Kids Club, King David

King David Shows Us Jesus! #9 (Jonathan)

This lesson was taught at WEPC Kids Club on December 4, 2019.
Main Theme of whole year: “King David shows us Jesus!”  He does it by showing us what a good king looks like!  He does it also by showing us that even good people do terrible things and we need Jesus!  God rescues good people and God rescues bad people.

An Elementary School Lesson on 1 Samuel 18:1 – 20:42

Into the Box

Every week, we look in the box to discover what we are learning about this week.

Pull out board that says JONATHAN

Interesting… I wonder who that is, and what we will learn about him.

From Last Week

David has just defeated Goliath. This is a great victory. But it creates a problem…


David’s reputation is growing.

6 After David had killed Goliath, the men of Israel returned home. The women came out of all the towns of Israel to meet King Saul. They danced and sang joyful songs. They played harps and tambourines. 7 As they danced, they sang,

“Saul has killed thousands of men.
David has killed tens of thousands.”

Is Israel happy that the Philistines and Goliath have been defeated? YES!

And who do they give the honor and victory to? Saul and David.

I wonder what Saul is going to think about this…

8 That song made Saul very angry. It really upset him. He said to himself, “They are saying David has killed tens of thousands of men. But they are saying I’ve killed only thousands. The only thing left for him to get is the kingdom itself.”

And so, the following next chapters explain what happens to Saul. He gets worse and worse.

  • 19:1-7 – Saul plots to kill David but Saul is brought to peace. (by Jonathan, but don’t mention his name)
  • 19:8-17 – Saul plots to kill David but it is thwarted. (by Michal, Saul’s daughter)
  • 19:18-24 – Saul plots to kill David but is thwarted once again. (by God Himself, the Spirit). And in fact… by the end of chapter 19, “King Saul is a pathetic figure of ruin.”

Jonathan – the man destined to be king

But in all of this, there is a man who is destined to be king!

That’s exactly right! You know exactly who I am talking about! Say it with me: I’m talking about… JONATHAN!  Wait… you thought I was going to say DAVID? Oh yeah… I guess I could see why you would say that. J   But Jonathan is actually who everyone would think would be king!

Remember a couple of weeks ago when we learned about Saul and he was a good king, he had a son who fought beside him. His name is Jonathan.

The very first thing we see happening back in the beginning of chapter 13 is Jonathan (Saul’s adult son) winning a great battle and Saul taking credit for it.

3 Jonathan defeated the garrison of the Philistines that was at Geba, and the Philistines heard of it. And Saul blew the trumpet throughout all the land, saying, “Let the Hebrews hear.” 4 And all Israel heard it said that Saul had defeated the garrison of the Philistines,

Jonathan was a great military hero.

I’m sure he was tall and good-looking, because so was Saul.

But even more, 18:1ff:

1b Jonathan and David became close friends. Jonathan loved David just as he loved himself… 3 Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him just as he loved himself. 4 Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David. He also gave him his military clothes. He even gave him his sword, his bow and his belt.

Jonathan was probably old enough to be David’s dad. Estimates say that Jonathan was probably 25-30 when David was born. So now, David is in his 20s, and Jonathan was in his 40s or 50s.

Jonathan probably saw David as a man that would be good to have in his court when he, Jonathan, became king.

Jonathan loved David like a father. Jonathan saw the character and quality of David and recognized that God was blessing David.

And the first murder plot of Saul on David was thwarted by Jonathan himself – protecting David from his jealousy father.

Shooting arrows – 1 Samuel 20

It all comes to a head in a famous passage in 1 Samuel 20.

David has been with Saul in his court for years now. But David realizes that Saul wants to kill him. So he must decide whether to stay with Saul or not. Jonathan thinks this is ridiculous – “my dad doesn’t want to kill you, David!” David wants to flee for his life! So they come up with a plan.

The following night was a big feast in the castle with Saul. David would normally be there. But this time, David was going to hide.

At the feast, Saul was going to ask Jonathan where David is and Jonathan was going to say that David has gone down to Bethlehem. If Saul says “GOOD!” then we will know that Saul doesn’t mean harm to David. But if Saul becomes angry, they will know that Saul wants David killed.

Then, after that, David was to go down to a field and hide behind a big rock. Jonathan was to go down with his servants also.

Jonathan would fire three arrows to the side of the rock. Jonathan would then say to the servant either (1) “Look, the arrows are on this side,” which means “everything is good – come on home, David!”, or (2) “Look! The arrows are beyond you,” that means “run David! Saul wants to kill you!”

Imagine David hiding behind the rock.

He hears people coming. (Maybe it’s Saul coming to kill him – betrayed by Jonathan)

He sees three arrows fly to the side and he is mixed with hope, suspension, fear, anticipation.

Then he hears his good friend’s voice calling out behind him: “Go find the arrows.” “Look! Is not the arrow… BEYOND you!” Then to add to the power of the night…  38 He continued, “Hurry up! Run fast! Don’t stop!” The boy picked up the arrow and returned to his master. 39 The boy didn’t know what was going on. Only Jonathan and David knew. 40 Jonathan gave his weapons to the boy. He told him, “Go back to town. Take the weapons with you.”

41 After the boy had gone, David got up from the south side of the stone. He bowed down in front of Jonathan with his face to the ground. He did it three times. Then they kissed each other and cried. But David cried more than Jonathan did.

42 Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace. In the name of the Lord we’ve promised to be friends. We have said, ‘The Lord is a witness between you and me. He’s a witness between your children and my children forever.’ ” Then David left, and Jonathan went back to the town.

Point to Jesus

Jonathan had to choose between Saul and David.

He wanted to believe the best in his father, but he saw the jealousy and hatred killing him. And he saw that David was not a threat, but was a man after God’s own heart.

Back when Jonathan took off his robe and gave it to David, we see Jonathan not just being a good friend. But he was doing what you and I need to do with Jesus.

We need to stop pretending to be our own little kings and queens with our own robes. We need to remove our robes and our crowns, and acknowledge that Jesus is our king.

The basic question for you and me tonight is this: are you more like Saul or Jonathan? When confronted with Jesus, do we run from him, ignore him, and try to kill him? Or do we see him as our friend, and give him our lives?

Broken in the Box:

  • Broken in the Box:
    • What did we learn about today? JONATHAN
    • Jonathan was a good friend and a good follower of the true king, David. But we need something else…
    • Break the JONATHAN board
      • While breaking it, say: “We need something else.”
      • We need Jesus and the power He gives His people. Power to forgive, to love, to boldly move forward in life!


  • Who are you jealous of? Why?
  • What do you do with your jealousy?
  • Are you a good friend? Why do you say that?
  • In what ways do you need to turn your crown or robe over to Jesus?

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