1 Samuel 14 etc. – THE MAN WHO WOULDN’T BE KING

I want us to meet a person who teaches us to be Godly in spite of a change in plans.

Personally, I have been disappointed on a few occasions because things did not happen the way I expected them to happen. I didn’t get to do what I thought surely I would be able to do.

The Old Testament character we will study this evening shows us that we can have a Godly testimony, even when things do not work out the way we think they should.

I’ve called this person, “The Man Who Wouldn’t Be King”. He was the oldest son of the King of Israel, but because of the sins of his father, God removed the kingship from the family. Naturally speaking, Jonathan, the Son of Saul, should have been his father’s successor, but because of Saul’s sin, Kingship was removed from Saul’s family. 1 Samuel 13:7-14, 1 Samuel 15:24-28

How did Jonathan handle his loss of kingship?

He handled it with a Godly character which is worth duplicating. He didn’t let possible disappointment stop him from living a life that was pleasing to God.

Ironically, Jonathan appears more spiritually qualified to be king than his father was!

As we examine Jonathan, the man who wouldn’t be king, let us see seven characteristics of his life worth imitating by us. All of references about Jonathan are in 1 Samuel.

1. BOLDNESS 14:1-14

We admire people who can step out in bold faith for the Lord. Jonathan was of these people.

Vs. 6 – Jonathan is thinking that perhaps the Lord would want to give a victory over the enemy.

He states a truth well worth remembering – There is no restraint or limitation with the Lord to save by many or by few.

Many times the Lord will accomplish great victories using one, two or a few seemingly insignificant people.

When God delivered Israel from Egypt, he started with one man, Moses, and used Him.

The Philistines in the Book of Judges suffered heavy loses at the hand of one man, Samson.

The nation Israel was often confronted and led in Spiritual matters by individual prophets such as Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel.

Think of Daniel standing up mightily for God in the courts of Babylon and Persia.

Don’t forget Stephen in the New Testament.

He was the first martyr for Christ. And he stood boldly for Christ in spite of the persecution and stoning which he received. Paul challenged his protégé`, Timothy to boldness. 2 Timothy 1:6-8

In a day when morals are declining and Christianity is rapidly heading towards being a minority religion in America, God needs people who will boldly speak up for Him.

2. SUBMISSION 14:37-45

Without going into all the details, Jonathan’s skirmish with the enemy leads to an even greater battle. The Philistines were being defeated and Saul enters into the fray with his troops.

14:24 – Saul made a stupid command.

14:25-30 – Jonathan was absolutely right.

At the end of the day, Saul discovers that someone violated his command concerning eating.

Lots are cast.

It is discovered that Jonathan is the guilty party.

Vs. 43 – Notice Jonathan’s attitude.

His father had made a foolish statement.

He had violated his father’s curse unknowingly.

He could have rebelled and argued with his father, but instead, he submitted to his father.

We like the idea of being filled with the Spirit.I think it is something most of us desire.

Do we realize that one of the direct results of being filled with the Spirit is being submissive?

Ephesians 5:18-21

3. LOVE 18:1-3

We “fast forward” now.

Unbeknownst to Saul, God was making good on His word to dethrone him as king.

Samuel the Prophet was dispatched to a little town called Bethlehem.

There, he is instructed by God to anoint a shepherd boy named David, the Son of Jesse, as the next king of Israel.

After that anointing David serves in the court of Saul, but then goes home, and back to watching his Father’s sheep.

Goliath shows up on the scene. David defeats Goliath with his sling and stone in the name and power of the Lord. Israel wins a great victory, and now David is a national hero.

18:2&5 – David would never be the shepherd boy again. He was now in the service of King Saul, and rightfully so.

Now Jonathan enters into the life of David.

Jonathan probably knew what Samuel had told his father about losing the kingdom.

Jonathan could have been jealous of this young kid who was now the national hero, and obviously the candidate for replacing Saul’s family on the throne.

How did Jonathan react?

God’s plan and God’s man were more important to Jonathan than sitting on the throne.

Jonathan found in David a kindred spirit who was just as bold, or bolder in fighting the Lord’s battles.

18:1-3 – Jonathan’s love for David was strong.

This was not sexual love.

This was what we would today call Christian love.

They were knit together in love.

They were kindred spirits.

Beloved, this is the type of love that God wants us to have for each other! It doesn’t matter if the other person is more talented or less talented than us.

It doesn’t matter if the person is a newer or older Christian than us. It doesn’t matter if the person has a more prestigious or less prestigious job in God’s kingdom.

What matters is that that individual is a brother or a sister in Christ, and should be loved as such!

John 13:34-35, John 15:11, 17


In 1 Samuel 18:4 Jonathan gives David his clothes and weapons.

These were the clothes and weapons of a prince!

These were the clothes and weapons of the man who was next in line for the Throne of Israel.

I think that Jonathan perceived that David was the next king of Israel, and was showing this by the giving of the clothes and weapons to the man would be the next king.

Notice there is no jealousy.

Notice there is no regret.

Notice there is no rancor.

But Jonathan was recognizing who the next king truly was, who the prince truly was.

Oh, that you and I would be as perceptive as Jonathan, to perceive what God is doing, and get on the band wagon!

How can we be spiritually perceptive?

By simply being spiritually guided! John 16:12-15


By now, David is on Saul’s “black list”.

Saul has been told he will be replaced as king.

He has figured out that his replacement is David.

David has been loyal to Saul, and never did anything that warranted the persecution he received from Saul.

Vss. 1-7 – David is told by Jonathan to hide. He then goes to His father, and presents the facts of David’s loyalty.

Saul gets a commitment from his father for peace.

He then brings David back into the fold.

Christians should intervene on behalf of other Christians. Matthew 5:9, Philippians 4:2-3


Very close in idea to intervention is protection.

Very often a brother or sister needs to be protected by us.

Jonathan did some research for David and discovered that indeed his father was out to kill David.

Jonathan warned David, and sent him on his way.

I believe that loving our brothers and sisters in Christ means that we protect them.

Sometimes we protect by warning.

Sometimes we protect by informing.

Sometimes we protect by speaking in behalf of the person we are protecting.

Philippians 2:4


David was being pursued by Saul.

David’s life was in jepordy.

Jonathan went and strengthened his hand in God.

Jonathan encouraged David.

This is something that you and I should do for each other. Hebrews 3:12-13, Hebrews 10:24-25

We encourage when we listen.

We encourage when we give right advice.

We encourage when we share the word of God.

We encourage when we pray together.

If you want to know how to encourage, study the life of Barnabas, as laid out in the Book of Acts.

Jonathan was the “Man Who Wouldn’t Be King”, and yet he was a Godly man. Let’s follow his examples of: