Jonathan was a mighty warrior; he was the son of king Saul, and he loved David. Jonathan knew that David would become the next king of Israel, that he was God’s anointed; he also knew that the Spirit of the Lord was departing from the house of Saul; 1 Sam. 28:16-17. Jonathan had known the privilege, status and wealth of being raised in Saul’s house. But he was intimidated by Saul and would not sever himself from his allegiance to his father’s house.
His friends and family were there; his identity, works and position were there. Jonathan was controlled by generational family strongholds, and he felt a sense of duty and loyalty to Saul. The anointing would come and go from Saul’s house, but he wanted the anointing under his control, under his name and “fastened to his wall”; 1 Sam.19:2-10. Jonathan “tasted the honey”; he knew that Saul was an “overlord” who starved his army (no fresh revelation); 1 Sam. 14:24-27, and he hoped that his father would change, but he didn’t. God had already rejected the rule of the “kingdom of flesh”. Samuel (true prophetic ministry) had departed from Saul; 1 Sam. 15:35. Saul’s ministry began with the anointing but it ended in witchcraft; 1 Sam. 28:7-8. Jonathan remained loyal to that which was already “dead”, and he was killed in battle fighting for his father, who committed suicide; 2 Sam.1:4. And even though Jonathan loved David, and entered into a covenant with him, he disqualified himself from the privilege of reigning with the king in his kingdom. Jonathan would not enter into the “fellowship of his sufferings”; Phil. 3:10, which included the reproach of being an “outcast” and separation in the wilderness with God’s anointed at “Adullam” (a place of refuge); 1 Sam. 22:1-2. He would not join the company of “misfits” who left Saul’s kingdom to become a part of the “mighty men” of David’s coming kingdom; 2 Sam. 23:13-17. In the end, Jonathan left a “crippled seed”, Mephibosheth, whom David brought to his table; 2 Sam. 9:3-13.
Later when king David came to the throne, two men, Zadok and Abiathar, served as priests unto the Lord; 2 Sam. 8:17. These two men separated from Saul’s system of compromise and disobedience to be with David, while he was in the wilderness being pursued by Saul. Some time later, when David was reigning as king, his son Absalom, sought to alienate the people from king David. Absalom, who was handsome and charismatic, “stole the hearts of the men of Israel”; 2 Sam. 14:25; 15:1-6. He conspired against David, and rose up against him in an attempt to usurp the throne from his father. Zadok and Abiathar returned with the Ark of the Covenant to the city and served David even while his enemies were rising up against him; 2 Sam.15:24-29. Absalom did not succeed with his plans; he was slain by Joab, a warrior and captain of David’s army; 2 Sam. 18:1-5. Zadok, Abiathar and Joab all recognized the anointing that rested upon David, and had been faithful to serve him for many years. They served king David, God’s anointed, who declared that his son, Solomon, would succeed him as king of Israel. It was Solomon, who received instructions from his father to build a Temple for the Lord, 1 Chron. 22:9-10. He dedicated the Temple and brought the Ark there, where the glory of the Lord would be manifested, filling the house of the Lord; 1 Kings 8:1-13. Then came the rebellion of Adonijah, another son of David, who exalted himself and rebelled against the king. Like his brother Absalom, he desired to usurp his father’s throne. Some “sons of David” have sown dissention in the camp through selfish ambition; they attempt to maneuver themselves into a place of prominence and position instead of allowing the King to promote them to an appointed place in the Kingdom. Adonijah persuaded Joab and Abiathar to follow him and help him; 1 Kings 1:7-8. But Zadok the priest, Benaiah the warrior, Nathan the prophet and David’s other mighty men, were not with Adonijah. THESE HAD PLACED THEIR CONFIDENCE IN THE WORD OF THE KING, and sided with Solomon, king David’s successor, whose name means “peace”, and whose kingdom pre-figures the coming Millennial Kingdom reign of Jesus Christ.
Joab the warrior and Abiathar the priest, who previously had been loyal to king David, followed Adonijah, the voice of a rebellious son, who sought to gain the allegiance of the people, including the “priests and the warriors” in his father’s kingdom. He violated God’s order and will, and instigated a rebellion against king David. Adonijah turned the hearts of seasoned men unto himself, through subtle deceit, to align themselves with him. Absalom, Adonijah, as well as Joab, a mighty warrior and captain in David’s army, all suffered violent deaths; 1 Kings 2:24-25, 33-34. Benaiah the warrior took Joab’s place, and was promoted to captain of the army. Abiathar the priest, had endured testing in the past, and had previously been faithful to king David. But instead of following the true Word of the Lord, he listened to the wrong voice, and participated in a rebellion that ended with Adonijah’s death. Abiathar was allowed to remain in the kingdom, but he was banished from his priestly office; 1 Kings 2:26-27. He didn’t pass the test; he was disqualified from his role as a priest in king Solomon’s administration. Zadok, who had remained continually loyal to the word of the king, stepped into the office of Abiathar the priest; 1 Kings 2:35. It was Zadok who was given the privilege of participating in the anointing of Solomon as he came to the throne. The Zadok priesthood is type of those who pass through the veil into the Most Holy Place, who “puts on other garments”, who are completely clothed in white linen. “Zadok” is allowed to come near to the Lord and to His table, to minister unto the Lord Himself; see Ezek. 44:15-18.
Paul warned the Church at Corinth, that even after preaching the Gospel to others, he could be disqualified from receiving a “prize”; 1 Cor. 9:24-27. Some who confess Christ, but are immoral, will be delivered unto satan for the destruction of the flesh; 1 Cor. 5:5. Some who begin in the spirit, will depart into apostasy. Saul was anointed, but later became disobedient; rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft; 1 Sam. 15:23. Some (like Jonathan), who think they can preserve their own way of life in the system of politics, idolatry and competition, and still maintain true fellowship with David (Jesus), will not reign with the King. The Lord Jesus promotes those who are faithful and obedient to the Word of the King. And while the Lord has a people who are “kings and priests” unto God; Rev. 1:6, He reminds us that those who rebel against the king, even after serving him for many years, (like Joab or Abiathar) may be cut off or disqualified from an office, role or position in the future Kingdom administration. The Lord Jesus commends His obedient children; He sees their love and good works. But He also warns us about those like Diotrephes, who love to have the pre-eminence; 3 John 9-10. He reminds us that sowing discord among the brethren (like Absalom and Adonijah) is an abomination to Him; Prov. 6:19. He warns us about those whose faith is made shipwreck; 1 Tim. 2:19. He exhorts us to avoid empty, vain, useless chatter, and those whose speech are like an infectious disease; 2 Tim. 2:16-17. He warns us to “take heed” to the ministry which we have received, that we fulfill it; Col. 4:17. But He also reminds us of a glorious promise: “To him who overcomes will I grant to sit with Me in My throne”; Rev. 3:21