David, Jonathan, and the New Covenant
Blood covenants are serious business. The modern western world understands little about blood covenants. The blood covenant is binding. It is the basis of the very relationship we have with God. If we are totally grounded in the blood covenant, we can withstand anything.
The nation of Israel wanted to be like other nations. They wanted a physical King they could see and follow. They wanted something more tangible than an invisible God. God comforted Samuel, and told him the people where rejecting Him, not Samuel. The people chose a King named Saul. This was the people vote. God out, Saul in. God chooses a King named David, the shepherd boy. We now have the foundation for a great story. Two different families chosen to be the Kingly line! Power struggle, intrigue, drama, human emotion, it’s all there.
But this is a story about a blood covenant from which we may all gain strength and great comfort. It is a story about Father’s love for us, and the positive future we have regardless how dark the present is.
David loves God. Jonathan is from the family of Saul, but thinks so differently from the rest of the family. He loves God in a similar way to David. David and Jonathan make a covenant (1 Sam. 18:1-4). There is a oneness between them that is a taste of the Kingdom of God. Perhaps they cut their right arms and brought the wounds together and let the blood mingle. It is a covenant of deep love between them.
Many events unfold and there is a time when Saul is out to kill David. Jonathan comes to David and expands the covenant to include their future generations (1 Sam. 20:14-15). The blood covenant between David and Jonathan will endure all the horror to come. Later in 1 Samuel 23:16-17, Jonathan comes a third time to David and carries out a gesture that is a magnificent example to us all. He comes before his beloved friend, David, and states clearly that David will be King, and Jonathan will be David’s prince. Jonathan is next in line in the family of Saul to be King over Israel! But Jonathan is in harmony with God, and humbles himself before David. The covenant between them is a beautiful thing.
For Saul and Jonathan the end comes in a war with the Philistines. David becomes King proper, and rules the nation. During the final moments of Saul’s kingdom, the family is fleeing and the nurse maid running with Jonathan’s son, Mephibosheth, stumbles and drops him. He is crippled in both legs from a very early age.
Time passes. Mephibosheth is fed endless lies about David. With his grandfather Saul died, and his father, Jonathan dead, Mephibosheth is heir to the throne of Israel from the family viewpoint. Mephibosheth is fed all kinds of terrible lies of David stealing the throne and other made up evils. Mephibosheth lives on the edge of David’s Kingdom, probably carrying out acts of destruction against the Kingdom.
A day comes when David desires to express his covenant love to any living descendants of his good friend, Jonathan. He finds out where Mephibosheth is dwelling and heads out to meet him. Picture the scene, with David and his men coming across the landscape on their horses, and Mephibosheth watching them approach. In Mephibosheth’s mind he must be considering it his last fifteen minutes on earth. All he knows about David are the lies. He is expecting David to wipe out the last of Saul’s family. In the next ten minutes David’s sword will be thrust through Mephibosheth’s vitals.
Consider the shock of Mephibosheth as David explains he has kept all the land, flocks, herds, and money of Saul and Jonathan for this very moment when he could pass it on to Mephibosheth! Not only that, but Mephibosheth is invited to King David’s table to dine with him for the rest of his life! What? Why?
Blood covenant. Perhaps David explained to a dumbfounded Mephibosheth the terms of the covenant made between David and Jonathan before Mephibosheth was even conceived. David may have explained the fact there was nothing Mephibosheth could do. He couldn’t earn it, pay for it, qualify for it. Nothing at all, but simply say, thank you, Lord. The blood covenant was intact. It’s terms and conditions were valid and he could not pay or earn the reward.
Mephibosheth now had a choice. Reject the incredible love of the blood covenant, take his chances being a troublemaker in David’s kingdom, and end up dead, or, accept the love in the blood covenant and allow it to pour into his heart and change him from the inside out.
It was all a bit much for Mephibosheth, and he openly considerered himself a dog.
It is a wonderful truth what covenant love can do. Mephibosheth, the terrorist, allows the covenant love in David’s heart to pour into his, and in a very real sense Mephibosheth enters into the very spirit of his father, Jonathan. He takes on a love for David like Jonathan had. It is a miracle. Mephibosheth’s mind and heart change. The spirit of Jonathan starts to lead his son Mephibosheth, and he begins to love David. Mephibosheth in Jonathan and Jonathan in Mephibosheth.
You in Jesus, and Jesus in you. There is nothing we can do. The blood covenant was made through the Lord Jesus long before we were conceived in our mother’s womb, and we are the inheritors. Any gospel that demanded from you and held up expectations to you that you were never able to reach – that was another gospel, not The Gospel.
There are many factors involved in your burn-out. Please do yourself a favor. Relax. Forgive those who hurt you. Stop worrying about not living up to your calling as a ministry leader. Relax. There is nothing you can do to win back people or God. God has never left you. He may be taking you out into the desert right now, and you may be there a reasonably long time. Relax, don’t worry or fret. He made a blood covenant with you before you were born and He will live up to it. Everything painful happening to you right now is for your good in the long run. Just relax and leave it to Him. Focus on Jesus like you did when you were first called and enjoy his fellowship. Eat at the King’s table, and relax.