Reading 1 - 1Sa 20
In 1Sa 20, the situation created by Saul caused the separation of these two faithful friends. Jonathan chooses affliction with God's beloved rather than the pleasure of sin for a season (Heb 11:25).
"The friendship of David and Jonathan was based upon the common experiences of trial in the court of Saul, and a mutual respect and acceptance of the divine will. Although Jonathan was the king-elect as son of Saul, he willingly submitted to the divine choice of David as Israel's next king, and his soul was thereby knit with his great friend in truth and understanding. David required Jonathan's help in his extremities in the household of Saul. He was in great danger, and the presence of Saul at Ramah showed that the king would not respect the presence of Samuel, and therefore David was not even safe with the prophet. As a member of Saul's household, his duty was to be present at the feast of the new moon about to take place. But knowing full well that Saul was determined on his death, David hastened back before the king to enlist the help of Jonathan. Though Yahweh had promised him the kingdom, it was still necessary to exercise wisdom to attain it faith, courage and patience would not lack its reward. Meanwhile the difficulties David experienced moulded his life, preparing him to assume the exalted position of Shepherd and Ruler of Israel" (GE Mansfield).
Background: The Spirit of God seems to have temporarily changed Saul's outlook, so that for a brief time David the fugitive was again welcome at his table (vv 5,25,27). But David seems to have good reason to doubt this extended hospitality.
"Jonathan said to David, 'Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship with each other in the name of the LORD, saying, "The LORD is witness between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants forever." ' Then David left, and Jonathan went back to the town" (v 42).
"The concluding verse is a wonderful testimony to spiritual understanding and commitment. Jonathan acknowledges the divine purpose beyond his own opportunities. The compact would be assured, and ultimately both David and Jonathan will be united in glory 'forever' " (GEM).
Reading 2 - Isa 64:4
"Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him" (Isa 64:4).
At the wonders they saw in Sinai, the people removed far off and hid themselves (Exo 20:18,19).
"Thereafter the divine revelation which Israel refused at Sinai became the special privilege of those who saw the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But the wisdom of God in him was shut to Israel's leaders -- ' "Eye did not see, nor did ear hear, what things God prepared for them that love him." BUT GOD revealed them by His Spirit' (1Co 2:8-10)" (Harry Whittaker, "Isaiah" 538).
Reading 3 - Mat 9:38
"Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field" (Mat 9:38).
Today, if we want additional laborers, we might, among other things, place an ad in the newspaper in the "Help Wanted" section. If we did the same thing for disciples of Christ, how would it read?
HEAVY LADEN? SEEKING REST? MY YOKE IS EASY, MY BURDEN IS LIGHT!
HELP WANTED: Master in search of faithful, full-time assistants. Only serious applicants need apply. Growing company of believers seeks eager, searching individual for position of disciple.
JOB REQUIREMENTS: Applicant must be faithful, hard working, dedicated and of high moral character. Also, servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Must exhibit the following characteristics: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
POSITION: Many opportunities available depending only upon skills and desires of applicant. No limitations based on income, social status or standing, language skills or physical abilities. No high school or college education required. Former work experience for sin will be cleaned up on first day on the job.
JOB ENVIRONMENT: Hours are 24 hours a day, seven days a week. No vacation or holidays. Once the job has begun, applicant must not turn back or the latter end may be worse than the first. Applicant must be willing to endure trials. No experience necessary.
TRAINING AND TESTING POLICY: Applicants must be willing to endure our strenuous training and testing. Will not test beyond what applicant is able to bear. Plus extensive and inspired training manual provided. Manual is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the trainee may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
ADVANCEMENT: Advance quickly from hopeless sinner to justified saint. Not merit based. It is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed.
DISCRIMINATION POLICY: There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. No discrimination toward former servants to sin. All welcome.
BENEFITS: Wages -- none. Gift -- priceless. Benefits include large and loving family, redemption, forgiveness from sins. Unequaled retirement plan. (Kyle Tucker)