David’s circumstances were grim. One false step away from death at the king’s hand, he appealed to his friend Jonathan for help. Jonathan’s loyalty to David, however, meant rejecting his father, Saul. Examining the strong commitment between David and Jonathan, Alistair Begg points us to an even greater covenant: God’s eternal devotion to His people. As believers, our security rests in God’s steadfast love—a love that will never let us go.
Sermon Transcript: Print
I invite you to turn again to the Bible, this time to the Old Testament and to 1 Samuel and to chapter 20. And I will begin to read at the first verse, if you follow along. I’ll read through to verse 23. First Samuel 20:1:
“Then David fled from Naioth in Ramah and came and said before Jonathan, ‘What have I done? What is my guilt? And what is my sin before your father, that he seeks my life?’ And he said to him, ‘Far from it! You shall not die. Behold, my father does nothing either great or small without disclosing it to me. And why should my father hide this from me? It is not so.’ But David vowed again, saying, ‘Your father knows well that I have found favor in your eyes, and he thinks, “Do not let Jonathan know this, lest he be grieved.” But truly, as the Lord lives and as your soul lives, there is but a step between me and death.’ Then Jonathan said to David, ‘Whatever you say, I will do for you.’ David said to Jonathan, ‘Behold, tomorrow is the new moon, and I should not fail to sit at table with the king. But let me go, that I may hide myself in the field till the third day at evening. 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.” If he says, “Good!” it will be well with your servant, but if he is angry, then know that harm is determined by him. Therefore deal kindly with your servant, for you have brought your servant into a covenant of the Lord with you. But if there is guilt in me, kill me yourself, for why should you bring me to your father?’ And Jonathan said, ‘Far be it from you! If I knew that it was determined by my father that harm should come to you, would I not tell you?’ Then David said to Jonathan, ‘Who will tell me if your father answers you roughly?’ And Jonathan said to David, ‘Come, let us go out into the field.’ So they both went out into the field.
“And Jonathan said to David, ‘The Lord, the God of Israel, be witness! When I have sounded out my father, about this time tomorrow, [on] the third day, behold, if he is well disposed toward David, shall I not then send and disclose it to you? But should it please my father to do you harm, the Lord do so to Jonathan and more also if I do not disclose it to you and send you away, that you may go in safety. May the Lord be with you, as he has been with my father. If I am still alive, show me the steadfast love of the Lord, that I may not die; and do not cut off your steadfast love from my house forever, when the Lord cuts off every one of the enemies of David from the face of the earth.’ And Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, ‘May the Lord take vengeance on David’s enemies.’ And Jonathan made David swear again by his love for him, for he loved him as he loved his own soul.
“Then Jonathan said to him, ‘Tomorrow is the new moon, and you will be missed, because your seat will be empty. On the third day go down quickly to the place where you hid yourself when the matter was in hand, and remain beside the stone heap. And I will shoot three arrows to the side of it, as though I shot at a mark. And behold, I will send the boy, saying, “Go, find the arrows.” If I say to the boy, “Look, the arrows are on this side of you, take them,” then you are to come, for, as the Lord lives, it is safe for you and there is no danger. But if I say to the youth, “Look, the arrows are beyond you,” then go, for the Lord has sent you away. And as for the matter of which you and I have spoken, behold, the Lord is between you and me forever.’”
Father, we bow now humbly and ask that the Spirit of God will open up to us the truth of the Bible and that the Spirit of God will open up our hearts to receive that truth. To the glory of your Son’s name we pray. Amen.
Well, as we come back to our studies here in 1 Samuel—studies which actually began in February of 2019, so we’re moving along at quite a clip—it’s appropriate, I think, for us to remind ourselves of what we have said, or have taken as a sort of foundational verse from the New Testament to help us understand just why it is that we’re doing what we’re doing. Some people, actually, even in churches, go through their lives and pay scant attention to the Old Testament entirely. Some wonder why we would even pay attention to it at all. After all, there’s a page in between Malachi and Matthew, and it’s the start of a whole new thing, and so on. Fortunately, I think that we have moved beyond that kind of perspective. And in part we have been helped by what Paul says when he writes to the Romans towards the end of his letter in 15:4, and he says, “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through … encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”
Now, what he’s saying there is that although the Bible has been written over a period of hundreds and hundreds of years, and although they were in the first century and far removed from where we are today and far removed from the events that we’re considering in 1 Samuel, the Word of God does the work of God by the Spirit of God in the people of God. And we have recognized that “all flesh is like grass, and the glory of man like the flower of the field; the grass withers, the flower falls, but the word of the Lord endures forever.” That is Isaiah. And when Peter quotes that in his first letter, he adds the sentence “And this word is the good news that [we] preached to you.” In other words, here is the very truth of the good news of the gospel.
Now, I say all of this this morning because people come to these studies at different points of understanding. And you may wonder just why it is that, given that we live in such a highly technical world where advances come at the speed of lightning, it would seem, we would be confining ourselves to this rather ancient story about a king and a kingdom and his son and the usurpers and so on. Well, the answer is that this is the Word of God. And Jesus, remember, said in response to the insinuations and challenges and temptations of the Evil One, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that [proceeds] from the mouth of God.”
And it is that conviction which underpins all that we do here at Parkside, whether it is in teaching your children or your grandchildren, whether it is in gathering in midweek life groups or in our classes around the building now. We come to our study of the Bible—all of us, as a pastoral team—confident in the Word of God. And surely these words that Paul gives us here are applicable to us all on every day: that through endurance—endurance when I feel like quitting—encouragement when my heart is sad, hope when circumstances appear fearful—what an encouragement it is for us to dig in and to make sure that we’re applying ourselves to these things.
Now, the twentieth chapter… I keep hoping that I’m going to turn to a chapter that I say to myself, “Now, here is a chapter that I understand and know how to teach.” So far, I haven’t reached that yet, and the twentieth chapter is not the easiest of texts, at least not for me. And so, as I was thinking along the lines that we’ve just gone down in relationship to Romans 15:4, I thought, “Well, let’s take those three words, endurance, encouragement, and hope, and employ them as a means of navigating our way through the text.” And so, first of all, we will consider David’s need of endurance in the face of his immediate circumstances. And then we will consider Jonathan’s great longing for encouragement in relationship to all that lies ahead. And then we will consider, finally—and this won’t be today, for sure—the hope that all of us require in facing the various circumstances of life. Actually, we won’t get beyond the first one, I’m confident.
First of all, then, we’re going to consider here in the text David’s need of endurance in the immediate circumstances. He definitely needs this, and we’re going to be focusing on where he finds it. All right? So, the chapter is not simply about the wonderful friendship that exists, but it is about the identity of the king and what it means to bow to the authority of the king and so on.
But if your Bible is open, you will see that chapter 20 begins in the way that chapter 19 has left off, and that is that David is on the run: “Then David fled from Naioth in Ramah and came and said before Jonathan…” If your Bible is like mine, you have 19 in front of you as well. Just notice in verse 10: “And David fled and escaped that night.” In verse 12, he was “let … down through the window, … he fled away and escaped.” In verse 18: “Now David fled and escaped, and … came to Samuel.” And here we are at the beginning of 20, and he’s still fleeing, he’s still escaping, and he’s still running for his life. And this circumstance is a challenge to him.
Now, in each of the previous contexts where his life had been threatened, there had been an intervention which sustained him. The end of chapter 19—again, if your Bible is open—you have this picture of his protagonist with his clothes stripped off, havering and lying half naked all day and all night. So, he can pretty well be sure that in the present, there is little threat going to come from Saul—not, at least, until he gets his clothes back on and until he is put back together again mentally.
But his circumstances press upon him in such a way that he is able to explain to Jonathan in a summary statement at the end of verse 3, “There is but a step between me and death.” That pretty well encapsulates his circumstances. It is true not simply metaphorically—and, of course, it is true for all of us metaphorically—but it is true literally. And his previous two encounters with Saul’s endeavor to pin him to the wall with his spear had given him the opportunity to perform what I’m referring to as the musical side step. There is a dance in Britain that we have in public life called the military two-step, but this is the musical side step. And he has proven himself adept at this. He’s playing the harp, the spear comes to him, and he does the musical side step. “And there is literally,” he says, “just one step between me and death.” I resist the temptation to remind all of us that there is for each of us one breath between ourselves and eternity. That’s not the point of the passage, but it is important to remember, especially when we’re listening to God’s Word being preached.
Now, David is aware of Saul’s ongoing murderous agenda. And it is in light of this that he asks this question—or these three questions, one on top of another—in verse 1. He says to Jonathan, “What have I done? What is my guilt? And what is my sin before your father, that he seeks my life?” Now, this is a very legitimate question. In fact, Jonathan knew that it was a legitimate question, because on a previous occasion, he had interceded on behalf of David when his father had announced that he was going to kill him, and he had said to his father, “Listen, why would you treat him in this way? The only thing he’s ever done for you is good! All that he’s done for you is actually good. I mean, he dealt with the Philistine giant. He has been a warrior, leading your troops and championing your cause. He’s only done you good.” And so David says to Jonathan, “So, what is it? What is the basis for this animosity?”
Now, Jonathan’s response is interesting. He says to him, “Far from it! You [will] not die.” That’s not actually the question he’s asking. He’s asking, “Why is he trying to kill me?” Jonathan says, “Well, you should know that you’re not going to die, because after all, my father, he never does anything great or small without he includes me in the program.” Well, perhaps he’s thinking of what happened back at the beginning of 19 when “Saul spoke to Jonathan his son” and told them all, his servants too, “that they should kill David.” Well, that is true. He had included him in that. But he clearly hasn’t included him in everything. He had convinced his father back in, what, 19:6 that he shouldn’t do what he was setting out to do, and on that occasion Saul had “listened to the voice of Jonathan” and swore that “as the Lord lives, he shall not be put to death.” But immediately on the back of that, he then makes three attempts to kill him. And fascinatingly, Jonathan is not present in the balance of this section. He doesn’t appear. Apparently, he is unaware of the subsequent attempts on the part of Saul to kill David.
And so, his response is very straightforward. It’s categorical: “Why should my father hide this from me?” There’s a kind of lovely naivete about this fellow, a sort of trusting element that is not actually helpful in this circumstance. It’s not particularly helpful, when you’re dealing with somebody like Saul, to walk around with your mouth wide open in a kind of stupefied, gormless perspective. He needs a little bit more of his sister in him at this point—Michal, remember, who came up with the special dummy and everything in order to make sure that David could escape. Maybe you don’t like this, but Jonathan needs a little bit more Winston Churchill and a little less Chamberlain, for those of us who’ve lived long enough. In other words, he needs to have a sense of skepticism, first of all about his own motives and then about even his father’s motives, given the way things have been unfolding. But no, no. “It’s not so,” he says.
Well, David doesn’t leave it at that, and in verse 3 he comes back at him and he says, “Listen, your father knows really well that I have found favor in your eyes, and so let me tell you what he’s thinking. He’s thinking, ‘Don’t let Jonathan know this, lest he be grieved.’” Well, that’s very kind of David to put that understanding on the circumstances. Perhaps it shows that he wants to think the best of Saul, and that Saul, in not disclosing this to his son, is doing so out of his kindness to his son rather than out of self-focus. I think it may have been truer to say, “Your father knows that you and I are good friends, and he thinks, ‘Don’t let Jonathan know this, lest he interferes again, lest he intercedes again.’” Whatever. “As truly as the Lord lives and as your soul lives, there is but a step between me and death. These are the facts, Jonathan.” Verse 4: Jonathan then says to David, “Whatever you say, I will do for you.”
Now, one of the things that is running through this entire section, beyond chapter 20, is the question of loyalty, of “Where does loyalty lie?” The challenge for Jonathan is supreme. He is the crown prince. If his father’s house were to be sustained, then he is next in line. But since his father’s house has been torn from him, he’s like minister without portfolio. He loves David. He has an inkling that David has a huge future. How much he knows about David’s anointing is hard to tell from the text. But he loves his father. So is he gonna go with his dad, who is the set-aside king, or is he going to go with David, whom he loves as his own soul, who is actually the anointed king?
Now, we won’t come close to this today, but let me just make the observation, if you’re going to read the text on your own. What this whole thing finally comes down to is the matter of loyalty: Who is the king, and what does it mean to submit to him? David is the king. Therefore, for Jonathan to submit to David as the king means saying no to his family ties. Therefore, the whole question is full of ambiguities—the very ambiguities and challenges that are represented in the words of Jesus when he says to people, “If you really want to bow before me as your King, if you’re gonna love me in this way, then you’re gonna have to be prepared to hate your father or your mother or the members of your family.” And no matter how many commentators try and clean that up, that is exactly what he’s saying. In other words, in the light of the challenges of life and the prospect of eternity, to whom will I be loyal?
Well, Jonathan here has already made his first statement: “Whatever you say, I will do for you.” Well, he doesn’t realize what David is going to follow up with. He’s now going to persuade him to commit himself to doing something that, at least as far as the text is concerned, we have never seen, and that is to tell his father a lie. David has this plan that he has conceived, and depending on Saul’s reaction to it, he’s either going to be free to go back into the context of the court, or he’s gonna have to stay on the run.
And so, you can see it there in the text. “Tomorrow,” he says, “is the new moon.” It’s kind of like President’s Day. It’s a day off, and special festivities. And it would be unusual if the king did not have his own event, and therefore, the expectation would be that David would be present for the event. After all, he was married to one of the king’s daughters, and although things were not going particularly well, it would seem that the expectation would still be there. And so he says, “If your father misses me, then just say”—and here you have it—“‘David earnestly asked leave of me to run to Bethlehem his city, for there is a yearly sacrifice there for all the clan.’”
But, of course, that was not true. Because he had already told him, “Let me go and hide myself in the field. So, I’m going to be hiding in the field. You tell them when they miss me that I have gone to Bethlehem for a clan gathering.” And so, once again you have this strange dilemma in the text, where lies are setting forward the purposes. Again, we needn’t stumble over it, because the Bible is not recommending the telling of lies; it is reporting the telling of lies. It is not teaching ethics here; it is recording events. So it would be very, very wrong for anybody to say, “Well, that is the approach that was taken there, and therefore, it is a good plan for me to do the same.” No, not at all. No. “Here it is before you. You go ahead and do this, and if your father says ‘Good,’ that’ll be great; we’ll know that that is fine to return.”
Now, it is at that point that he then makes his appeal. And the appeal comes in verse 8: “Therefore deal kindly with your servant.” Now, at first blush we may look at that and say, “All that he’s saying is ‘Be a good fellow, Jonathan, and help me out here.’” He’s saying far more than that. And the reason we’re able to affirm that is because of the word that is used there in the Hebrew. It is a famous word in the Old Testament. It comes almost 250 times in the Old Testament, and it is a word in Hebrew, hesed. It speaks of the steadfast love of God. It speaks not simply of love but of a loyal love. It speaks of a committed love. It speaks of a love that is prepared to look at the circumstances, no matter how daunting, and remain absolutely true to the commitment.
Now, he is able to make this appeal for a loyal commitment on the part of Jonathan because of what we saw back in chapter 18, which is two pages back for me. At the beginning of 18, we’re told that “the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David.” We’re not going to rehearse this again, simply point it out. “The soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David.” That is more than “They kind of got on well together.” “And Jonathan loved him as his own soul. And Saul took him that day and would not let him return to his father’s house”—that is, David. But then, in 3, “Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul.”
Now, we pause here and do so purposefully. Because this is actually the key which runs through this whole chapter, and that is this covenant of love which is engaged in by Jonathan and David and which is expressive of the eternal covenant of God, whereby he has covenanted himself to men and women in the expression of his love and his mercy.
How is this to unfold? Well, the covenant between them is initiated by love and was the expression of that love. It was because he “loved him as his own soul” that he made this commitment. And remember, when we looked at it, we said this was an expression of such a relationship that involved firm promises and strong commitments. Firm promises and strong commitments. In other words, if we start to think “cozy feeling,” then we’ve immediately gone wrong.
This is why it is so important when we consider the nature of marriage that we understand that it is a covenant relationship, that it is not a contact drawn up by two people who have decided to opt in and may opt out as they choose. No! The covenant is a covenant of firm promises and strong commitments, so that in the circumstances of life, what then keeps us? You see, what is gonna keep David in this situation? Where will his endurance come in the face of these murderous attempts? He is now on the run for a significant period of time. “Where is there security? Where may I find strength? Where is there a tower in which I can run and be safe?” That’s the question he’s asking. And so he says, “Jonathan, you must deal with me kindly. You must then fulfill for me the promises that have been made in our covenant with one another.”
And that, incidentally—but it’s a digression which I won’t follow—that, incidentally, is the key to staying married. Not Valentine’s Day. There is not a Valentine’s card that can paper over the failure of a husband to love his wife consistently day by day and say, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. Please forgive me, please forgive me. I’m trying my best. I’m sorry, I’m sorry, please forgive me. Here’s your Valentine’s card.” All right? There’s no way you can do it. It won’t happen. It doesn’t happen. It’s strong commitments. It’s firm promises. And therein lies security. It is the security of covenant love. Where, then, is David’s endurance to be found? In the security of this very love.
That covenant was witnessed by Yahweh: “You have made this covenant in the presence of God.” It is the same God who guards the promises. It is the same God who enables us to keep the commitments. And what we actually have in this, in David’s appeal to this end, is an illustration of what the people of God are to do in the helter-skelter journey of the upside-down world of our individual lives. The appeal is the same appeal: “Deal kindly with your servant.” David says, “Of course, if there’s guilt in me, if I’ve wronged Saul in some way, then you should kill me yourself. You don’t need to bring your father into it.” Jonathan says, “No, far be it from you. If I knew it was determined by my father that harm should come to you, wouldn’t I tell you?”
Now, David wrote these poems, remember? Psalms. And I decided, “I’m just gonna go and look for one and see the application of this principle in one of his songs.” And you don’t have to go very far into the Psalms to come to this. Here is the Thirteenth Psalm. The Thirteenth Psalm: “To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.” And fascinatingly, if you read these verses in light of what he’s facing now—with the murderous threats, with the antagonism of Saul, with the fact that he’s on the run—although the general population may regard him in high esteem, this is his circumstances. I’m not suggesting that the historical context of this Psalm is 1 Samuel 20; I’m merely observing that it fits, doesn’t it? “How long, O Lord?”—“How long’s this gonna go on?”
Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I take counsel in my soul
and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
“What did I ever do? What is my sin? Why is this guy after me all the time?”
Consider … answer me, O Lord my God;
light[en] up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,”
lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.
“But I have trusted in your steadfast love.” “I have trusted in your hesed. I have trusted in your covenant love.” He’s not saying, “Things are all okay.” He’s saying, “Things stink. In fact, if it gets much worse, it feels as though I’m gonna lie down on my bed, close my eyes, and never waken up again. My enemies are everywhere! But I have trusted in your steadfast love.”
Can I just ask you: Have you encountered this steadfast love of God? The mercy of God—the mercy that Moses reminds the children of in Exodus 34 when he says that he is rich in mercy, that he extends his love from generation to generation, and so on and so on? Just this overwhelming, wonderful picture—which is quite amazing, given that this is in chapter 34, and in chapter 32, Moses had come down from the mountain, and what they were doing? They were all worshipping a golden calf! They had broken the covenant! Well then, how in the world could they ever be restored? Because God, who is rich in mercy.
It’s the same language as Paul uses in Ephesians 2. That’s exactly what he does: “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses…” He didn’t love us because we had got it all sorted out. He didn’t love us because we had it all fixed. He didn’t love it because we got everything the way we wanted it. No, we may have been dancing round our own golden calf. We may have been worshipping our own idols. We may have been just completely stuck on ourselves. And his love came to us! “Deal kindly with your servant.” His love. “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,” because it flows from his heart. Mercy shown to them, the children of Israel, in their time of need, shown to them by the only one who had the power to help. Well, Jonathan represents that to David in this circumstance, doesn’t he? That’s why he appeals to him on that basis: “Jonathan, I’m gonna have to ask you to deal kindly with me.”
Now, until we settle this notion in our minds, we will be all over the map. We will tend to think wrongly that if things go badly, it must be because of something I have contributed—that may be the case, but in many cases not—or if things go well, that I will be honored for it. When in actual fact, the nature of grace is to grant to us, as undeserving ones, that which we could never earn and to bring us, in our experiences of sadness, into the awareness of the fact that God is pleased to give us something for nothing—even when we don’t deserve anything.
You see, that’s grace. That’s what makes it hard for many of us. I talk with some of you. I do actually have conversations with people! And I could give you chapter and verse—I’m not about to—when I’ve explained perhaps to somebody, “This is the nature of grace, that God offers to us, grants to us, something for nothing when we don’t deserve anything,” and the person would walk out of the room and say, “I have no interest in that, because everything I have I’ve done on my own. Everything I have achieved I have achieved on my own. I didn’t get where I am today by accepting something for nothing.” Well, you’re stuck, brother. You’re stuck. You’re stuck in your own goodness. You’re either gonna trust God’s mercy or you’re gonna trust your own morality. And it is a day of great opportunity when the scales come off our eyes and we find ourselves saying what David is saying to Jonathan: “Deal kindly with me according to your love.”
This love is a love that won’t let you go. I know it’s Valentine’s Day, and I was thinking about it—and I quote this all the time. It’s silly, but it’s back in my mind again. Here it comes. But you know,
As long as old men sit and talk about the weather,
As long as old women sit and talk about old men …
[Honey,] I’m gonna love you forever,
Forever and ever, amen.
Well, that’s a noble endeavor. But when God says it, he means it. Because the hesed love of God is a love that will not let you go. It is a love that pursues us even when we dance around our own golden calves.
Matheson, the hymn writer, wrote that, didn’t he? “O love that [will] not let me go.” Matheson was a seminary student at the University of Glasgow. He had a fiancée. He was struck blind. His fiancée said, “I don’t want to be married to a blind man.” He was then a single man, remained a single man. His sister cared for him. When Matheson became forty, his sister, who was caring for him, was to be married. And on the night before her wedding, as he sat in the place, he was confronted by the way all of the affections and longings of his heart were sort of crumbling underneath him. Not only had his fiancée left him, but now his sister was to be married, and that would take her from him. And to where did he retreat? To the covenant love of God. “O love that will not let me go, I yield my life to you.”
That is David’s security. That is the security of all who are prepared to fall into the arms of Jesus and discover something for nothing—especially given that we don’t deserve anything. And this is the good news of the gospel which was preached to you.
Well, Father, thank you. Thank you that your Word accomplishes its purposes that you have appointed for it, and we rest in that confidence. We thank you that you love us in Jesus with an everlasting love, and we bless you for this. And I pray, Lord, for some who are wrestling on the sea of life, that they might be brought to a solid conviction and assurance of the security and safety that is found by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. For in his name we pray. Amen.
 Isaiah 40:6–8 (paraphrased).
 1 Peter 1:25 (ESV).
 Matthew 4:4 (ESV). See also Deuteronomy 8:3; Luke 4:4.
 1 Samuel 19:4–5 (paraphrased).
 1 Samuel 19:1 (ESV).
 See 1 Samuel 19:13–17.
 Luke 14:26 (paraphrased).
 Psalm 13:1–5 (ESV).
 See Exodus 34:6–7.
 Ephesians 2:4–5 (ESV).
 Lamentations 3:22 (ESV).
 John Schlitz and Paul Overstreet, “Forever and Ever, Amen” (1987).
 George Matheson, “O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go” (1882).
 See Jeremiah 31:3.
Copyright © 2022, 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.