Last week, we looked at the relationship between Jonathan and David. Jonathan saw David's future, which included the throne that Saul had, and Jonathan affirmed and endorsed David's claim to throne according to God's will. We saw Jonathan's remarkable words to David when he was discouraged:
"Don't be afraid," he said. "My father Saul will not lay a hand on you. You will be king over Israel, and I will be second to you. Even my father Saul knows this." The two of them made a covenant before the Lord. Then Jonathan went home, but David remained at Horesh (1 Samuel 23:17-18).
AN UNTIMELY DEATH
Jonathan never took his place next to David because he died in battle alongside his father and brothers: "The Philistines pressed hard after Saul and his sons, and they killed his sons Jonathan, Abinadab and Malki-Shua" (1 Samuel 31:2). I have a question to ask you. With the knowledge Jonathan had about his future with David, what was he doing with his worthless father, going into a battle they could not win?
Some people have answered that Jonathan was staying loyal to his father, the authority on the throne. Yet we know others had left their place to join David and wander with him as he was a king in roving exile. Others have told me that the Lord didn't direct Jonathan to go, and indeed the Bible would bear this out. Yet, did God need to tell Jonathan to join himself physically to the man God had spiritually and practically joined him to? Still others replied that Jonathan was a prince and belonged in the house of the king.
I say Jonathan could not bring himself to stand against his family, even though God had showed him the family head was murderous and actively at war with God's will for the throne. I don't think God needed to send Jonathan an engraved invitation to leave. The door was open but Jonathan could not bring himself to "leave his father and mother" and join himself to David, "forsaking all others," as we say at weddings. Because Jonathan could not deal with his father or the price he would pay to stand with David, he forfeited his right to fulfill his purpose. He died and David mourned him for the rest of his life. What's more, David never had a second-in-command during his reign because the man who was to serve in that capacity could not break with his family culture.
THE IMPLICATIONS FOR YOU
We are examining Jonathan's life to determine if he was a Proverbs 31 man, and I concluded last week that he was. Yet Jonathan's impact was limited because of his family. So what does this have to do with you? It is important that you as a Proverbs 31 man (or woman) follow God's will for your life and not let relationships sidetrack you. You cannot allow your supervisor, pastor, friends, children, spouse, or family hinder you from pursuing and fulfilling your purpose.
I hope you are not facing a situation as difficult as the one presented to Saul, Jonathan and David. No matter how tough the situation, however, you must steward your purpose and do so on an ongoing basis. You must oversee it and not allow anyone to talk you out of it, or keep you from being the fullest, best expression of who God created you to be.
As you enter this week, you need to take an honest look at your life and purpose. Have you listened to a negative, discouraging report from someone about you and your abilities? Have you put your purpose on the shelf to please or serve someone else? Have you spent time trying to tell God why you aren't the one to do what it is that is in your heart?
As you answer these questions, please remember Jonathan who knew his purpose but lost it because he could not admit his father was a scoundrel who did not have anyone's best interests at heart but his own. You will answer to no one but God for the results of what He has assigned you to do. I urge you this week to determine in your heart that your top priority is to please Him and not family bonds or traditions. Have a great week!
ONLINE PURPOSE CLASSES. I will begin online purpose classes on July 25 that run for four weeks. Read this post to learn how you can register. There is a class free, but you can apply for a scholarship or make payments. Space is limited so act today.
PURPOSEQUEST INTERNATIONAL MOBILE APP: If you haven't already, take a moment to download my free mobile app that has many helpful videos that discuss how to find your purpose, creativity, and how to write a book along with many of my preached sermons.
PURPOSE STUDY BIBLE: I am well into Genesis as part of my latest Bible study project called the Purpose Study Bible. Each week, I examine the concepts of purpose and creativity as they appear in the Old Testament. I started in Genesis but will move through the other OT books as the Lord allows. You can read the studies here (40 so far) and also subscribe to receive them as they are published on that page as well.