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쏯ow it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, 쁀braham! And he said, 쁇ere I am. And He said, 쁔ake now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah; and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you. ...

Goodness (4) Goodness of Jonathan

Manmin News   No. 727
September?25, 2022

쒋쪫o not let the king sin against his servant David, since he has not sinned against you, and since his deeds have been very beneficial to you. For he took his life in his hand and struck the Philistine, and the LORD brought about a great deliverance for all Israel; you saw it and rejoiced. Why then will you sin against innocent blood by putting David to death without a cause? (1 Samuel 19:4-5)

Jonathan was the first son of Saul, the first king of Israel. He was expected to be the next king after Saul, but through Prophet Samuel God anointed David as the real successor saying that He would dethrone Saul. There is only one successor, so in a physical sense David and Jonathan seemed to have to be rivals. Jonathan did not consider David as his enemy but loved him as he loved himself. His love to David was more wonderful than the love of women (1 Samuel 18:1, 2 Samuel 1:26).

That was possible because Jonathan had enough goodness in his heart to discern the goodness of David. Then, let셲 look into the beautiful goodness Jonathan had.

1. Jonathan didn셳 overlook his father셲 sin

David was a sheep herder, a common shepherd. But after he defeated the Philistine commander, Goliath, during the war between Israel and the Philistines, he became a distinguished man in Israel.

At first, Saul was pleased when David defeated Goliath and saved his kingdom. He made David a commander. But problems arose when Saul and David triumphantly returned from the war. The women from all the towns of Israel received them singing, 쏶aul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands. From that time on Saul hated David.

Saul kept a jealous watch on him and he even tried to kill him. Saul sent David into a very fierce war and even sent his soldiers to David셲 house to kill him. When Jonathan saw his father Saul was trying to kill the innocent David without reason, he didn셳 accept and ignore his father셲 sin.

Jonathan said to Saul in 1 Samuel 19:4-5, 쏡o not let the king sin against his servant David, since he has not sinned against you, and since his deeds have been very beneficial to you. For he took his life in his hand and struck the Philistine, and the LORD brought about a great deliverance for all Israel; you saw it and rejoiced. Why then will you sin against innocent blood by putting David to death without a cause?

2. The goodness of Jonathan that God acknowledges

1) The heart to follow the will of God without selfish motives

If you were in Jonathan셲 shoes, whose side would you take, David or Saul? From a human viewpoint, Saul was Jonathan셲 father, and the king of a country. Form the human viewpoint, for Jonathan to disobey Saul and vindicate David was dishonoring his father.

Jonathan knew his father Saul had already been abandoned by God, and God willed David to be the next king. Jonathan had successor셲 right to the throne, but he accepted the will of God without consideration of his own desires. He encouraged David to accomplish God셲 will.

What about John the Baptist? He recognized Jesus who came as the Savior. How did he feel when he saw his disciples following Jesus?

He said as read in John 3:30, [Jesus] must increase, but I must decrease. When we readily abandon honor and fame for God셲 will to be fully accomplished, God deems it goodness.

When it comes to the works of God, many believers and church workers say they hope that the will of God will be fully achieved and His kingdom be expanded. But in reality, most of them hesitate to sacrifice themselves and to give up what they have.

Jonathan and John the Baptist had the attitude that they wanted to melt down like salt without leaving behind their own shape for the will of God to be fully achieved although they would not gain fame and honor. This is goodness in God셲 sight.

2) The heart that one does one셲 best to stop his loved one from sinning

He did not fear going to his threatening father and prevented his father from sinning by petitioning repeatedly to dissuade Saul from killing David.

That셲 because Jonathan loved his father from the heart although Saul was wicked. It is goodness to try one셲 best to stop his loved ones from sinning and going the wrong way. Jonathan tried to persuade his father again and again not to commit greater sins.

Ancient loyal servants, who loved their king from the heart, did not hesitate to give sound advice to the king about his wrongdoings even if it meant their deaths. When you find your parents, brothers and sisters going in the way of death, how many efforts have you made to guide them to the way of life? It is the same as the case with the church departments and mission organization you belong to.

What did you do when you saw your seniors and leaders committing unlawful acts? Above all else, you should not reveal to others or gossip about their errors if you love and honor them. If you judge them and gossip, how far you are away from goodness and love!

Even if your leaders go the way that is against God셲 will, if you gossip about their offenses again and again, it never helps the works of God to be fulfilled. Rather, it will be the grounds for Satan셲 accusations. If you draw back saying it is not your business, it is not goodness either. If you pass over some errors because you feel uneasy about your seniors or because you are afraid of loss caused by your words, it is not a duty towards your seniors, nor is it goodness in God셲 sight.

More than anything else, you should have the courage to speak the truth without fearing the loss. You must possess the wisdom of goodness to give advice to your seniors or leaders without offending them and without shunning your duty.

3) The heart to follow one셲 duty till the end

Good people want to turn their eyes from the scene where someone commits a sin and to keep themselves away from wickedness. Still more, good people suffer greater pains when they see their family and loved ones sinning. Although Jonathan suffered many pains because of his father셲 wickedness, he did not abandon his duty towards his father.

Jonathan knew God had already forsaken his father, Saul. He anticipated what would happen to his father when he was with the evil one that had been abandoned by God, but he never left his father. In the end, he drew his last breath with his father while they were engaged in war against the Philistines. Jonathan was with his father in everything whether death or life. He did not leave his father. He fulfilled his duty to his father. It was goodness.

Here you must not misunderstand one point. It셲 not good to be with evil ones that God has forsaken to the end considering it as right duty. Jonathan knew the wickedness of his father Saul and he didn셳 follow his father. Rather, he advised him not to sin many times. But he still didn셳 give up on his father who was going the way of death nor abandon his duty as a son.

Dear brothers and sisters, Jonathan was the first son of King Saul and expected to become the next king. But he accepted the will of God who wanted to make David the second king of Israel without selfish motives and he also helped David actively. Moreover, he tried his best to stop his father King Saul from sinning to the end.

Therefore, I pray in the name of the Lord all of you accomplish the perfect goodness so that you can join the glory and blessing God has prepared.




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