1 Sam.20:1-42 The message of the ARROWS `


Intro As we look at this episode in the life of David we should keep in mind that God, from eternity, had purposed to bless David and use him mightily

A)We have seen God establish David as a man after God’s own heart while he was a shepherd boy


B)We have seen God call and anoint David to be King...... raise up      David as a Champion of Israel and deliver Goliath into his hands

 1) We have seen God preserve David’s life and give him a song of gladness in the face of death


C) But at this particular point we find David going through a trial which tested his faith and endurance to the limit

1) Every outward circumstance seemed to contradict God’s plan for David’s life..... His circumstances made God’s promises to look like lies.


D) That can happen to us at times too – In those circumstances – we have to come to that place where we have to decide what are we going to be ruled by

1)    Are we going to be ruled by our circumstances that presently make no sense to us

    2) Or are we going to be ruled by What we know to be true about God !!!


I remember a time in my life a few yrs back when there was a lot going on in my life that I didn’t understand

A)A time where I just didn’t understand what God was doing / what was going on/ why certain things were happening – felt abandoned by God


B) I remember going down to the beach to pray- as I am sitting there telling God that I don’t understand –how  He wasn’t making sense

1)   At that moment a Jet flies by – God says to me – You don’t understand that – How that thing flies –


C)Yet you will get on one fly w/out event thinking about it – trusting that the plane is going to get you to your destination !!! Can’t you trust me

C) As I sat there some more looking out at the ocean – I thought how God keeps all of that water from enveloping the Land

1)   I don’t understand that either – but never worry about being over run by the ocean when I go to the beach / Just enjoy being there !!!


D) That is when it hit me – there is always going to be a lot about God that I just don’t understand – Trust in what I do Know

1)   But I want to trust that like He promised – He is going to get me to the DESTINATION- & in the Process I want to enjoy what he is doing


 Listen when you don’t understand your circumstances you need to cling to what you do know is true

A)God is faithful / God keeps His promises / true & righteous are His ways – And He is always working w/ your best interest in mind


B) When I look back on that time in my life now I see exactly what God was doing – Brilliant – perfect – things have turned out way better than imagined

1)   Joseph had the same realization – in his life – Looking back – He understood – told his Bros / You meant evil God good to save many


C) And David will look back at this time in his life – He will see & understand God’s hand in it

1)   How God was actually going to use this time – to make David into Israel’s greatest king of all time – accept for Jesus Himself


D) But sometimes in the mist of these times it can be tough – In this Chapter we see David struggling

  1) Now It’s a comfort to know that even a man of God such as David could      begin to buckle under pressure



 Now Paul says in 1 Corinthians10 that the Old Testament is given to us for an example

 A)We have the advantage of seeing the whole picture in David’s      situation

B)We can see that David should have known that God’s anointing   upon his life meant that Saul couldn’t kill him

   1) BECAUSE he was God’s choice to be King-  We can see that pressure doesn’t change the reality of God’s promises


C) But sometimes when you are the one in the situation it is hard to see those things – I pray that we can learn from this incident in  the life of David

1) And that God will use it to Comfort & strengthen us in Him


D) We pick the story up in Chapter 20:1 with David fleeing Saul and     going to Jonathan VERSES 1-3 



A)David was uptight even despairing- The strong assurance recorded in Psa. 59 (which was written during the events of CH. 19 / Wed ) is gone


Redpath – In Psa 59 We heard David singing himself out of his problem by faith but the mere fact that he rejoiced in God has not relieved the pressure in fact it seems to have intensified


B) As the pressure is building – David isn’t handling it very well.

  1) Because -David was NOT as conscious of God’s presence and protection as   he was of his own fear –  RP Fear Greatest enemy of our faith 


C) At this point in David’s life The pressure is building so bad is beginning to even  Doubt his friends

1)   Says to Jonathan in v.1 What have I done – what iniquity is in me that your father should treat me like this


D) Now Jonathan tries to encourage David in v.2 by saying look  My Dad would tell me – if – He was still out to get you –

1)   Remember Saul in Ch.19 Gave Jonathan his word he would leave David alone


F) V.3 David says Get real – You Know there is one step …. Me & death

Here we see Jonathan as a picture of the Christians love for Jesus

A)Jonathan lived for David- His soul was chained to David

     His personal loss was David’s gain


B) Jonathan was always giving yet he seemed to be receiving

1)     Because For David to receive glory was his glory- David’s sorrows were Jonathan’s sorrows


C) But it was risky for Jonathan to do what was necessary for David's welfare - It would threaten his relationship with his father

  1) There was the risk of personal loss; inconvenience physical well being


D) But The love of Jonathan for David is what constrained him


In Jonathan’s love for David we see a Parallel of what should be the Christians love for Christ

A)The mark of the Christian is to delight in doing the will of      God/Living for Christ rejoicing in God’s Victories / When He is Glorified we are pleased


B) Jesus passion was to Please His heavenly Father – to do His Father’s will to Glorify His Father in Heaven

1)   That must become our Passion as well – to Glorify God / He is Glorified when we bear much fruit


C) But there are risk that come w/ living that type of life – Following Christ in that way – Friends will forsake you / Family doesn’t understand you

1)   Employees want to exclude you


D) But Just like Jonathan was motivated by his love for David – Paul declared in 2Co 5:14 For the love of Christ constraineth us

1)   Our Love for Him is born out of – grows the more we understand how much that He loved us / Cross / Punishment / our place / Heaven


E) So Jonathan in living to please David  is a good picture of what our relationship to Christ should be like -

When we preach atonement, it is atonement planned by love, provided by love, given by love, finished by love, necessitated because of love. When we preach the resurrection of Christ, we are preaching the miracle of love. When we preach the return of Christ, we are preaching the fulfillment of love.

 Billy Graham,                                             Rd v.5-17



This Shows Jonathan had greater faith in God’s promises than David did at this time: Jonathan knows David is destined to be King

A)In response, Jonathan makes David commit himself in a covenant.

 You shall not cut off your kindness for my house forever:


B) In that day, when one royal house replaced another, it was common for the new royal house to kill all the potential rulers from the old royal house.   

1)   Jonathan knew that one day, David and his descendants would rule over Israel,


C) And he wants David to promise that David and his descendants will not kill or mistreat the descendants of Jonathan.

1)   So they make this Covenant w/ each other Jonathan and David agreed to care for one another.


D) Jonathan agreed to care for David in the face of Saul’s threat, and David agreed to care for Jonathan and his family in the future    VERSES 18-24


David had to wait for that fateful moment when a matter of a few yards would decide his future

A)Either he would go back to Saul’s house back to the comfort of Jonathans friendship / Back to familiar, secure surroundings


B) Or he would go into exile without a friend to turn to- Having to cast himself totally upon the mercy of God

 1) One or the other of these ways was to be God’s path for David, the path that would lead him eventually to the throne of Israel


The decision was completely out of David’s hands

A)All he could do was to stand by a stone & wait for an arrow that would point to the palace or the wilderness


B)The pressure of the circumstances brought David to that place where the decision was not his to make

  1) That is exactly what God does through our circumstances


Bb) They drive us to the place where we can NOT decide the way….should go /  to the place where GOD DECIDES THE WAY

  1) V 19  David was told to wait at the stone Ezel  = the stone that shows the way/ the stone of Destiny


C) For every Christian - in every circumstance of life we have a stone   to wait at - a stone that shows the way

  1) Daniel 2:34 tells us that it is a stone “cut out without hands”

      1 Peter 2:4 Peter calls it “a living stone


 2) Isaiah 28:16 Isaiah calls it “a foundation stone, a precious         corner stone, a sure foundation”


D) Jesus Christ is our stone of Ezel


RP “Jesus is our stone of destiny rooted in a rugged hillside outside of the city of Jerusalem. There we understand that he bore our burden / he is the great burden bearer – the pressure of the burdens we face no matter what they may be are rolled away when we bring them & leave them at his feet .


Are you in a predicament, unable to turn this way of that.

A)It is a glorious position to be in: when your hands are off the situation only he can guide.


B)All you can do is what David did as he took his stand at his stone of destiny & waited.

It is good thing to be in a position like that when all you can do is take your stand at Calvary & wait.

A)When all you can do is come to Christ and wait you are in a great place.


B)NOTE: So many paths seem far more attractive than others

1)   Humanly speaking, there are many alternatives more attractive than

     God’s way


C) But - There is only one way for you and I that leads to the throne/ that place of Promise that God has for you


D) We need to let God decide that path (Remember there is only one right path to accomplish that work of God in your life.)

1)   Die to the  temptation to run or to meander  pursue any other Alternative


RP: A throne is God’s purpose for you  A cross is God’s path for you

                                      Faith is God’s plan for                     V.25-34


So Jonathan & David come up w/ this plan –

A)Now most commentators believe I agree that David did go down to Bethlehem / came back at the appointed time – wait in the field


B) When Saul finds out – he is incensed – Yells at Jonathan -"You son of a perverse, rebellious woman!"

 1) This was a horrible statement to make – Because in doing so – Saul was suggesting that Jonathan was the son of a whore – No royal blood in veins


C) He would never have the crown … / especially as long as David was alive

  1)Jonathan knew from this response that Saul’s heart was settled on evil against David.


D) These were "Taunts that were intended to instill into Jonathan’s heart the poison which was working in his own." (Meyer)

  1) The poison was running so thick in Saul’s veins he even– throws a spear at his own Son – Note v. 34 Jonathan was grieved for David    Rd V.35-42

Picture David waiting at the stone of Ezel

A)From a distance he hears his friend coming out to him


B)Jonathan, as if he is at target practice takes an arrow and shoots it

David anxiously watches its flight as it arches over him & lands beyond him.


C) Imagine his feelings at that moment......  He knew it meant the Lord was sending him away/

1) Such a small thing – the signal of a single arrow – told David his whole Life would be forever changed.


D) He would no longer be welcome at the palace. He would no longer be welcome among the army of Israel.

1) He would no longer be able to go home.


E)David now knew he would have to live as a fugitive, on the run from an angry, jealous king determined to destroy him.


Sometimes our lives can radically turn on a small thing. One night of carelessness may change a girl’s life forever.

A)One night with the wrong crowd may give a boy an arrest record.


B)It often times does not seem fair that so much in life should turn on small moments, but a lifetime is made of nothing but many small moments!


C) In David’s case - It was no chance thing that the arrow fell where it did

 1) It had come from the hand of God


D)The arrows weren’t from Jonathan’s hand alone/ He was just the instrument The arrow was from the hand of God and it was right on target

  1) It showed him God’s will


E) God will use different instruments in our lives – The words of a friend / a Doctor’s diagnosis – The instructions of an employer –

1)   But Know this Behind that arrow was God’s loving purpose for David

If David lingered now, after this word from heaven, he would lose

     his life, the crown and all that God had for him

A)It was of Divine necessity that he move/ Every security he had........ Every prop he leaned on was taken away


B) Swindoll – Sometimes our tendency is to fill our lives w/ Crutches – People & things that we are leaning on

 1) But Sometimes those Crutches become substitutes for God – Instead of leaning on Him we are leaning on something else / or someone else


C) Some people turn to other people to be their Crutches their spouse / friend / inappropriate friendship – ( Share treasure w/ no one but your spouse )

1)   Where your treasure is your heart will be there also 


D)Some turn to booze or drugs – Helps me relax – Read the Bible – Praise tape /

 1) Some work out – Something to escape the pressures – mask it distract me for an hr. or two


E) Others  It is work – easier to just work –70hrs a week than to deal w/ a marriage that is crumbling -


Crutches have a tendency to keep our focus horizontal

A)See When you are leaning on another person or another thing – your focus is always Side ways – Horizontal instead of Vertical –


Human Crutches paralyze the walk of faith


B)Crutches offer only temporary relief – Like taking a aspirin – mask the pain / tranquilizing people from the experiences & storms of life


C) God doesn’t want to give temporary relief – He wants to give  permanent solution – If we truly seek Him- If we truly surrender all to Him /

  1) If we are consistent & diligent in seeking Him in prayer & thru the word – He will show us / He will speak to us

Duet.33:27 “The eternal God is a dwelling place, And underneath are the everlasting arms;


Isa 41:10 ‘Do not fear, for I am with you;Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,

     Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’


So at this point in David’s life it was just He & God

A)Every security he had........ Every prop he leaned on was taken      away

     He must stand alone with God


B) Behind him was comfort, friendship and home / Now David had nothing but God!

1) It is eye opening when you see what else you are leaning on instead of the Lord


C) Me in Oregon – Hard time but it was a Great time – Nothing but me

1)   Satisfaction had to be in God alone – no matter what direction He chose

     to bring me


The Chapter ends w/ these words concerning David -So he arose and departed:

A)David will not return to "normal life" until Saul is dead and David is king.


B)This is a pretty bleak road for David to walk, but it is God’s road for him.

1)   Pretty bleak road but this bleak road is important in David’s life, because if God will put David in a place where people must depend on him,


C) God will teach David to depend upon God alone. Not himself, not Saul, not Jonathan, not anyone except God


This bleak road is important in David’s life, because if David will be safe now and promoted to king later,

A)David must learn to let God be his defense and his promoter.


B) And This bleak road is ….in David’s life, because if David is to be set in a great position of authority, David must learn to submit to God’s authority,


C)That meant even in these difficult times when he didn’t understand what was going on – He had to cling to what He knew to be True of the Lord


QUOTE: Alan Redpath:


                        A throne is God’s purpose for you


                        A cross is God’s path for you


                        Faith is God’s plan for you