David and Jonathan – Gospel in Life

David and Jonathan

Tim Keller |  May 26, 1996

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  • Salvation
1 Samuel 17:55-58
RS 271-03

1 Samuel 17:51–18:9

In the story of David and Goliath, we see three different reactions to David’s victory: the Philistines run away, the Israelites chase them and take their stuff, and Saul becomes jealous. A special friendship starts between Jonathan and David, with Jonathan giving David his clothes and weapons. David’s win over Goliath makes him a hero in Israel, but it also starts a problem with jealousy.

1. How the crowd reacts

When people make heroes out of other people, it usually ends up causing trouble. People get let down and confused. The real lesson from David beating Goliath is that God is the one who saves us, not our own skills or plans. We often look up to the wrong things or people instead of looking to God. This happens in friendships and when people get too focused on famous people. We need to remember that we need a savior, not just human heroes.

2. How Saul reacts

Saul doesn’t like heroes. This is something we see a lot in smart societies where people don’t like the idea of having heroes because they think it limits their freedom. But being cynical like this can lead to thinking everyone is fake, and forgetting why we need heroes in the first place. It’s important to remember our need for a savior, but we shouldn’t make idols out of people because that can end badly.

3. How Jonathan reacts

Jonathan gives David his clothes and weapons, showing that he knows David should be king. This kind of thing doesn’t happen a lot in politics. Jonathan did this because he loved David and knew that being saved is a gift from God, not something we earn. The story shows us that we can respect heroes without thinking they’re perfect or hating them, and that we should always focus on Jesus, who is the best example of faith.



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