Lessons from the Life of David – Brotherly Love

January 20 – 26, 2019

Key Text

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).

Study Help: The Youth’s Instructor, November 24, 1898; Our High Calling, 182–184.


“There are many cords which unite us to our fellow men, to humanity, and to God, and this relationship is solemn with its weight of responsibility.” Our High Calling, 184.



  • Who was faithful Jonathan, and for what qualities had he been distinguished? 1 Samuel 13:5; 14:1, 6, 13–15.

Note: “In Jonathan, the son of Saul, the Lord saw a man of pure integrity—one to whom He could draw nigh, and upon whose heart He could move.” Sons and Daughters of God, 208.

“Jonathan, the king’s son, a man who feared the Lord, was chosen as the instrument to deliver Israel. Moved by a divine impulse, he proposed to his armor-bearer that they should make a secret attack upon the enemy’s camp. ‘It may be,’ he urged, ‘that the Lord will work for us: for there is no restraint to the Lord to save by many or by few’ (1 Samuel 14:6). …

“Angels of heaven shielded Jonathan and his attendant, angels fought by their side, and the Philistines fell before them. The earth trembled as though a great multitude with horsemen and chariots were approaching. Jonathan recognized the tokens of divine aid, and even the Philistines knew that God was working for the deliverance of Israel. Great fear seized upon the host, both in the field and in the garrison. In the confusion, mistaking their own soldiers for enemies, the Philistines began to slay one another.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 623.

  • How do we know that Jonathan was beloved among the people and demonstrated potential as the natural heir to the throne? 1 Samuel 14:24, 27, 43–45.

Note: “Saul could not claim the honor of the victory, but he hoped to be honored for his zeal in maintaining the sacredness of his oath. Even at the sacrifice of his son, he would impress upon his subjects the fact that the royal authority must be maintained. …

“The people refused to allow the sentence to be executed. Braving the anger of the king, they declared, ‘Shall Jonathan die, who hath wrought this great salvation in Israel? God forbid: as the Lord liveth, there shall not one hair of his head fall to the ground; for he hath wrought with God this day’ (1 Samuel 14:45). The proud monarch dared not disregard this unanimous verdict, and the life of Jonathan was preserved.

“Saul could not but feel that his son was preferred before him, both by the people and by the Lord. Jonathan’s deliverance was a severe reproof to the king’s rashness. “Patriarchs and Prophets, 625.



  • Describe the relationship of Jonathan and David. 1 Samuel 18:1–4.

Note: “Especially was the heart of Jonathan knit with David’s, and there was a most sacred bond of union established between them, which remained unbroken till the death of Saul and Jonathan. This was the Lord’s doings, that Jonathan might be the means of preserving the life of David, when Saul would try to kill him.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, 79.

  • How did Jonathan intercede in David’s behalf? 1 Samuel 19:1–7.

Note: “Jonathan revealed the king’s intention to David and bade him conceal himself while he would plead with his father to spare the life of the deliverer of Israel. He presented before the king what David had done to preserve the honor and even the life of the nation, and what terrible guilt would rest upon the murderer of the one whom God had used to scatter their enemies.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 652.



  • How did David confirm to Jonathan his innocence before Saul and appeal for his help? 1 Samuel 20:1–3, 5–8.

Note: “After the remarkable exhibition of the power of God, Jonathan could not believe that his father would still harm David, since this would be manifest rebellion against God. But David was not convinced.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 654.

  • How did Jonathan renew his loyalty to David, even at the expense of his own chance at the throne? 1 Samuel 20:4, 9, 12–17. Which specific characteristics of godly love did Jonathan especially manifest? 1 Corinthians 13:4, 5.

Note: “Jonathan, by birth heir to the throne, yet knowing himself set aside by the divine decree; to his rival the most tender and faithful of friends, shielding David’s life at the peril of his own; steadfast at his father’s side through the dark days of his declining power, and at his side falling at the last—the name of Jonathan is treasured in heaven, and it stands on earth a witness to the existence and the power of unselfish love.” Education, 157.



  • How did Jonathan’s protection of David place his own life in jeopardy? 1 Samuel 20:27–34. What should we as families learn from Jonathan’s manifestation of the depth of true friendship? John 15:13.

 Note: “[John 15:13 quoted.] Our love is frequently selfish, for we confine it to prescribed limits. When we come into close union and fellowship with Christ, our love and sympathy and our works of benevolence will reach down deeper and will widen and strengthen with exercise. The love and interest of Christ’s followers must be as broad as the world. Those who live merely for ‘me and mine’ will fail of heaven. God calls upon you as a family to cultivate love, to become less sensitive in regard to yourselves and more sensitive to the griefs and trials of others.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 530.

  • Describe the poignant moment when Jonathan and David both realized the hardened intentions of the king, and confirmed their covenant of friendship. 1 Samuel 20:41, 42.

Note: “The prince was grieved and indignant, and leaving the royal presence, he was no more a guest at the feast. His soul was bowed down with sorrow as he repaired at the appointed time to the spot where David was to learn the king’s intentions toward him. Each fell upon the other’s neck, and they wept bitterly. The dark passion of the king cast its shadow upon the life of the young men, and their grief was too intense for expression. Jonathan’s last words fell upon the ear of David as they separated to pursue their different paths, ‘Go in peace, forasmuch as we have sworn both of us in the name of the Lord, saying, The Lord be between me and thee, and between my seed and thy seed forever’ (1 Samuel 20:42).” Patriarchs and Prophets, 655.



  • After Saul’s atrocious slaughter of the priests at Nob, what brought comfort to the heart of David in the wilderness of Ziph? 1 Samuel 23:15–18. How did this friendship inspire the heart of David? Psalm 11:1–7.

Note: “At this time, when there were so few bright spots in the path of David, he was rejoiced to receive an unexpected visit from Jonathan, who had learned the place of his refuge. Precious were the moments which these two friends passed in each other’s society. They related their varied experiences, and Jonathan strengthened the heart of David … .” Patriarchs and Prophets, 660.

“After the visit of Jonathan, David encouraged his soul with songs of praise, accompanying his voice with his harp as he sang: [Psalm 11:1–5 quoted].” Ibid., 660, 661.

  • What is the witness of Christian love, among the brethren? John 13:34, 35.

Note: “God has placed us in this world in companionship with one another. Let us walk together in love, bending our energies to the work of saving souls. As we thus serve God in holy companionship, we shall prove that we are laborers together with Him.” The Upward Look, 366.

“All who are imbued with His Spirit will love as He loved. The very principle that actuated Christ will actuate them in all their dealing one with another.

“This love is the evidence of their discipleship. ‘By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples,’ said Jesus, ‘if ye have love one to another’ (John 13:35). When men are bound together, not by force or self-interest, but by love, they show the working of an influence that is above every human influence. Where this oneness exists, it is evidence that the image of God is being restored in humanity, that a new principle of life has been implanted. It shows that there is power in the divine nature to withstand the supernatural agencies of evil, and that the grace of God subdues the selfishness inherent in the natural heart.

“This love, manifested in the church, will surely stir the wrath of Satan.” The Desire of Ages, 678.



1     How had Jonathan demonstrated faith and courage in the war against the Philistines?

2    What reasoning did Jonathan use in appealing to Saul to spare the life of David?

3    How can we cultivate the Christlike character qualities manifested by Jonathan?

4    What warning can we derive from observing the behavior of Saul?

5    Cite some of the benefits of true Christian friendship.


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