Jonathan’s Loyalty 1 Sam 14:1-14 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Jonathan’s Loyalty. When you study the life of Jonathan, one of his outstanding characteristics that immediately surfaces is Jonathan’s Loyalty. Loyalty is the quality of being unwavering in devotion to a friend or vow or cause. It is the quality of being true to any person to whom you owe fidelity, as a wife to her husband, friend to friend, lovers to each other. And unfortunately, it is a characteristic that is seen less and less in men, particularly in the areas where it really counts – in the areas of devotion to the Lord, to friends and to family.
It’s not that men don’t know about loyalty. They are loyal to their sports teams, like the Spurs or the Chicago Cubs, to their political party, to their favorite brand of automobile, to their favorite brand of cigarette.
They know about loyalty, but you and I need to be loyal to more than just teams and things. We need to be loyal to each other, to our families, to God!! Look at Jonathan. Look at his:
Loyalty to his Lord – 1 Sam 14:6 “And Jonathan said to the young man that bare his armour, Come, and let us go over unto the garrison of these uncircumcised: it may be that the lord will work for us: for there is no restraint to the lord to save by many or by few.” See also 1 Sam 14:10, 12.
Jonathan knew that the Lord wanted to deliver the Jews out of the hands of the Philistines, but the army was stalemated because Saul was afraid to move. So, Jonathan and his armor bearer went after a small garrison, trusting God to deliver them. He was absolutely loyal to the Lord and to his cause, in spite of the fact that he could have lost his life in the battle.
There are so many men today that know God wants them to do something for Him, for the work of their church, but they don’t have the loyalty that Jonathan had, they are not willing to sacrifice themselves for the work God called them to do. Rom 12:1,2; Lk 17:10.
Loyalty to his Friend – 1 Sam 18:1 “And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.” See 1 Sam 18:2-4, 19:2-6.
One of the greatest treasures in life is to have a friend, at least one that you can count on for your entire lifetime. You need a friend that will stick close to you and be perfectly loyal, one that will never cross you. Man, I have seen some wonderful friendships destroyed by a lack of loyalty. One example is of a missionary who was well supported by a friend. The friend told him that if he went to a particular church he would withdraw his support (lots of money was on the line). The missionary went because it was the right thing to do. The friend withdrew his support, severed the 15-year friendship, and went to another church to undercut his “friend.” Do you know what Seneca said about this? “Fidelity purchased with money, money can destroy.” You can’t buy friends. You make friends by loving them unconditionally. “A friend loveth at all times.”
To find a faithful friend is a real treasure. But in order to find a faithful friend, you are going to have to be one!!! Churches are torn apart daily by members who are not loyal to their friends; they use their tongues to bring down friendships that are very hard to build.
Loyalty to his Family – As we look at this part of Jonathan’s loyalty, I am reminded of Ruth. She was the epitome of loyalty to family!! “Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God,” [Ruth 1:16].
Jonathan knew that David was going to get the throne and he knew that the mischief practiced by his father was putting a strain on the relationship between David and all of Saul’s family. Jonathan wanted to be sure that the friendship between him and David would continue on to their children, just in case anything bad happened to either one of them. That was real loyalty to his family. 1 Sam 20:14-16, 42; 2 Sam 9:1, 7.
David was faithful to their covenant. But how many men are that loyal to their families? They are unfaithful to their spouses and they think nothing of leaving home and leaving their families fatherless. Jonathan not only devoted his life to them while he was alive but he also made sure they would be taken care of when he was gone. That’s loyalty!! If you are having trouble in your families, I don’t know about it. But if you will be loyal to your vow, you will work it out.
Loyalty to his Father – 1 Sam13:2-4; 20:3-33; 2 Sam 1:22-23. Saul was so jealous of David that he had even tried to kill his own son, the heir to the throne, because of their friendship. Once he threw a javelin at him and once he was willing to kill him for eating a little honey during a battle in which he had told his men not to eat. Jonathan had not heard the command and ate. Saul would have killed him for that if the people had not spared him. Yet, Jonathan fought by the side of his dad right up to the very end. Loyalty!! This modern “blame your parents” mentality, this modern philosophy of driving a wedge between the parents and their children is damnable. He’s your dad, she’s your mother – you owe them your loyalty! Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise!
Conclusion: Just remember, no one but God is perfect. But, not only does he deserve your loyalty, so do your friends, so does your family and so do your parents – even in their failures!!