can enter any life because nothing else can so broaden life. It doubles at least the value of a soul, to itself, to others, and to God.
“ This great thing, like all other great things, is brought about ; it does not merely happen. Common speech is right when it talks about making friends.' Therefore no one is to sit down and whine because he has no friends. Bestir yourself! Friends can be made. Friendship depends on one thing alone, on Character.
From an old print. And because you can make character you
Jonathan Signalling. can make friends.
“ In this beautiful business of making friends the factory is daily life – common, daily life. The tools are unselfishness, humility, forgetting yourself, human interest, courage.” From Prof. Amos R. Wells' The Arithmetic of Friendship.
There is always something in each friend to which the other can look up. Each finds the other his superior in some things ; and it is this conscious deficiency in himself, joined with an appreciation of the opposite quality and the longing to possess it, that binds friends together. There must be real worth in both parties to a friendship, something to love, something worth loving:
True Friendship Costs. “ The affection which Jonathan cherished for David proved to be a costly one, but he grudged not the charges.” — Vince. It calls for conscience. It disregards other ties if they are wrong. Not even mother or father should lead us to wrong a friend.
True Friendship Endures. “ The friendship that can cease was never a true one." - St. Jerome. It is unselfish. “ To give, not to seek, is its prime characteristic." It is original. It has an inventive genius for helping.
Above all true friendship is based upon religion. “Dare to pray over this, as you do over the other supreme things of existence.
IV. FRIENDSHIPS THAT ARE WORTH WHILE. “ Choose friends, not for their usefulness, but for their goodness ; not for their worth to us, but for their worth in themselves, and choose if possible, people superior to ourselves.” — Kingsley.
It is of the utmost importance to avoid false friendships and companionships with the bad. Every power for good in true friendship is a power for evil in the false.
“ The power of friendship is almost omnipotent, whether for good or evil. We never can know what we owe to our friends who are helpful and worthy, what they are to us, what they are doing in the building of our character, and what enrichment of life they are giving to us. Every friend whom we take into our fellowship, whether for a shorter or a longer stay, builds something into the walls of the temple we are
rearing. A pure, gentle friendship becomes in its influence like a holy presence, in . . which we cannot do anything unworthy. It works in us, transforming us, inspiring
in us all noblest aspirations. No one is a safe friend with whom we cannot pray. Let God choose your friends, and then every one of them will help you toward beauty, God, and glory. Dr. J. R. Miller.
The friendship which is worth while will strengthen every good in a man. It will keep the finer faculties of the mind awake. It will show itself in little acts of mutual helpfulness, by dwelling on the virtues rather than the faults of friends. If we criticise our friend too much the time will come when we have no friend.
Yet a true friend will tell of faults. “Behold what gross errors and extreme absurdities many do commit for want of a friend to tell them of them.” But, according to Hugh Black, “ True criticism does not consist, as so many critics seem to think, in depreciation, but in appreciation. More lives are spoiled by undue harshness than by undue gentleness.' “Our friends see the best in us, and by that very fact call forth the best from us."
Illustrations of famous friends are found in all mythologies. An example is the friendship of Damon and Pythias, or more exactly Damon and Phintias. These two men lived in the first half of the fourth century B.C. and belonged to the sect of Pythagoreans, in Syracuse.
Phintias plotted against the life of Dionysius, the ruler of Syracuse, and was condemned to die. As he wished to arrange his affairs and for that purpose it was necessary that he should go to his home, Damon offered to place himself in the tyrant's hands as his substitute, and to die in his stead should he not return on the appointed day.
At the last moment Phintias came back, and Dionysius was so struck by the fidelity of the friends that he pardoned the offender, and asked to be admitted into their fellowship.
“ The charm of the army is its comradeship.” Our soldiers have left their homes and friends but they have found new friends, and some of the friendships have become very precious. Men have slept side by side in barn and trench, cooked their rations at the same little wood fire, and stood together at the hour of danger and imminent death. Many of them owe their lives to their comrades. There are a few songs that express this wonderful comradeship.
V. THE GREAT VALUE AND POWER OF FRIENDSHIP WITH JESUS. The greatest privilege of life is that we may be friends of Jesus. We must be friends to him as well as he to us. He loves us whether we do him or not; but we are not friends unless we also love him, nor can we claim the benefits of that friendship. “ Ye are my friends, if ye do the things which I command you."
"I've found a friend, oh, such a friend !
He loved me ere I knew him;
And thus he bound me to him;
Those ties that naught can sever,
Forever and forever." - James G. Small. Friendship with Jesus is based on worth. We love him because he is so good, so noble, so pure, so lovable. And he finds something in the poorest and weakest of his disciples to love, and possibilities of greater worth ; but only as they grow like him can there be the truest mutual friendship.
All that makes earthly friendship blessed, all the ways by which friendship is cultivated, all the forgetting of self and devotion to another which belongs to the highest forms of earthly friendship, apply in the highest degree to friendship with Jesus.
" In the Bible there is no sweeter, kindlier, no more beautiful picture of God than that which represents Him as the Partner of man in all his experiences of toil, of trouble, of sorrow, of defeat or of success. I am glad that I am able to give the assurance that you are never alone in your business of life, that the Partner, silent and unseen, is standing on the shore.
“ If there should be in any heart a yearning really to do the work that Jesus wants his disciples to do, the one work he has in this world, it is necessary that you become a lover of the Christ. Why is it that Love is so important in this service ?
You are trying to make the world better by anything but Love ; and only Love can feed the hearts of men.” — From The Dawn by Galilee, by Ralph Connor.
LESSON III (16). — July 18.
DAVID SPARES SAUL'S LIFE.
1 Samuel 26.
PRINT 1 Sam. 26 : 7-17, 21.
GOLDEN TEXT.— Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you.—LUKE 6:27.
Devotional Reading : Ps. 31 : 1-8.
Lesson Material : I Sam. 26.
Lesson Material : 1 Sam. 26.
Memory Verses : Rom. 12 : 20, 21.
Additional Material : Matt. 5:38–48 ; Rom. 12 : 17-21.
uals and by society). Additional Material : Matt. 5:43-47 ; 18:15–35 ; Rom. 13:1-7 ; 2 Cor.
2 : 5-11.
THE TEACHER AND HIS CLASS. enemies, those who do us wrong as in
dividuals, and the enemies of society or The Primary and Junior classes can, our country. Discuss the treatment of after learning the facts of the story, criminals, and the condition of prisons. make a very practical application on If possible get some speaker who is an "paying others back” for any wrong authority on the subject to speak to the they have done us. Call attention to class. Other classes can study the effect the fact that this seldom ends here, but of retaliation as shown in the feud, or the paying back is likely to go on for Vendetta. some time. Illustrate the true method by a story of doing good in return for
THE ROUND TABLE. evil, and let them learn two or three verses from the Bible on the topic.
FOR RESEARCH AND DISCUSSION. The Intermediate and Senior classes The various incidents in David's exile career (each will add to this a fuller Bible hunt for considered as a separate topic). on forgiving our enemies, and How this experience prepared him for the kingdom.
David's character as illustrated by these incidents. show how David's treatment of Saul Psalms that apply to this period of his life. illustrates them.
Why is revenge always wrong?
The moral curse of hatred.
THE TEACHER'S LIBRARY.
Books on 1 Samuel, and on David, mentioned in the previous lessons.
On the geography of the exile period, Historical Geography of the Holy Land, by George Adam Smith. McCoun's The Holy Land in Geography.
PLAN OF THE LESSON.
SUBJECT : Overcoming
Enemies by Love.
I. DAVID'S EXILE EXPERI
ENCES, AND WHAT THEY
Eight Illustrative Incidents. THE LESSON IN ITS SETTING.
II. David's GREATEST VICTORY,
1 Sam. 26. Time. The exile, or wandering III. OVERCOMING EVIL WITH GOOD. period of David's life, lasted seven years. IV. How Should WE TREAT THOSE Beecher puts the incident in our lesson
WHO Do WRONG ? in B.C. 1065.
Place. – David spent the greater part of the time in the Wilderness of Judea.
THE LESSON IN ART. This particular incident occurred at or David and His Heroes, Von Schnorr. near the hill Hachilah, on the western David Showing Saul that He Had shore of the Dead Sea.
Spared His Life, Doré.*
I. DAVID'S EXILE EXPERIENCES, AND WHAT THEY TAUGHT HIM, 1 Sam. 21-25. For nearly seven years David, after being exiled from Saul's court, lived a wandering life in the wilderness, driven from place to place, hiding in desolate regions and dwelling in caves; but gradually gathering about him a band of men, and always protecting the outlying regions, and maintaining his loyalty to his king and his country,
We can understand the whole story best by gaining a distinct picture of the scene where the various events took place. In Southern Judea was a large and rough wilderness ; not in any sense a desert,” but wild and uninhabited, abounding in caves in its numerous hills, and such a place as would serve as a complete protection, unless, as was sometimes the case, David was betrayed by men who themselves were familiar with the country, and its hiding places. It was not a barren place, although it is probable that the greater part of the supplies for the band with David came from the farms and estates on the edges of the wilderness, as in the case of Nabal.
One cave especially was large enough, and well enough placed to serve as a real stronghold for the band, and it was their rallying place for a large portion of the time, — the Cave of Adullam. This is “ now generally identified with a cave in the side of a deep ravine, some five or six miles southwest of Bethlehem, and called Wady Khureitun.' The path to it is along a winding shelf of rock, having a fearful gorge below, and gigantic cliffs above, so that it could easily be defended against all the forces of Saul, and being five hundred and fifty feet in length, could hold a small army of defenders. Being near his boyhood's home, David was probably well acquainted with this cavern, which may account for his using it for such a period as his headquarters.
There are Eight Incidents of especial interest noted in the story of these seven years.
1. The Flight Nob, 1 Sam. 21:1-9. Immediately after David's parting with Jonathan at Gibeah (our last lesson), David fled southward toward the Wilderness of