We have heard that the day we decide is the first choice. We have to make many choices, and much depends upon these choices. Let nothing or no one rob us of God’s best. There are three tragic choices in the book of Samuel. These men were not just ordinary men, but men who had great potentiality. The king of Israel, the heir to the throne, and the commanding officer. They cast away so vilely the privileges that were theirs. None was so tragic as Jonathan. He had wonderful qualities – faith, courage, loyalty, and love. He went alone to the camp of the Philistines. I wish I had a little of the faith Jonathan had that day. God wrought a great deliverance. Circumstances arose in which the women praised David and Saul envied him. Jonathan’s attitude here was admirable. I Samuel 18. David went single-handed against Goliath. There was no thread of jealousy or envy in Jonathan. He recognised that a young shepherd had more virtue than he. He stripped himself of his sword – and there were only two in Israel then, acknowledging that David was worthier than he. I would like to have that quality. There was a fellowship between David and Jonathan that would be difficult to equal and was only surpassed by Jesus. Saul wished to put David to death, and Jonathan stood up for him. Then Jonathan made a decision which brought him an untimely end, and prevented him from usefulness in the Kingdom.
Jonathan failed to keep his heart as we have heard. David and Jonathan parted and David exceeded in weeping. He realised the choice Jonathan had made and the consequences it could bring into his life.
Why did Jonathan choose the soft part? He returned to the city. Was it because of the comforts of the place and his father’s approval? His heart was no longer entirely with David. From then on, David typified the rejected King. There is no reason why Jonathan should not have chosen to share in David’s rejection. Had he done so, he would have been second in Israel and would have been a wonderful help to David. Jonathan’s defection caused David to suffer great sorrow. We have chosen to suffer with the Uncrowned King in His rejection. God forbid that anything would come into our hearts that would rob Jesus of His place.
It would appear that Jonathan got another chance a year later. Saul had tried to fan the flame of jealousy against David, but Jonathan had no jealousy in his heart. He seemed to have had a presentment of his death. He asked David to remember his posterity after him. He could still have taken sides with David after this – their last meeting, but Jonathan went to his house. He now had a home. David could not grasp how the mighty fell as they did. Three times, he said – “How are the mighty fallen!”