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Look, The Arrows Are Beyond You

1 Samuel 20:1-23
Pastor J.B.

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Hi GAMErs,

Today's passage is 1 Samuel 20:1-23.  I can't wait to share with you the powerful truths which I believe the Holy Spirit showed me in this passage.  Let's go!

1 Samuel 20:1 (NIV)
1 Then David fled from Naioth at Ramah and went to Jonathan and asked, "What have I done? What is my crime? How have I wronged your father, that he is trying to take my life?"

On verses 1-8:  Before David made the big decision to run away from King Saul, he confided in his friend Jonathan, the Prince of Israel.  David told Jonathan his troubles, asked Jonathan to speak into his life, and looked to Jonathan for guidance.  What can we learn from this?  Before you make a big decision, confide in Jesus, the Prince of Peace.  Seek His guidance and help.  Why is Jesus the best person you can turn to when you're in trouble?  Two reasons:

(1) His special position with the Father.  Just as Jonathan had special access and insight into his father's will, so Jesus has special access and insight into His Father's will.  It's only through Jesus through we can know what the Father is really like and what is really on the Father's heart.

(2) His special predisposition toward you.  Just as Jonathan was predisposed to loving and protecting his friend David ("Whatever you want me to do, I'll do for you" - v4), Jesus is predisposed to loving and protecting you.  He's got your back.

1 Samuel 20:13b-15 (NIV)
13 ...May the LORD be with you as he has been with my father.
14 But show me unfailing kindness like that of the LORD as long as I live, so that I may not be killed,
15 and do not ever cut off your kindness from my family--not even when the LORD has cut off every one of David's enemies from the face of the earth."

On verses 9-17: Here we see Jonathan's incredible humility.  As the king's son he was the natural heir to the throne.  Yet he was willing to set aside his own personal interests, success and safety for David's sake.  When Jonathan says to David in verse 13b, "May the Lord be with you as he has been with my father", Jonathan was acknowledging that David would be the next king instead of him, and Jonathan blessed David in that!  Jonathan truly "loved David as he loved himself" (v17), a phrase which appears three times in 1 Samuel.  In this way, Jonathan is quite possibly the most Christ-like individual in the Old Testament.  What can we learn from this?  True love and true friendship are evidenced by sacrifice.  As we see from Jonathan in the Old Testament and later Jesus in the New Testament, greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13).  

1 Samuel 20:18-19 (NIV)
18 Then Jonathan said to David: "Tomorrow is the New Moon festival. You will be missed, because your seat will be empty.
19 The day after tomorrow, toward evening, go to the place where you hid when this trouble began, and wait by the stone Ezel.

On verses 18-19:  In the margins of the King James translation of verse 19, it says that "the stone Ezel" means "the stone that leads the way".  David was to figure out what to do by waiting near the stone that leads the way.  Likewise, when you are trying to figure out what to do, the best thing you can do is to wait near the stone that leads the way -- Jesus Christ.   You will get your directions as you wait near this Rock.

1 Samuel 20:20-22 (NIV)
20 I will shoot three arrows to the side of it, as though I were shooting at a target.
21 Then I will send a boy and say, 'Go, find the arrows.' If I say to him, 'Look, the arrows are on this side of you; bring them here,' then come, because, as surely as the LORD lives, you are safe; there is no danger.
22 But if I say to the boy, 'Look, the arrows are beyond you,' then you must go, because the LORD has sent you away.

On verses 20-23:  On the surface to other people it would seem that Jonathan was just playing games with his bow and arrow.  But Jonathan had carefully thought out a plan to give David clear directions about whether he should stay or run away from Saul.  As long as David listened for Jonathan's voice, he would know clearly what to do .  Are you needing direction from God?  Jesus, your perfect Jonathan and our Prince of Peace, is not trying to confuse you or play games with you.  He is committed to giving you clear directions that will lead you to safety.  The question: are you listening for His voice?  Our problem is that we're often so busy looking for arrows and listening to our noisy feelings that we miss His still, small voice.  Yet the best thing you can do is be still and listen for the Prince's voice.  He will instruct you where to go (see Psalm 32:8-10).

Lord Jesus, thank You that I can confidently confide in You because of Your special position with the Father and Your special predisposition toward me.  Thank You for showing me the greatest love I will ever know by sacrificing Your life for me, setting aside Your interests for mine.  Thank You for being my stone who leads the way and the voice that guides my path to safety.  In Jesus' name, AMEN!

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