Steadfast Love — Part Three
return to the main player
Return to the Main Player
return to the main player
Return to the Main Player

Steadfast Love — Part Three

1 Samuel 20:12–42  (ID: 3416)

Afraid for his life, David, joined by his friend Jonathan, hatched a plan to determine if Saul intended to harm him. Their scheme, although successful, confirmed the worst: the king wanted David dead. Alistair Begg focuses our attention on the complexities of Jonathan’s decision to help David, which demonstrated his loyalty to God’s anointed king over his own father. Each of us must likewise determine where our own allegiance lies: either with the world or with Christ.

Series Containing This Sermon

A Study in 1 and 2 Samuel, Volume 3

David, a Man after God’s Heart 1 Samuel 16:1–20:42 Series ID: 109013

Sermon Transcript: Print

Now, in 1 Samuel and chapter 20, we’re going to read just from verse 35 to the end, which begins:

“In the morning Jonathan went out into the field to the appointment with David, and with him a little boy. And he said to his boy, ‘Run and find the arrows that I shoot.’ As the boy ran, he shot an arrow beyond him. And when the boy came to the place of the arrow that Jonathan had shot, Jonathan called after the boy and said, ‘Is not the arrow beyond you?’ And Jonathan called after the boy, ‘Hurry! Be quick! Do not stay!’ So Jonathan’s boy gathered up the arrows and came to his master. But the boy knew nothing. Only Jonathan and David knew the matter. And Jonathan gave his weapons to his boy and said to him, ‘Go and carry them to the city.’ And as soon as the boy had gone, David rose from beside the stone heap and fell on his face to the ground and bowed three times. And they kissed one another and wept with one another, David weeping the most. Then Jonathan said to David, ‘Go in peace, because we have sworn both of us in the name of the Lord, saying, “The Lord shall be between me and you, and between my offspring and your offspring, forever.”’ And he rose and departed, and Jonathan went into the city.”

Thanks be to God for his Word. Let’s pray together.

Father, help us now, as we turn to the Bible, that the Spirit of God might be our teacher. Grant to us clarity of speech and understanding and a sensitivity of spirit that trembles at your Word and receives it with great eagerness. Grant to us that spirit of the Bereans of the first century, that we might examine the Scriptures every day to see if these things are so.[1] For we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Well, with apologies to any who may just be coming and joining us this evening and who weren’t here this morning: as I said this morning, this evening follows along directly from where we left off. And in the passage that remains before us, which is still a significant number of verses, all that we’re seeking to do is to follow the storyline of the text. There are certain passages, I think—and it’s true in Old Testament narrative, as in other places—that seem to break up very easily in the prospect of teaching them and then can be shared in that way, and then there are other passages that don’t seem to do that at all. And that brings with it a real danger, and that is that the one who’s given the responsibility of teaching the Bible presses on the text an outline that the people, as they read the text, are finding themselves saying, “I’m not just quite sure how this fits with this passage.” And so, perhaps as an encouragement to you, and perhaps as a plea to my own incapacity, we just are going to follow along.

We noted this morning that it is clear in this section, verses 12–17, that it digresses from the immediate crisis which has given rise to the events that are described here—that immediate crisis being Saul’s murderous threats. And although we didn’t say it in the morning, it’s worth saying now that I think the point that perhaps we’re supposed to see in this is that Saul—who does not appear in this here—Saul is actually now irrelevant to the future to which David and Jonathan are heading. In a very straightforward way, it is clear now—increasingly clear—what it meant for him to have been deposed, what it meant for the kingdom to have been removed from him, and so on. And so, we’ve sought to understand how David’s endurance in the face of the threats and Jonathan’s encouragement in anticipation of what the kingship of David would mean, and our hope, all of these aspects, all find their security and focus in trusting God and taking him at his word.

With that said, in verse 18 and through to verse 23, it’s time now to return to what somebody has referred to as “the playful story of secret communication.”[2] There’s something wonderful, especially for children, about having little secrets: “And this what we’re going to do, and why don’t you go and hide there,” and so on. And the way in which this story unfolds helps to keep our interest in that way.

Now, here you have this straightforward outline of how things are going to be: “On the third day go to the place where you hid and when the matter that was at hand, and remain by the stone. And I will shoot the arrows,” and this and that and the next thing and so on. I don’t think that there is any great benefit in getting tangled up, as it were, in the arrows and what I referred to this morning—somewhat incorrectly, I suppose—as the sort of Robin Hood dimension. It is quite interesting how people, when they study the Bible, often miss the central emphasis of the Scriptures because they become tangled up in questions that are illustrative dimensions, but they are not the essential element of what is being conveyed.

And what we learn from this section, and what David learns from this section, is the instruction that Jonathan is going to give to this boy—the instruction that he calls out to the boy—will be the sign that is needed for David. And essentially, that is the long and the short of it between verses 18–23. And I’m not going to reread it again, and you will notice that he closes the section out by saying, “And as for the matter of which you and I have spoken, behold, the Lord is between you and me forever.” So you’ve got this sense of this love of their souls for one another and of this awareness that they have of the faithfulness and the covenant love of God.

The only thing that I would point out is the distinction between what Jonathan says in verse 13, if you go back up to 13, where he says, “But should it please my father to do you harm”—remember, we saw that this morning—“the Lord do so to Jonathan and more also if I”—notice the subject here—“if I do not disclose it to you and send you away.” Okay? “If I do not … send you away.” Down, now, in verse 22, when he explains what’s going to unfold: “But if I say to the youth, ‘Look, the arrows are beyond you,’ then go, for the Lord has sent you away.” All right? The Lord is not sending him away in a vacuum. The Lord is using the language and the call of Jonathan in order to achieve his purposes. It is a straightforward and an obvious point, but it’s good to remind ourselves of it—that here, once again, as elsewhere, the heart of man is devising the way, but it is the Lord who is directing his steps.[3]

“So,” in verse 24, “David hid himself in the field.” A wonderful sentence. You just allow it to settle in your mind: the picture, now, of this one, the shepherd boy; the Ephrathite from Bethlehem; the one who had been brought out from the flocks of his fathers in the fields of Bethlehem into the mainstream of life for this great and vast army; the one who has now taken on this Philistine giant and so on; the one who has been, in a secret moment, anointed as the future king—here we find him hiding himself in the field.

“And when the new moon came,” which, of course, was to be the occasion of the festival and the meal, “the king sat down to eat food.” Now, once again—and I’ve said this to you a lot—but when you read Old Testament narrative, when we read Old Testament narrative, don’t read it the way you read other things. You’re supposed to read this in the same way that you would read a story as it’s told to you. So you’re supposed to say, “Well, goodness gracious! We’ve got David, and he’s hiding in the field, and what is the king doing? Well, the king is sitting down.”

Now, notice verse 25. Verse 25 is, if you like—this is a dangerous thing to say—it is an unnecessary verse, isn’t it? In the sense that we know the king sat down to eat. But again, the writer is building the framework for us. He’s building a picture for us, so when we read this story, we’re beginning to say, “Oh, I get it.” And “the king sat on his seat,” as kings do, “as at other times,” and then “on the seat by the wall.” Okay. And “Jonathan sat opposite, and Abner sat by Saul’s side, but David’s place was empty”—to which we say, “Of course it was, because he had hid himself in the field.” The way in which this is described is in order to build for us the way in which this is going to unfold.

“David’s place was empty,” and “yet Saul did not say anything that day, for he thought, ‘Something has happened to him. He is not clean; surely he is not clean.’” Now, this does not simply mean that he had not had time to wash his hands before he sat down to eat the meal, but it is an indication of Saul’s assumption that perhaps David is ritually disqualified—in other words, that there would be certain processes and patterns that would preclude somebody from actually participating in the meal at this time and in this kind of feast, whether it was a special Sabbath or whatever it really was. And so, Saul is able to say to himself, “Well, probably that’s why it is.” So he didn’t say anything at all.

Actually, don’t you think that he might have said to himself, “You know, it’s maybe because I’ve tried to kill him three times”? You know? “I mean, I’ve tried to kill the guy on three occasions, and I’m wondering why he’s not showing up?” But no, “I don’t know,” he said, “maybe he’s not clean”; it never dawned on him that that might be the case. Verse 27: “But on the second day,” Saul asks why “David’s place was empty.” And he inquires of Jonathan his son.

Now, notice how he refers to David: “Why has not the son of Jesse…” There is surely significance in Saul’s unwillingness even to use David’s name. David’s name must have been a pain in his neck more ways than one. It was impossible for him to extinguish that phraseology running round in his head—remember, “Saul has slain his thousands, [but] David [has slain] his tens of thousands.”[4] Everywhere that you went in the community: “David was a great one. David was a great hero. David is the future.” David this, David that, David the next thing. And he can’t even put the name, as it were, on his lips, and he refers to him in almost, I would say, a disparaging way: “Well, what about this son of Jesse? Why has he not come to the meal either yesterday or today?”

Now, fascinatingly, now, in verse 28, in Jonathan’s answer to Saul, he replies in a fashion that seems to suggest that he had the authority to give David permission to be absent, that David had inquired of him. Of course, this was a prearranged situation, as we know from earlier in the text. But you will notice the way in which it unfolds. Jonathan answered Saul, “David earnestly asked leave of me to go to Bethlehem.” If I’d been Saul, I’d be saying, “Why is he asking leave of you? It’s not your party. You may be the crown prince; you’re my son, but you’re not the king. He asked leave of you? What else?” Well, “He said, ‘Let me go, for our clan holds a sacrifice in the city, and my brother has commanded me to be there.’”

Now, if you take time to go back and check—and I suggest you may; in fact, we all could—and that is, go back to verse 6 of this chapter, where David tells Jonathan what his script is for this moment when it comes. Verse 6: “If your father misses me at all, then say, ‘David earnestly asked leave of me to run to Bethlehem his city, for there is a yearly sacrifice there for all the clan.’” But when you come to this, you realize that Jonathan for whatever reason has decided to embellish it a little bit. And you know, when somebody gives you a speech, it’s usually better just to stick to what it is they’re asking you to say. They’re not looking for creativity. They’re not asking for poetry. They’re simply asking you to do what they’ve asked you to do. And it was very, very clear. And for whatever reason, Jonathan adds these little bits and pieces: he said that David said, “My brother has commanded me to be there.”

So, you know, once people start telling lies, there’s no end to where it can go. This was a flat-out lie to start with. Now the lie is getting better by the moment. “He’s gone to a clan-gathering,” but it was because of his brother who commanded him to be there. If I was Saul, I’d be saying, “I don’t care about what his brother commanded him to be. I am the king.” “So now, if I have found favor in your eyes, let me get away and see my brothers.” That’s the speech. And he says, “This is what David has said, and for this reason he has not come to the king’s table.”

Saul didn’t really understand the extent to which Jonathan and David’s lives were interwoven with one another in the steadfast love of God.

Now, here is something that I am not clever enough to figure out on my own, but with the help of Woodhouse, who will be here for our Basics Conference later in the year, I can point this out to you. In the twenty-ninth verse, that little phrase “Let me get away”—“Let me get away”—is actually the same phraseology as we noted all the way through chapter 19, where it describes David fleeing. I won’t go through all the verses. It’s there in 10, 11, 12, 17, 18; you can find them for yourself. And what Woodhouse observes is, I think, quite helpful. He says perhaps Jonathan may have slipped by embellishing the story, but only inadvertently by using this terminology, whereby he says that David said “Let me get away,” and thereby giving a clue to the real reason for his absence.[5] The story of his life continues to be “And he fled, and he fled, and he escaped, and he fled,” and “Let me get away.”

Well, how does this go over? We discover in verse 30. We’re not surprised by this, but nevertheless, it is still something to behold: “Then Saul’s anger was kindled against Jonathan.” He actually “blows his top,” as we say. Back in verse 7—again, when the setup had been created—David had anticipated that Saul would either react by saying, “Good!” or by losing his temper. We saw this morning that Jonathan had said, “Should it please my father to do you harm…” And now, of course, all of that unfolds here in this moment. And he addresses his son: “You son of a perverse, rebellious woman.” Well, that’s not very nice, is it? Why does he have to drag his wife into it? The fact is, he is the son of a perverse, rebellious man. “You son of a perverse, rebellious woman, do I not know that you have chosen the son of Jesse to your own shame, and to the shame of your mother’s nakedness?”

Well, in actual fact, it wasn’t so much that Jonathan had chosen David as that God had chosen David. And the rejection that Saul is aware of now, if you like, is crystallized in this scene that unfolds—a tragic scene, I suggest—where he is now confronted by the rejection not simply of this David character but by the son of his own home. And in verse 31, it’s almost as though he makes a final appeal to him when he says, “[Listen,] as long as the son of Jesse lives on the earth, neither you nor your kingdom [will] be established.” Apparently, he still thinks somehow they’re gonna be able to scramble something out of this ash heap, and this kingdom—the bits and pieces of it that are left, if you like, lying around—may still be something that can be rescued by Jonathan. But he says, “As long as this fellow is alive, this son of Jesse, there’s no chance of you ever sitting on a throne. Therefore send and bring him to me, for he shall surely die. Don’t think I don’t know where your allegiance lies,” he says, looking at his son.

Now, we know that Jonathan actually had surrendered his rights long before this encounter. Indeed, back in 18 we stopped and wondered at what was going on when that covenant was made between Jonathan and David in 18:3: “[And] Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul.” And then, on that occasion, he “stripped himself of the robe that was on him.” And remember, we talked about how the robe had been torn, and it was an emblem of the kingdom being torn from his father Saul.[6] And now he takes off his robe as the crown prince, and he gives it to David, and he gives him his armor, and he even gives him his sword and his bow and his belt. So, this appeal was useless on the part of his father. Saul didn’t really understand the extent to which Jonathan and David’s lives were interwoven with one another in the steadfast love of God.

What I find quite amazing here is that verse 32 begins, “Then Jonathan answered Saul his father…” Why? Why? This is mission accomplished. We’ve already been able to deduce the reaction of Saul. That’s what the setup is for. If he says, “Good!” then we’ll be able to send that message out; if he loses his temper and goes nuts, then we’ll know exactly what we’re supposed to do. So now we do know what we’re supposed to do. “Then Jonathan answered Saul his father.” And he said to him, “Why should he be put to death?”

Now, remember, this is a repeat performance. You go back to 19:4: “And Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father and said to him, ‘Let not the king sin against his servant David, because he has[n’t] sinned against you, and because his deeds have brought good to you.’” So he’s back on the same theme; back, and he says to his dad—he’s not telling him something he doesn’t know, he’s rehearsing this material—“Why should he be put to death? What has he done?”

Now, I suggest to you that this is because of Jonathan’s love for his father. His father says to him, “As long as this character, the son of Jesse, lives, you will never have a throne.” Jonathan, realizing all that is to unfold here in terms of the vengeance of God against his enemies, not knowing how that will play out in the end of the day, says to his dad, “But wait a minute! Why? What?” And Saul now hurls his spear at him, to strike him. Remember, Jesus says, “They persecuted me, [and] they will … persecute you.”[7] David, the anointed king, has dodged the spear twice. Now Jonathan, the blood brother of the anointed king, finds himself under the agonizing wrath of his own father.

And it is interesting, isn’t it, the way it is put there in the balance of verse 33? “But Saul hurled his spear at him to strike him.” And then the writer says, “So Jonathan knew that his father was determined to put [him] to death.” Like he didn’t know up until that point! You know, he looked at his dad and he said, “So, I’m taking it that this is a no then, that we’re not… Yeah, I think I’ve got that.”

Verse 34: “And Jonathan rose from the table in fierce anger and [he] ate no food.” Food is forgotten. Grief consumes him. He “grieved for David, because his father had disgraced him.” Well, he’d disgraced David, and he’d disgraced Jonathan. And one of the commentators to which I’ve been referring throughout these studies comments at this point, of Jonathan, “He feels nothing for his pitiful father.”[8] That’s the comment. He’s furious, he’s not eating for a couple of days; disgrace has been his portion and the portion of David. And so the commentator concludes, “He feels nothing for his pitiful father.” I’m not so sure about that. Of course, we cannot know for certain. But I say to you again: Why did he bother to appeal on David’s behalf? Was it not perhaps his feeble attempt to convince and to win and to save his father?

You see, facing the cost of loyalty introduces us all to the dreadful, terrible ambiguities within which loyalty to the king has to be practiced. And the more I thought about this… I didn’t have the time to go and do this, ’cause it lasts forever, but the scene in my mind—and it’s a strange juxtaposition; perhaps it will make sense to you, and if not, then forget that I mentioned it. But the scene that was in my mind is one of the scenes in Fiddler on the Roof, when Tevye is pulling the cart. His daughter is now leaving to marry a Russian soldier. And she calls out to her father, “Papa! Papa!” And he continues with the cart, continues with the cart. “Papa! Papa!” The train is coming in the distance, and he never turns around.

That, I suggest to you, is what is going on here in this scene, and that what we are provided with in this is at least an inkling of what we’ve been referring to all the way along in terms of the words of Jesus recorded for us in Luke 14:26: “Now [the] great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and [he] said to them, ‘If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.’”[9] I wonder… I wonder… Jesus knew these stories. I wonder, did he have this scene in his mind? Because here, loyalty to the anointed king meant, on the part of Jonathan, the rejection of his father. And I disagree with this commentator when he says he feels nothing. I think the reverse is the case: he feels everything. He feels everything for his father. And it is on account of that that this drama of affection and alienation plays out.

Well, the morning comes—verse 35—and the plan is put into action: “into the field to the appointment with David, and with him a little boy.” And the drama of the arrows unfolds as planned. The signal is sent; the boy is dispatched. The word is “Hurry! Be quick! Do not stay!” So the message is sent. And David, at that heap of stones, will have recognized that he is going to continue as a fugitive. There is no possibility of him receiving a welcome from Saul and the encouragement of Saul’s court.

Loyalty to the anointed king meant, on the part of Jonathan, the rejection of his father.

“So Jonathan’s boy gathered up the arrows and came to his master.” And here’s another wonderful little sentence, isn’t it? “But the boy knew nothing.” He knew nothing. Can’t you imagine him going home, and his mom says, you know, “Well, how did it go? That thing?” He says, “Frankly, I haven’t got a clue. I do not know what was going on. I mean, the fellow told me, he says, ‘You run up there and come back here,’ and I do not know.” “Only Jonathan and David knew the matter.”

“And Jonathan gave his weapons to his boy and said to [them], ‘Go and carry them to the city.’” And now, you see, it would appear that the bonds of affection break the boundaries of common sensibility, of propriety, of secrecy. Because the reason that they have been speaking in a way that no one can overhear is because no one must hear. The reason that David has been hiding as he’s been hiding is so that no one will see him. This is a foreordained plan so that they will be able to part from one another in this way without any possibility of Saul or his forces catching up on them and catching them out. And it would seem to me that what happens is that affection and longing and love are such that Jonathan can’t help, nor can David help, but actually come out from hiding and embrace one another in this way.

“David [a]rose from beside the stone heap and [he] fell on his face to the ground.” That is a picture of obeisance, isn’t it? He “fell on his face to the ground.” So he doesn’t emerge from the stones going, “Hey, this was great, worked out perfectly. Good idea.” No, he falls to the ground, and he “bowed three times.” You see what’s going on here? In this story, this whole deal of “who’s on first” is coming back again and again. Jonathan is still the crown prince of a fading kingdom. David is the anointed king, but in secrecy. Jonathan has got an inkling of what’s going on. David is not sure, how will it finally eventually come out? But in the meantime, he bows down before him as an expression of his devotion. And there you have it: “And they kissed one another and wept with one another, David weeping the most.”

Now, I will not delay on this. Safe to say this: the inferences that come in certain commentaries that this is an indication of homosexual affection between David and Jonathan owes absolutely nothing to the text, absolutely nothing to the time, absolutely nothing to all that is said of them, and owes everything to the perversity of rerunning twenty-first-century immorality into the context of the sixth century BC. “They kissed one another.” I would have all the Italian men stand up to help us with this were it not an embarrassment to them. Surely you should think “manly.” Surely you should think “Italiano”: the way in which those big, handsome Italians get off those Harley-Davidsons in Florence and meet somebody dressed in an immaculate suit and kiss the man on his face, once on one cheek and once on the other cheek. And no one thinks a thing of it, and nobody for a moment is assuming that it is an expression of that which is an inordinate affection. No. Look at this: they were bound to one another, and so they “wept with one another.”

Again, if you want help in thinking about this notion of kissing as well—apart from “greeting one another with a holy kiss” in the Pauline Epistles[10]—but for example, in Psalm 2, which begins, “Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain?” You remember how that psalm ends:

Now therefore, O kings [of the earth], be wise;
 be warned O rulers of the earth.
Serve the Lord with fear,
 … rejoice with trembling.
Kiss the Son,
 lest he be angry [with you].[11]

In other words, it is not simply an expression of affection or even adoration; it is an expression of veneration.

And so it is. Actually, I don’t see how we, any of us, could have been able to end this chapter, to end this story, at this point without weeping. It would be frankly hard to understand the depth of the narrative, wouldn’t it, if they came to the end and they said, “Well, that worked out pretty good. I’ll see you on Tuesday if everything’s okay. We can perhaps…” No. It couldn’t possibly be that way. They didn’t know if they’d see each other again. I’m not going to tell you if they did. You can read on yourself and find out. They didn’t know at that point.

Consider all of the pain involved for Jonathan in rejecting his father and in establishing his allegiance to David. He’s already asked him, “Show me the steadfast love of the Lord. If I live for you to be king, do not let me die when Yahweh avenges the enemies of David.”[12] And now all that is represented in the tearing and rending that is there in the familial dimensions of life. Some of you know this in a very real way because of the background out of which you have come. And your family have said to you things like “I don’t see why you had to go and become a crazy person. We brought you up religiously. You were well cared for. You’ve always been taught to do the right thing, and why are you now doing this, and why are you spurning me, and why are you setting us aside, and why is this, and why is that?” And you live with that, and you live with that. And so the ambiguity of loyalty is there all the time.

Some of you have come out of a Chinese culture and a different background. Some that we know of today in Afghanistan are living this very experience. And for David to see what was involved in this parting—after all, in a sense, he’s the cause of all of this. And he sees the risk, and he sees the pain and the hurt and the longing, all pointing to the future. And Jonathan then has the last word. “Go in peace,” he says. “Go in peace, because we have sworn both of us in the name of the Lord, saying, ‘The Lord shall be between me and you.’”

Because of the immensity of the King’s steadfast love, he has clothed us in a robe of righteousness that we don’t deserve, thereby making it possible for us to go in peace.

It’s a bit like… It’s Ruth and Naomi, isn’t it? “Intreat me not to leave thee.”[13] There was the loyalty thing right there. I never thought about it until this moment, but there’s the same thing. She is a Moabitess. “Go back to your family. Go back to where you’re from. Go back to where security is.”[14] “No,” she says. “Intreat me not to leave thee, nor to return from following after thee: for where thou goest, I will go; and where thou dwellest, I will dwell: and your people will be my people, and your God will be my God.”[15] What amazing, rending pain, joy is wrapped up in that kind of affirmation. And on what basis would they be able to go in peace, save the peace that is grounded in the steadfast love of the Lord, which never ceases?[16]

So, whether they would see each other’s face again or not, they would part in the awareness of the fact that there was a forever dimension to this relationship that they enjoyed—a dimension that neither of them could fully comprehend at that point, a dimension that pushes us way beyond the historicity of this scene and ultimately into the book of Revelation and to a company that no one can number, from every tribe and nation and people and language and tongue,[17] and they’re all united in the covenant love of God. Because it was the purpose of God from the very beginning to put together a people who are his very own, and it is the utterly undeserved privilege of each of us who names the name of Christ to be included in that community.

Come, let us sing of a wonderful love,
 Tender and true;
[And] out of the heart of the Father above,
 Streaming to me and to you:
Wonderful love
 Dwells in the heart of the Father above.[18]

That was 20. Makes you want to start again and see if you can get it right, doesn’t it? But, you know, I don’t know how it will all work, but maybe we’ll get a chance to look around that vast throng and see David—I bet he’s standing next to Jonathan—as we do as we said in the song, and we take off the emblems of our own authority and status and cast it all down before the King, who, because of the immensity of his steadfast love, has clothed us in a robe of righteousness that we don’t deserve, thereby making it possible for us to go in peace.

[1] See Acts 17:11.

[2] Walter Brueggemann, First and Second Samuel, Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2012), 150.

[3] See Proverbs 16:9.

[4] 1 Samuel 18:7 (NIV).

[5] John Woodhouse, 1 Samuel: Looking for a Leader, Preaching the Word, ed. R. Kent Hughes (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2008), 400–401.

[6] See 1 Samuel 15:27–28.

[7] John 15:20 (ESV).

[8] Brueggemann, First and Second Samuel, 152.

[9] Luke 14:25–26 (ESV).

[10] See Romans 16:16; 1 Corinthians 16:20; 2 Corinthians 13:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:26.

[11] Psalm 2:1, 10–12 (ESV).

[12] 1 Samuel 20:14–15 (paraphrased).

[13] Ruth 1:16 (KJV).

[14] Ruth 1:11–13 (paraphrased).

[15] Ruth 1:16 (paraphrased).

[16] See Lamentations 3:22.

[17] Revelation 7:9 (paraphrased).

[18] Robert Walmsley, “Come Let Us Sing.”

Copyright © 2024, Alistair Begg. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations for sermons preached on or after November 6, 2011 are taken from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

For sermons preached before November 6, 2011, unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® (NIV®), copyright © 1973 1978 1984 by Biblica, Inc.TM Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Alistair Begg
Alistair Begg is Senior Pastor at Parkside Church in Cleveland, Ohio, and the Bible teacher on Truth For Life, which is heard on the radio and online around the world.