Friday, August 30, 2019


WEEKLY SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday September 1, 2019

Over 211,000 readers worldwide
larrydalexander.blogspot.com

FAITH DURING DISTRESS
(GOD is faithful even when we’re not)
(Genesis 19:1-29)

`   Genesis 19 chronicles the destruction of all of the morally bankrupt cities that were located on the plains of Canaan, including Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboim, and Bela. Today there is great geological proof that those cities now lie beneath the southern end of the Dead Sea. It is an area that once held large deposits of highly flammable bitumen, and archaeologists believe that that, along with this area’s geological instability, became the natural weapons that GOD used to judge the GODless citizenry who resided there in those days. 
    After leaving the presence of Abraham, the two angels of GOD who delivered the message that he and Sarah would conceive and birth a child within a year’s time, now arrive at the entrance of the city of Sodom to fulfill the second part of their earthly mission. Lot, the nephew of Abraham, was sitting at the city gate (the traditional place where judges sit) at the time of their arrival, and when he saw them, he arose to meet them and welcomed them as he bowed low to the ground. He then invited them to be quests in his home for the night.
    The two men (angels in human bodies) initially declined the invitation saying that they would, instead, spend the night in the open square of the city. However, Lot, knowing the dangers of homosexual predators on the streets of Sodom at night, insisted that the men reconsider and stay the night in his home. The angels eventually accepted his invitation, and that night, Lot set up a great feast for them and they ate until they were filled.
    After dinner, as they were preparing to retire for the night, all of the men of Sodom, young and old, came from all over the city and surrounded Lot’s house, demanding that he release the men to them so that they can have sex with them (Vs.4-5). Lot stepped outside the house, shutting the door behind him, and what he proposes to them turns out to be just as vile and evil as the homosexual crowd’s demands were. Here, Lot, in the most hypocritical fashion, offers his two virgin daughters, whom were already engaged to two other men, to be raped by the men instead.
    Lot, whose mind had become twisted with fear, and also fogged with the “spiritual contamination” that living in an unGODly atmosphere can cause, had now come to the ridiculously evil conclusion that, it was better for a man to rape a woman (his virgin daughters), than for a man to rape another man!
    Lot’s experience in Sodom will forever stand as a teachable moment for all Christians who choose to remain in a worldly environment, because of the perceived material advantages that that environment may provide. When we lose our hearts to the things of this world we make ourselves extremely vulnerable to satan, and we begin to long more and more to partake in his offerings. Remember, at first Lot pitched his tent outside the city of Sodom (Genesis 13:12), but here in this chapter of Genesis, we see that he is now living inside the city of Sodom, and his mind has been unwittingly influenced and  twisted by Sodom’s evil environment.
    In verse 9 we see that Lot’s twisted negotiations with the men of Sodom failed, as now the throng of homosexual men threatened to take him instead, if he did not comply with their demands. They reminded him that he was only there as long as they allowed him to be, and that his preaching certainly, and obviously, had no influence over how they wanted to live their lives.  
    Just then the hostile gay men lunged at Lot in an attempt to get by him and break down the door, but the two angels reached out and grabbed Lot and pulled him back into the house, and bolted the door. Then the two angels miraculously blinded the men of Sodom so that they could no longer see what they were doing.
    We are reminded in 2 Peter 2, verses 7-8, by the Apostle Peter that Lot was “a righteous man” who was distressed and unwittingly influenced by the filthy lives of the people of Sodom. Yet, we see that he stayed there and continued to take advantage of the healthy economic conditions and grand living and culture in Sodom, rather than to take a stand against the evil acts that by now, were dominating the community. His willingness to compromise and live large, had nearly, cost him his life.
    The next morning the angels told Lot to gather up his family and get out of Sodom in a hurry, because the LORD GOD had sent them to destroy the five cities of the plains, because the stench of their sins had reached Heaven itself. Lot first, rushed out to tell his daughter’s fianc├ęs about the pending doom of Sodom, however, the young men didn’t believe him, thinking that it was a joke (Vs.12-14).
    Early the next morning, with the clock running out on Sodom and the other cities, the angels became more insistent that they make haste for the city limits, if they wished to accept the mercy of GOD’s salvation and favor. Yet and still they had to end up, quite literally, dragging Lot and his family out of this sinful metropolis.
    For Abraham’s sake, GOD had granted Lot and his family mercy, and even then, they, for the most part, were reluctant to accept it. In verses 18-20 we see Lot still trying to inject his own “human ingenuity” into GOD’s plan. There he tells the angels that he “cannot” go to the mountains where the angels of GOD were trying to carry them to salvation. In other words, he may as well have been saying to GOD, “I cannot obey YOU. I do not trust or have faith in YOUR plan for my life”. And so he insisted on stopping short of “the total salvation process”. He believed that “his own plan would save him”, not GOD’s. Don’t y’all miss that!
    When we decide to choose to go our own way, the LORD will most certainly allow us to do it. What we see in verse 21 is precisely that, as the angel grants Lot his request to go his own way, and from that day forward, the place Lot chose to go to, was called “Zoar”, which means “a little one”.
    Before that time, the area of Zoar had been a part of the city of Bela, which was destroyed along with Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim. Zoar would forever stand as a reminder to future Israelites of the fate of Lot, as he was reluctantly dragged to safety, and “fell short” of the destination (salvation plan) that was chosen for him by the LORD.
    By sunrise Lot had reached his destination and the LORD rained down burning sulfur from the sky and destroyed all forms of life, including all of the people, animals, and plants which existed in all of the five cities of the plains of Canaan. Lot’s wife, who was equally reluctant to leave the plains area, turned for one last look, and scripture now famously records that, “she became a pillar of salt”.
    Lot’s faith failed him in his time of distress because it had been weakened due to his lingering in an unGODly atmosphere (Sodom) for so long. If we remain in an unGODly atmosphere over an extended period of time, ultimately that atmosphere is going to negatively influence us more than we are going to be able to positively influence it. That is why JESUS commanded HIS disciples not to linger in places where people are impervious to HIS message, or, resisted the life-saving knowledge and instructions found in HIS Word (Matthew 10:14, Mark 6:11, Luke 9:5).
    Even though GOD spared Lot’s life for Abraham’s sake, the effects of Lot’s weakened faith in GOD would continue to “run its course”, heaping upon him, many consequences, as a result of his bad choices and decision-making, in a place where Lot himself, had chosen to go (Vs.30-38). His weak faith had left the door open for satan to re-enter his family environment and structure in the mountains of Zoar, and he caused Lot’s daughters to come up with “an incestuous plot” to become pregnant by him, while he was in a drunken stupor on consecutive nights.  

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander





                                 
                                           LARRY DALEXANDER- Official Website

 


Friday, August 23, 2019


WEEKLY SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday August 25, 2019

Over 210,000 readers worldwide
larrydalexander.blogspot.com

MARRIAGE: A COVENANT OF MUTUAL LOVE
(SPIRIT-guided relationships between husbands and wives, and children)
(Ephesians 5:21-6:4)

   In Ephesians 5:21-6:4, the Apostle Paul teaches on how to be controlled by the HOLY SPIRIT at home as he turns his focus to the two most important family life relationships, “husband and wife”, and “parents and children”. Here he defines how we should all strive to live as children walking in the light of CHRIST at home, as well as in the Church. In fact, what we do Monday through Saturday in our homes, and on our jobs away from the Church house, is more of testament to how we love and worship GOD, than what we do in the Church house on Sunday morning.
    After Paul establishes the overriding principle of “us submitting to one another out of reverence for CHRIST JESUS”, in verse 21, he then moves on to the specifics of “the spiritual responsibility of each family member toward each other”, and “towards CHRIST” (Vs.22-28). Christian wives are to submit to their husbands, as they do to the LORD (v.22).  Christian Husbands are the head of the wife, as CHRIST is the head of the Christian Church, which is HIS body (v.23a).
    The Christian husband should always show love for his wife, and be willing to give his life for her, just as CHRIST was willing to give HIS life for the Church that HE so loves (v.23b). Christian Husbands ought to love their wives just as they love their own bodies, and in fact, husbands actually show that they love themselves when they love their wives, who they are spiritually at one with, and responsible for, in the LORD (v.28).
    GOD calls for us to have a united, GODly home front. The Christian family’s interactions with one another should reflect CHRIST and HIS interactions with the Christian Church, or, “Body of CHRIST”. GOD fully intends for us to enjoy a harmonious, SPIRIT-guided family relationship in submission to HIM first, and then, to each other, starting in our own homes (v.21).
    In the New Testament Greek, the word used for “submit” is “hupotasso” (hoop-ot-as-so), and it means “to be under obedience to”. It is a word that carries a complex concept which needs to be defined by the context in which it is used. Here in this passage, there is no question of power, or position as it is in, say, Romans 13. In this particular passage, Paul calls for all believers to “develop an attitude of submission”, and a willingness to be responsive by yielding to each other, out of love for each other.
    It would be remiss of us to read “hierarchy” into these verses, but rather, we should see this passage as, “a call for us to begin to develop a sensitivity towards each other”, that will help us to extricate ourselves from “pride”, and enable us to function at all times in a more, loving and caring manner. 
    Each partner in a marriage has a special “privilege”. A husband’s privilege is “to put his wife first after GOD”, just as CHRIST did when HE was crucified for us on the cross by Roman method. The wife’s privilege is “to set the tone of submission” by being “responsive and caring”. “Neither partner lords over the other”, but rather, “each partner has the responsibility to minister to the other in their own, GOD-appointed, special ways”. That is the “responsibility” that comes with the “privilege” of being man and wife under GOD.
   In Ephesians 6:1-4, Paul addresses the relationship between parents and children. In the Greek, the normal word used for “right” is “dexios” (dex-ee-os), and it means “being on the right side of”. Here in this passage, however, Paul uses the Greek term “dikaios” (dik-ah-yos) for “right”, which means “the proper course to follow”.
    Children are to submit themselves under the leadership and care of their parents until they move out and start a family of their own, or become responsible adults capable of making their own decisions, for “that is the proper course to follow”. However, GOD commands a child should always “honor” their parents, “no matter how old the child is”. In fact, it is the first commandment of the Decalogue (Ten Commandments) that carries a promise from GOD. Contained in that decree, there is a promise of a long life, filled with blessings from the only wise GOD, the only ONE WHO can certainly deliver on such a promise.
    Paul ends this passage with an admonishment to fathers to “not anger their children” with harsh worldly and “ungodly treatment”. They are, instead, to bring them up with the “GODly discipline and instruction” that can only be found in the Word of GOD. Here in verse 4a, Paul uses the Greek term “parorgizo” (par-org-id-zo) in his original Greek writings, for “provoke”, and it means “to exasperate” or “make things worse by what one does or says”.
    In the home, the father must present a picture of the LORD to his children, through both his speech and his behavior, to, and, before them. How a child views his or her father has a profound effect on how they view GOD later on in life. By provoking our children to anger through unGODly treatment and methods, we will ultimately “make things worse” for them later on in life.
    The command to “Honor your father and your mother” is the first commandment that parents can use to introduce their children to the ways of GOD. If children respect their parents, they will respond positively to their nurturing. And through GODly nurturing, it becomes easier for a child to see GOD in their parents, and come to know and show reverence to GOD after they become adults.
    When children come to know GOD, through a personal, experiential relationship with their parents, it becomes much easier for them to have and maintain that same kind of relationship with GOD later in life. As a result, they can enjoy a long, relatively peaceful life here on earth, because we have passed on to them, “a legacy of faith”, where they will desire “to continue walking in the light of CHRIST” throughout their lives, and come to know and understand the importance of passing that legacy on to their own children.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander





                                 
                                           LARRY D. ALEXANDER- Official Website

   



Friday, August 16, 2019


WEEKLY SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday August 18, 2019

Over 210,000 readers worldwide
larrydalexander.blogspot.com

A COVENANT TO MARRY
(Commitment and loyalty lead to strong relationships)
(Ruth 3)

   The Book of Ruth prominently stands as one of Scripture’s greatest examples of GOD’s wonderful and abounding grace to the Gentiles. Here in this segment of the bible, GOD uses a Gentile, Ruth, to lead a Jewish woman, Naomi, out of her depression, and at one and the same time, uses Naomi, the Israelite, to lead Ruth, the idol worshiping Moabite, out of a GOD-forsaken land, and into the human lineage of CHRIST JESUS.
    Here in chapter 3, Naomi sets out to find a permanent home and security for her faithful daughter-in-law, Ruth, so that she would be provided for, for the remainder of her life. While traveling from Moab, Naomi had mistakenly told Ruth that she would find rest and security among her own people, however, now she divinely realizes that true rest and security can only be found within “the community of GOD, and, by living within the Will of GOD.
    Ruth had already gotten to know Boaz by working in his fields gleaning barley and wheat the previous season (chapter 2). Naomi had also revealed to Ruth that Boaz was a close relative of theirs who could serve as a “Family Redeemer” for her. She told Ruth to prepare herself to go to the threshing floor one evening where Boaz would be winnowing his barley. She instructed her to take a bath, put on perfume, and dress up in her nicest clothes.
    Then Naomi told Ruth to go to the threshing floor and stay out of sight, and wait until after Boaz finishes his meal. She further instructed her, that, when Boaz goes to lie down after his meal, and falls asleep, go to him, uncover his feet, and then lie down there. This was a sort of Jewish ritual, or “offering of marriage” that has since been lost over time. It was an act that symbolized “the protection of a wife by her husband”.
    This symbolism can also be found in the Book of Ezekiel (Ezekiel 16:8) as there the LORD HIMSELF speaks to Ezekiel of “HIS covering” of, and HIS “marriage covenant” with, Israel. It is also a custom that was used by Arab nations as late as the 19th century. The Israelite’s familiarity with this custom explains why Naomi tells Ruth that Boaz would know how to take it from there (v.4).
    Up until this point Ruth had performed her responsibilities to Naomi, as her daughter-in-law, quite well, and now, here in this passage (Vs.1-4), we see Naomi faithfully fulfilling her responsibility to Ruth as her mother-in-law. And so, taking up at verse 5, we see Ruth further submitting to the plan of GOD through her obedience to Naomi (Vs.5-9), and from there (Vs.10-15), we start to “see how Boaz is willing to accept his responsibility to both, Naomi, and Ruth, according to the plan of GOD that is detailed in the Book of Leviticus (Leviticus 25:24-35).
    Around midnight, Boaz awoke to find a woman lying at his feet. “Who are you?” he asked, and Ruth responded, “It is your servant Ruth. Spread the corner of your covering over me, for you are my family redeemer” (v.9). And then in verse 11 Boaz tells Ruth “not to worry about a thing…I will do what is necessary. For everyone in town knows that you are an honorable woman”.
    However in verse 12 Boaz informs Ruth of one possible roadblock between them that may keep their marriage to each other from being realized. There he tells her that there is a relative “even closer than himself”, that has to be dealt with first. Boaz promised Ruth that he would go into town and speak with that man in the morning to see if he wanted to redeem her first, and if he didn’t, he would gladly take over the responsibility himself.
    Boaz then loaded Ruth’s shawl with about 60 to 88 pounds (6 seahs) of barley (apparently Ruth was as strong as she was beautiful) and helped her put it on her back, and then she returned home to Naomi.
    When Naomi, in her overwhelming curiosity, asked Ruth what had happened, Ruth, probably after giving Naomi a full report, then told her that Boaz said, “Don’t go back to your mother-in-law empty-handed”. Perhaps this was a message to Naomi that she would be able to share in Ruth’s future fulfillment. As an aging widow with no one else left in the world to depend on, she could now rest assure that she would not be forgotten in the future.
     Back in verse 11, the word Boaz uses to describe Ruth, “hayil” (“valor”, “worth”, “ability”), means “mighty” when describing a warrior, or “wealthy” when describing an ordinary person. It suggests that “there is a special quality or talent to achieve extraordinarily in one’s endeavors”. Used here to describe Ruth, suggests that the whole community saw her as an “ideal bride”, and certainly as “a woman worth having”.
     Boaz promised Ruth that he would get things done, and he acted on his promise first thing that following morning. The chapter ends with Naomi encouraging Ruth to be patient, and she assured her that Boaz would not rest until he had followed through on his promise. And she confidently added, “He will settle it today” (v.18b).
    I cannot ever over-accentuate the value of “unselfish loyalty”. It is a “virtue” that has become, more and more rare in a world that daily moves farther and farther away from GOD. Ruth, perhaps as much, or more than anyone else in all of Scripture, displayed an unshakable, CHRIST-like loyalty that, through good times and bad, ultimately would land her into the arms of an equally loyal husband, and a superiorly loyal GOD in Heaven.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander





                                 
                                           LARRY DALEXANDER- Official Website

   
     

Friday, August 9, 2019


WEEKLY SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday August 11, 2019

Over 209,000 readers worldwide
larrydalexander.blogspot.com

A MOTHER-DAUGHTER COVENANT
(People from different backgrounds can form GODly relationships)
(Ruth 1)

   The book of Ruth is a shining example of how GOD continues to move on the hearts of HIS people during times of struggle, especially when HIS people remain faithful to HIM. The events chronicled in the story of Ruth and her mother-in-law, Naomi, occur during the period when Judges ruled over Israel. It was one of the darkest periods in Israel’s history, and it sets itself against the backdrop of “national irresponsibility” and “weak spiritual and moral character” among the populace.
    The Book of Ruth is one of only two books in the Holy Scriptures that is named after a woman (the other being Esther), and is one of only three books in the Holy Scriptures that are named after Gentiles (the others being Luke and Titus). Early unsupported Rabbinic tradition identifies Samuel as the author of the Book of Ruth, as well as Judges, and First and Second Samuel, which bear his name.
    Here in the Book of Ruth, the 11th century B.C. personalities Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz, portray a contrasting side to the chaotic times of the Judges, and provide us with a welcome relief from the immorality, bloodshed, famine, and mayhem, that then, so permeated the land of Israel due to her sins against GOD. This biblical account shows us quite clearly, that, even in times of crisis and despair, we can still continue to live by GOD’s principles and directives, and also that, GOD will reward us richly when we do.
    “Faith”, “Hope”, and “Love” are the three great enduring things. They are “virtues” that will always overpower all things that are anti-CHRIST in this world. Those anti-virtues, which are namely “doubt”, “depression”, and “fear” can be overcome when we choose to abandon our own plans, and totally access, embrace, and incorporate GOD’s plan into our lives.
    Here in chapter 1 of this magnificent example of how human beings can respond positively to the call of GOD with faith, hope, and love, instead of reacting negatively out of doubt, depression, and fear, we see a man named Elimelech, during a time of great famine in the land of Palestine, move his family from Bethlehem to the pagan country of Moab. His family consisted of his wife, Naomi, and their two sons, Mahlon and Kilion.
    While living in Moab, however, Elemelech died, leaving Naomi alone with their two sons, who each grew up and married Moabite women. One son’s wife was named Orpah, and the other, Ruth. Unfortunately, 10 years later, both Mahlon and Kilion died, thereby leaving all three women alone in the world with no husband or children.
    One day Naomi received news that the famine in Palestine was over, and that GOD had begun to bless the people of Judah with bountiful crops again. She made the decision that it was time to return home, and so she struck out on the road back to Judah, taking her two young widowed daughters-in-law with her. It was a move that highlighted her “faith” in GOD, her “hope” for the future, and her “love” for her daughters.
    Along the way, however, we see the spirit of satan begin to work on the mind of Naomi and try to interrupt the plan of GOD for their lives, in particular, GOD’s plans for Ruth, who was now destined to be “in the direct line of the descendants” of the future, SAVIOR of the world, CHRIST JESUS.
    And so in verses 8-15 of this passage we see Naomi begin to be overcome with “doubt” and “fear”, and later “depression” (Vs.20-21). Here in this passage she convinces herself that maybe it was not the best thing that Orpah and Ruth leave their “paganistic homeland” and gods (v.15), and travel with her to “the chosen land of the real GOD” (only satan can make a person think such a thought).
    Naomi then fortifies her ungodly argument with “a grain of truth” by reasoning that she had nothing to offer to Ruth and Naomi in the way of “hope” and security for their future through new marriages, because she herself was now too old to marry and bear more sons for them to marry. And then too, they would have to wait years for those sons to grow up to the marrying age (Vs.11-13).
    Satan, through Naomi, was able to convince Orpah to return to Moab, however his main goal here was to convince Ruth to return. Satan knew about Ruth’s coming place in the lineage of David and the ancestral line of CHRIST, and all down through biblical history we see him trying over and over again, to interrupt that lineage, and GOD’s plan for the future human birth of JESUS. Here in this biblical account, GOD once again thwarts satan’s plan to cut off the line of CHRIST at Ruth, the eventual great great-great-grandmother of King David.
    Ruth, through GOD’s prevailing will, was able to make the decision to stay with Naomi and commit to live in a new community in the land of Judah. Here in verse 16 she proclaims “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. I will go wherever you go and live wherever you live. Your people will be my people, and your GOD will be my GOD” (NLT). Ruth’s, now famous expression of commitment to Naomi, not only shows loyalty to a friend and mother-in-law, but it also exhibits clear theological insight and focus on the things of GOD, during times of uncertainty.
    In the Old Testament times, everyone eventually came to know that GOD had a covenant relationship with Israel, and by Ruth identifying herself with GOD’s covenant people, she also qualified herself to claim Israel’s GOD as her own. Apparently Naomi had lived the kind of exemplary life around Ruth that enabled her to draw Ruth out of the worldly atmosphere of Moab, and into the community of GOD. We should all strive to be the kind of people who draw others to us through right living, which will ultimately draw them into the community of GOD, where CHRIST, through HIS vicarious sacrifice, has shown, that HE wants us all to be.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander





                                 
                                           LARRY DALEXANDER- Official Website

   
      

   

Friday, August 2, 2019


WEEKLY SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday August 4, 2019

Over 208,000 readers worldwide
larrydalexander.blogspot.com

A COVENANT BETWEEN FRIENDS
(GOD honors relationships that are rooted in HIM)
(1 Samuel 18:1-5 and 19:1-7)

   From his humble beginnings as a young shepherd boy, David blossomed into a highly loved and respected, GODly king of Israel, who had, not just a reputation as a, near invincible warrior, but also was seen as a great spiritual leader, and a savvy political juggernaut. He had been chosen by GOD to be the founder of a dynasty of kings, and he was providentially prepared by GOD to be able to handle such a task.
    As a soldier, David successfully expanded the territory of Israel tenfold, and established his beloved nation’s army as the greatest in the world at that time. His victory over the feared Goliath of the Philistines, moved him from the fields where he had shepherded his father’s sheep, and into the good graces of the royal family of Israel, where King Saul would first love, and then later, fear him, because of his great popularity among his people.
    As spiritual leader, David moved Israel’s worship center from the foot of Mount Gerizin, and established Jerusalem as the national place of worship. He restructured the worship of the people of Israel into something that was more intimately pleasing to GOD, and wrote many of the psalms and hymns that were, and are, still used in public worship today. His vigor and piety serves to forever brand him as “the ideal king” for any nation to have.
    David’s early life of serving as a “shepherd of his father’s sheep” gave him a real sense of how to protect what he was given the responsibility to oversee. His protective heart later served him well as king of GOD’s chosen nation of Israel. Sadly however, his popularity with the people of Israel led to the ultimate deterioration of his relationship with King Saul, his predecessor. Saul would become very jealous of David, and would attempt several times to end David’s life.   
    As GOD would have it however, all this envy on Saul’s part, toward David, perhaps planted the seeds for, and led to, one of the greatest friendships in the annals of biblical history. In 1 Samuel 18, verses 1-5, we see the beginnings of this friendship unfolding, as David formerly meets King Saul’s eldest son, Jonathan, for the first time. Jonathan, even though he was heir to his father’s throne, bonded closely to David from day one, and David’s feelings regarding Jonathan were mutual.
    One would have to be especially impressed by Jonathan, considering all that he would soon have to give up for David’s sake. Soon he would come to realize David’s calling as leader of Israel, but he would not allow that divine calling to interfere with their friendship. In fact, He boldly defended David against his jealous father, Saul, even after he became aware that David was destined to follow Saul as king of Israel. When forced to take sides, Jonathan chose to support David, and was willing to face his father’s fury in order to save David’s life (1 Samuel 20). Jonathan and David made a covenant of friendship together (1 Samuel 20:11-17) to treat each other with “the faithful love of the LORD” for as long as they each shall live.
    David continued to honor his friendship covenant with Jonathan, even after Jonathan’s death, as he fulfilled his promise to him, “to always show kindness to the members of Saul’s family”. Over in 2 Samuel, chapter 9, we see how David sought out, and eventually located, Jonathan’s son, Mephibosheth. Mephibosheth was crippled in both of his feet, and for certain, needed special help and attention, because of his challenged condition. David had Mephibosheth brought to his palace to live, and he cared for him for the remainder of his life.
    In 1 Samuel 19, verses 1-7, we see further evidence of Jonathan’s loyal friendship to David come into view, after Saul urged him to lead “a hit squad” to assassinate David. Instead of following his father’s instructions, Jonathan went to David and informed him of his father’s plot. Jonathan urged David to hide out until he could convince Saul to abort his murder plot against him.
    The next morning Jonathan went to Saul and presented his case to him in defense of David. He was able to gain, what turned out to be, “a temporary reprieve” from his father concerning David. In a very short time however, Saul’s jealousy of David proved to be so strong and overwhelming, that, he was unable to keep his word to Jonathan, “not to harm” his beloved friend. After another military victory by David, Saul’s “tormenting spirit” of jealousy returned, and he tried to kill David with his own spear one day, as David was playing harp for him in his palace.
    Jonathan’s defense of David, against his evil father’s wishes, was truly a courageous undertaking that put his very life on the line. However, JESUS HIMSELF would explain centuries later, when HE taught HIS disciples in John 15:12-13 on “how to measure true friendship”. There JESUS first commands us to love each other in the same way that HE loves us, and then, HE follows up by telling us how we can measure the kind of “friendship love” that HE was speaking about. In verse 13 HE tells us that, “the greatest love is shown when people lay down their lives for their friends” (NLT). Jonathan, and David, clearly believed and understood this concept, even way back then, because the SPIRIT of the LORD had given this understanding (of true friendship) to them. And clearly, even in this day and age, any true Christian can see how their hearts gladly embraced it.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander





                                 
                                           LARRY DALEXANDER- Official Website