A man of God in his own right,
Who walked by faith and not by sight,
The battles of the Lord he fought
And victory to the nation brought,
For Jonathan had this in view:
God saves by many or by few.

When David came upon the scene
And slew the giant Philistine,
A servant he became to Saul,
Accepted in the sight of all.
The women came to dance and sing —
But David’s fame displeased the king.

The soul of Saul’s son Jonathon
Was knit to David’s soul as one.
He saw in David something great
And didn’t share his father’s hate.
He covenanted with his friend
And his allegiance didn’t bend.

A prince without pretentions, he,
A picture of humility:
To David he ascribed the crown
And didn’t fear his father’s frown.
Because he covered David’s path,
He faced his violent father’s wrath.

He didn’t join Saul’s evil ways,
Who hunted David’s hidden lays,
But rather strengthened David’s hand
With faith that he would rule the land.
They met, then parted, weeping sore,
Til David’s tears exceeded more.

And yet the love the king’s son had
Was not enough to leave his dad.
He gave his robe, his sword, his bow —
But with his friend he didn’t go —
For David in the wood sojourned,
But Jonathan to town returned.

His faith and love of godly stamp
Yet led him not outside the camp —
Unlike the picture Moses paints,
Who chose to suffer with the saints,
Instead of staying with the one
Who had the right to call him “son.”

So Jonathan with Saul was killed,
The blood of both in battle spilled.
The man who strengthened David’s heart
In death did not from Saul depart.
He died before ’twas fully known
That David would ascend the throne.

The friend whom David loved the most
Could not obtain a courtly post.
The mighty men of baser sort
Became the chief of David’s court,
For God in providence ordains
That only he who suffers reigns.


Nita Brainard



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