“So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him” (1 Samuel 17:50).
In Jonathan we have the very opposite of his father, Saul. Saul only knew David as his amuser or his helper. But Jonathan knew him as the victorious savior. He had been in the valley of Elah and had found himself utterly helpless to meet the power of the adversary, Goliath. What about you? Have you ever felt powerless against your adversary, Satan? Like the Philistines in battle array, your sins are before you. You cannot deny them. You are guilty and can find no relief. Fighting your own battle will not do.
Watching the Savior
Jonathan saw David go forth against the Philistine. With what intense interest he watched him! Yes, he saw David go forth alone to meet the adversary. He saw him take up those five smooth stones from the brook. He saw him take his sling. He heard those words of faith. He saw David’s arm lifted up—the stone is gone, the giant falls.
Jonathan saw David descend into the valley of Elah and do this great work of victory. Have you, by faith, seen the Son of God descend from the glory He had with the Father to this valley of sin and death? Have you seen Him go to the cross, and there alone win eternal victory for us? It was there, alone before God, that He bore the wrath due to us. We did not—and could not—help Him. Listen to the words He spoke as He conquered: “It is finished” (John 19:30). The work is done, and all the benefit of Christ’s work is yours the moment you believe God. Yes, yours for eternity.
Loving the Savior
What was the effect on Jonathan when he beheld the savior, David, before his eyes? “The soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul” (1 Samuel 18:1). And what will be the effect on you, if your eyes are opened to behold the Savior, Jesus? Your heart will be knit with the heart of Christ. You will say that Jesus “loved me, and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). You will sing, “Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen” (Revelation 1:5,6). Yes, “unto Him be glory,” will be your every desire, and will mark your every action.
Trusting the Savior
When Jonathan beheld David, the all-victorious savior, did he ask David to become his helper? No: “Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow” (1 Samuel 18:4). Only let your eyes be open to behold the risen, glorified Savior, who has finished the work of eternal redemption, and you will strip yourself of all self-righteousness. You will take your good works and religion, your music and ritual, and lay them all at Jesus’ feet and put your trust in Him alone.
There is no greater contrast between light and darkness, than the one between a living faith in the Person and finished work of Christ, and the unbelief of praying to Christ to help you do the work yourself. Jonathan did not treat David this way; he simply saw and believed. We do not see, but we believe on God, who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification. Believing God, we are justified: we are saved. It is done, it is finished. Our Jesus is not on the cross now; He is not in the grave now. He is in the brightness of the glory of God! He has neither to fight the battle again, nor to help us fight it. Peace with God is the everlasting portion of those who, like Jonathan, rest in what the Savior has done.
—Adapted from “Whose Son is This Youth” by C.S.
Tradition holds that David took Goliath’s head to Jerusalem, that it was buried in a place known as Gal Goliah, and that the site became known in Jesus’ day as Golgotha, “the place of the skull.”