Then David fled from Naioth at Ramah and went to Jonathan and asked, “What have I done? What is my crime? How have I wronged your father, that he is trying to kill me?” 2 “Never!” Jonathan replied. “You are not going to die! Look, my father doesn’t do anything, great or small, without letting me know. Why would he hide this from me? It isn’t so!” 3 But David took an oath and said, “Your father knows very well that I have found favor in your eyes, and he has said to himself, ‘Jonathan must not know this or he will be grieved.’ Yet as surely as the Lord lives and as you live, there is only a step between me and death.”
4 Jonathan said to David, “Whatever you want me to do, I’ll do for you.” 5 So David said, “Look, tomorrow is the New Moon feast, and I am supposed to dine with the king; but let me go and hide in the field until the evening of the day after tomorrow. 6 If your father misses me at all, tell him, ‘David earnestly asked my permission to hurry to Bethlehem, his hometown, because an annual sacrifice is being made there for his whole clan.’ 7 If he says, ‘Very well,’ then your servant is safe. But if he loses his temper, you can be sure that he is determined to harm me.8 As for you, show kindness to your servant, for you have brought him into a covenant with you before the Lord. If I am guilty, then kill me yourself! Why hand me over to your father?”
9 “Never!” Jonathan said. “If I had the least inkling that my father was determined to harm you, wouldn’t I tell you?” 10 David asked, “Who will tell me if your father answers you harshly?” 11 “Come,” Jonathan said, “let’s go out into the field.” So they went there together. 12 Then Jonathan said to David, “I swear by the Lord, the God of Israel, that I will surely sound out my father by this time the day after tomorrow! If he is favorably disposed toward you, will I not send you word and let you know? 13 But if my father intends to harm you, may the Lord deal with Jonathan, be it ever so severely, if I do not let you know and send you away in peace. May the Lord be with you as he has been with my father. 14 But show me unfailing kindness like the Lord’s kindness as long as I live, so that I may not be killed, 15 and do not ever cut off your kindness from my family—not even when the Lord has cut off every one of David’s enemies from the face of the earth.”
16 So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, “May the Lord call David’s enemies to account.” 17 And Jonathan had David reaffirm his oath out of love for him, because he loved him as he loved himself.
Jonathan continues to choose to follow and serve a man that will one day become king and cut off Jonathan’s chance of being the next king. In this text we can see that Jonathan actually knows that this will eventually happen which is why he includes in his oath that David will not withdraw his love from Jonathan or Jonathans family even though Jonathans family make up a portion of David’s enemies. What I think is worth highlighting here is that a few stories back, Jonathan lead his armour bearer into a battle which was actually a suicide mission… the armour bearer followed him into the battle without hesitation and those actions ensured an amazing victory for Israel. What I see is an amazing leader, a person that people follow, a person that leads by example and a person who leads from his convictions about God. Jonathan is the leader that most of us would follow, yet when faced with David…Jonathan becomes the follower. In our life today, this is a worthwhile lesson. A great leader is a person who is able to follow with as much conviction as he/she leads. True humility is an amazing quality in all people, especially those who are called to lead. One of Jesus’ teachings helps us understand this concept better… For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.