One word sums up what this chapter [1 Samuel 20] is all about, and that word is covenant.
David flees to Jonathan, at a very desperate moment in his life, because they have a covenant relationship which assures David of Jonathan’s love and support. This covenant of mutual love and good will is the reason Jonathan takes David so seriously that he is willing to carry out David’s test. It is also why Jonathan takes such elaborate security precautions (going out into the field, communicating to David through a kind of signal). This covenant is actually clarified and extended in our text. What was originally a covenant between two men has now become a covenant between two families. What was once a vague, general covenant made at a time when there was no animosity on Saul’s part toward David, now is clarified to deal with Saul’s hostility and his intent to do violence to David. The covenant between Jonathan and David is also a good part of Saul’s anger toward both David and Jonathan. The covenant that bound these two men and their families incited Saul’s wrath toward David and his son Jonathan. Saul could not oppose one without also opposing the other. .
This covenant between David and Jonathan is the basis and guiding principle of the relationship between these two men. It gives both a sense of security and expresses both men’s submission and servanthood to each other. This is such an important matter that we should to pause to reflect on it. We should first discuss this covenant as it bears upon our relationships with others. We will then conclude by exploring the way in which a “covenant” governs our relationship with God…..
……It all comes down to this. God has always dealt with men in terms of a covenant. In every case, men have failed to keep God’s covenant, even though God has faithfully kept His covenant commitments and promises. In order to save men from their sins and give them entrance into His kingdom, God has set aside the old covenant(s) for a new and better one. This covenant is not dependent upon our performance, but on God’s. God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to live a sinless life, to perfectly fulfill the old, Mosaic Covenant. And then, when He died on the cross of Calvary, He bore the penalty for man’s sins. When He rose from the dead, He demonstrated God’s satisfaction, and His (Christ’s) righteousness. By Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, God provided men with a new covenant, whereby man could be assured of the forgiveness of sins and eternal. In order to be saved, we need only embrace this covenant as our only hope and provision for salvation. This covenant has been secured, once for all. It cannot be set aside or nullified. It needs only to be embraced as one’s own. By acknowledging our inability to please God by our own efforts, and by trusting in the work Christ has done on our behalf, we enter into this new covenant and all of its benefits. Have you entered into this covenant? I urge you to do so today. What a great God we have, who has offered us this covenant relationship with Him.