How was Jonathan unlike his father Saul?

There is such a vast difference between the godly Jonathan and his wicked father-king Saul. Jonathan had love for God and faith in His leadings, whereas Saul was full of pride, and disobedience to God (1 Samuel 13:8–13; 14:24–30; 15:1–34). For this reason, God chose David as king in the place of Saul (1 Samuel 16:11–13). And he submitted to God’s decision thus placing himself against his father’s will.

Jonathan, unlike his father, set out to support David to be the future king. And he gave David his clothes and military garb (In 1 Samuel 18:4) recognizing that David would one day be king of Israel. And he vowed to defend David (1 Samuel 19:1-3; 1 Samuel 20). In contrast, Saul rebelled against the will of God and wanted the throne for his family. Jonathan even wished that the Lord will take vengeance on David’s enemies (1 Samuel 20:16).

Jonathan exhibited true love and sacrifice. He possessed a selfless character when he made a covenant with David (1 Samuel 18:1-5) where he agreed to be second in command in David future reign. And David promised to protect his family (1 Samuel 20:16-17, 42; 23:16-18). Instead of seeking his own position in becoming the successor of his father, Jonathan gave up his rights of the kingdom and handed it to David. In contrast, Saul sought to establish his own reign.

While Jonathan kept his promise to David (1 Samuel 20), Saul broke his promise of safety to David and attempted to kill him (1 Samuel 19:1-3). Saul even attempted to kill his own son by throwing a spear at him when he learned of his support to David (1 Samuel 20:33). And Saul mocked his son calling him a “stupid son of a whore” (1 Samuel 20:30, NLT).

During the final war, Jonathan fought a courageous fight and lost his life defending the armies of Israel (1 Samuel 31:2). On the other hand, Saul added to his sins the crime of suicide when he ended his life by falling on his sword (1 Samuel 31:4). Although, Jonathan lost his life, he will rise in the resurrection to inherit the reward of the faithful – eternal life.

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In His service,

BibleAsk Team

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