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Despair And Deliverance

Or: The Challenge Accepted (1 Sam. 17)

Walter T. P. Wolston

It is a wonderful moment in the soul's history when it really meets Christ, and knows Him as Deliverer and Saviour. There are three points in this striking scripture which I have read tonight. You get dismay, disdain, and deliverance. Now, dismay is what any man might feel as he looks at the condition of everything round about him, and inside him too. Disdain is the feeling the devil has towards you, for he knows his own power and your weakness. My friend, if you rightly understood the power of Satan, you would be far more dismayed than you are this minute. But I tell you what Satan thinks of you. He has the most profound disdain for you. Now I will tell you where blessing lies. In the knowledge of the One who is stronger than Satan the great Deliverer, the Lord Jesus.

I admit this story of Goliath is but a figure, and I am not going to build a doctrine upon this picture, but it is one of those histories by which God brings before us that which illustrates the gospel in the most lovely and charming way. The point is this, that when man cannot deliver himself, and when the power of the enemy is too great for man, that is the moment when God steps in to meet, in His grace, the weakest sinner that cares to taste that grace. Now I know that a good many of us here tonight are converted, and a good many are not. How do you know that? Oh, I have not been preaching for forty years without knowing that in a large meeting like this, among a good many Christians, there are always some that are not converted. There is one young person that I want to specially address this evening. You are not converted. May God convert you tonight. It is about time.

This scene before us is a picture of the effect of grace. Jonathan illustrates what I call a magnificent conversion, and a grand start. He illustrates a soul that wakes up to discover the personal beauty of Christ, and the love of His heart that brought Him into this scene, yea, into death, for our deliverance. When speaking of David to Saul his father, Jonathan says, "He did put his life in his hand, and slew the Philistine" (1 Sam. 19:5). Jesus did more, than that. He laid down His life to save me, and He has done it. Christ, the Son of God, has not only risked His life for you and me, but He has laid it down, everlasting praise to His blessed name!

And if you do not get into glory through the doorway of His death, you will never get in. You may by ten thousand roads go down to the dark dungeons of the damned through unbelief and carelessness. Your life is but a vapour, and it will be very soon gone. But there is only one way into God's presence for eternal blessing, and that is the doorway of death, not my death, but the death of Him on whom death had no claim.

It strikes me that Jonathan was uncommonly glad when the end of the forty days of this scene came. I think forty days of anxiety was quite enough for Jonathan I should be very glad to hear that you are anxious, for, depend upon it, sooner or later, you will slip into peace, and joy, and God's salvation. What through? The discovery that Christ has loved you. Now mark this, my unsaved friend, you have not loved Him. If you are an unconverted sinner, you may be as religious as you like, but if you have not been converted, if you have not been born again of the Spirit, if you have not been broken down with the sense of your sins, do not deceive yourself, you do not love God. Why? Because there is no love in the heart of a natural man to God. But if you find out that God loves you, the next thing will be, you will be able to love Him. Do not try to love Him. That is a great mistake. If you learn that God's love has taken the most wonderful way possible in the gift of His Son, and that the death of His Son has annulled death, closed the gates of hell for you, opened the door of heaven, and called you in, and embraced you, then you cannot help loving Him. "We love him, because he first loved us" (1 John 4:19).

This effect I see in figure here. When this lovely story closes, what do we read? "The soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul" (1 Sam. 18:1). And what then? He went into the stripping room. I wonder whether you have been in the stripping room yet? The moment you get converted, go into the stripping room, take off everything, and bow at the feet of Jesus. I remember the night God took me into the stripping room; I shall never forget it. Oh no, I shall never forget the night His blessed grace saved me over forty years ago. Do you keep your second birthday?

But now look at the picture. The valley of Elah is very interesting. Curiously enough I had at my tea-table this evening a young Christian who passed through the valley of Elah three years ago. He described it as being now exactly what Scripture tells us here. High mountains on either side, and the deep valley in between. Notice how boldly the giant went down into the valley, and demanded somebody to meet him there. just imagine this scene. The hosts of Israel are on the one side of the valley, and the Philistines on the other - picture, I do not doubt, of that which is in this world. Satan has his forces and hosts, plenty of them. Of course he has. And, moreover, he is the foe of God and man. Let me tell you, friend, that you cannot cope with him. This giant Goliath is only a figure of a solemn truth in your history and mine.

There they stand, the Philistines on one side, and the hosts of Israel on the other. Then out comes this champion. His height was six cubits and a span, "And he had an helmet of brass upon his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail; and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of brass. And he had greaves of brass upon his legs, and a target of brass between his shoulders. And the staff of his spear was like a weaver's beam; and his spear's head weighed six hundred shekels of iron; and one bearing a shield went before him" (1 Sam. 17:5-7). I can quite understand how nobody cared to tackle him.

"And he stood and cried unto the armies of Israel, and said unto them, Why are ye come out to set your battle in array? am not I a Philistine, and ye servants to Saul? choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me" (1 Sam. 17:8). That is the boldest challenge, I think, found in all the Bible. And what man could come? No man in Israel's army would come. Saul would not go out, and he was head and shoulders above the rest. And Jonathan would not go out. They were wise. "Choose you a man" was the word. But the chosen man was not there. Do you know where He came from? He came down from the Father's side. God's man was no mere child of Adam. What child of Adam could overcome Satan? What person in this hall is a match for Satan? Friend, you are not his match, make no mistake.

And now mark what follows. Goliath says, "I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together" (1 Sam. 17:10). He would hardly have single combat. Who responds? No one. I read, "When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid" (1 Sam. 17:11). There was the challenge. Who would pick up the glove, so to speak? There was no one. You tell me they were cowards. No, no. I call it not bravery to enter the lists when a man knows he must be defeated. It is folly. "Discretion is the better part of valour." If you know you cannot combat the foe, it is better to leave him to another who can. The Lord says: "What king, going to make war against another king, sits not down first, and consults whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that comes against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends ambassadors, and desires conditions of peace" (Luke 14:31,32). That is to say, the wise man will say, "I cannot meet this power."

You may say, I do not believe in Satan's power? Very likely you do not. Christian, let me ask you a question. Long ago you did not believe in his power? "Yes, that is true," say you, "but one day God woke me up to a sense of my sins, and then I also got the sense of what a grip the devil had of me." Sinner, you are in his power, with no sense of his grasp. Seek to escape and you will get your eyes opened. Satan does not put rough iron bracelets round the wrists of the sinner. They are there right enough, but he has put in a velvet lining so that you should not feel them.

Very likely, my young friend, you have now got the bit in your teeth, and are going your own way. You are on for a fling. just so, and the devil will help you. He will give you every encouragement. Tell me, will he help you heavenward? No, my friend. I am well aware that you do not believe in him. But if you do not believe the gospel, and you do not believe in the power of Satan, you confirm the truth of Scripture. "When a strong man armed keeps his palace, his goods are in peace; but when a stronger than he shall come upon him and overcome him, he takes from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divides his spoils" (Luke 11:21,22). Who is the strong man? Satan. And who are his goods? Sinners. And what is his palace? The world. You are his goods. You do not see the label, but I see it. The label is burned in deep in your soul. He knows it, and God knows it. God knew it, hence He sent His Son to be a Deliverer.

There is such a thing nowadays as "hidden gospel." What is that? Listen. "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them" (2 Cor. 4:3,4). The god of this world is the devil. Do you know what would happen if the light of the gospel shone into your heart tonight? It would make a new man of you. I quite admit it has shone, but then you cannot see it, because you still have the shutters up, and the devil will assiduously help you to keep them up. Though you lived in a dark, damp cellar with no light, that does not prove there is no light. Take down the shutters and let the light in. A blind man says he does not see the sun. Does that prove that no sun shines? Oh, no. Your blindness and indifference to the gospel is the most cogent proof possible that the devil has blinded you. You are handcuffed, but insensitive to the sad fact.

Now, I was just like you once. And what has brought me where I am? Grace, sovereign grace. I owe nothing to the devil, and we are no friends. He would break my neck if he could. But he will not do that till my work is done. Friend, as you hear of Christ, receive Him. You may never get another opportunity. The deceitfulness of sin, and the power of the world, are Satan's two great motors in getting sinners to go on as they are until it be too late. Tell me this, Is your heart happy? Oh, no. Mark, you have to meet God. Eternity is before you. You have been a sinner. Sin is lying on you, and the wages of sin lie before you. You cannot escape death. I will live as long as I can, you say. I know that. But if I were to tell you that you would certainly die before six in the morning, how would you like that? Death is the wages of sin, and you cannot escape it save by the intervention of the Lord Jesus Christ. How cheering is the message that God has stepped in and given His blessed Son to die for the sins of sinners.

But look at our picture again. I read, "When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid" (1 Sam. 17:11). I think they were afraid and dismayed because they felt it was impossible for them to cope with such a foe. At this moment we get David brought on the scene. It is striking that while this man was issuing his challenge, we read, "Now David was the son of that Ephrathite of Bethlehem-Judah, whose name was Jesse; and he had eight sons; and the man went among men for an old man in the days of Saul. And the three eldest sons of Jesse went and followed Saul to the battle, . . . but David went and returned from Saul to feed his father's sheep at Bethlehem. And the Philistine drew near morning and evening, and presented himself forty days" (1 Sam. 17:12-16). At this moment, while the giant is clamouring for a man, God introduces His man. And who is he? David, a beautiful type of the One who is David's Son.

Presently we read that Jesse the father sends his youngest son, but not till the "forty days" had rolled by. I can well understand the feelings of those men, Saul and all, as this giant came out the first morning and evening, saying, "Give me a man." They look round for the man, but he was not there. Then the second day, "Give me a man," again rings in their ears, and the same thing goes on for forty long days. Perfect testing and manifestation of the weakness and utter incompetence of the hosts of Israel take place. They are dismayed and in a condition of deep anxiety. No deliverer appears till they have a true and deep sense of their feebleness. Then is the moment for God to interfere. "For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly" (Romans 5:6).

"And Jesse said unto David his son, Take now for thy brethren an ephah of this parched corn, and these ten loaves, and run to the camp to thy brethren. . . . And look how thy brethren fare" (1 Sam. 17:17,18). You have here in figure that which is so beautifully stated by the apostle John. "And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world" (1 John 4:14). When did the Lord Jesus Christ come into this world? Not until it was manifestly proved that man could not save himself It was after 4,000 years of the sin, folly, and evil of man, that in due time Christ came. Who suggested to God to send His blessed Son? Nobody. It was His own thought. The gospel is a wonderful thing. No writer of fiction ever produced, or could produce, a tale anything like the greatness, the grandeur, of the story of the gospel. Who would have thought that God would give His Son to death for a world that had sinned? Certainly not you or I.

So long as I was unconverted the very name of God was always obnoxious to me. I knew He was holy, and I was unholy; I knew He had claims upon me and I could not meet them. And the natural mind is enmity against God. Sin has put us at a distance from God. It has broken the link between man and God. There is guilt on the conscience, sins and defilement on the soul, and the sense that we are not fit for God. There is a drawing back from God, and then there is an interpreting of the heart of God by the thoughts of our own hearts. People in sin think God does not love them. It is an immense mistake. He loves the sinner, while He hates his sins. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3: 16). And what is the world? It is made up of people who do not love God. What, then, is the real Church made up of? People who love God.

It is a wonderful thing when a man learns that God loves him. A poor old man learned this by a tract the other day. A friend of mine sent a gospel booklet to a Christian lady. She thought it would suit this old man, and posted it on to him. There happened to be pasted on the outside of the booklet a notice of some tent meetings, containing also that verse, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." She tried to get the bill off, but she could not succeed without spoiling the little tract, so she left it on and sent it to the man.

Some time after she met him, and asked him if he was saved. "Yes," said he, "but what was in the book did not touch me, it was the text on the bill at the bottom of the book." "And what was the text?" "It was that one which says, 'God so loved the world,' and I saw for the first time in my life that I be of it, and He do love me therefore. I read also, 'That he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life,' and I saw that I was one of them, for I do believe in Him." Dear old man, he got the gospel very simply. That is the way you must get it, dear friend. God has loved the world and has given His Son for it.

Get hold of the wondrous fact that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. That blessed Son of the Father came into this world to make God known, and as you follow Him through His life, wherever you trace Him you see God. See Him drying the eyes of the widow who has lost her only son, and raising him from the dead (Luke 7:11-15). It is God. See Him giving help to an anxious father, when He raises Jairus' daughter from the dead. He was God manifest in the flesh. Follow Him to the 4th chapter of John, where He meets a poor woman all alone. Her sin had made her solitary. There is nothing like sin to drive men into solitude. It often makes a man withdraw from his friends and everybody else. He wants to be alone. And that is where she was. Jesus gets her confidence as He said, "Give me to drink," and all to win her soul. When she says at length, "I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things," He replies, "I that speak to you am he" (John 4:25, 26). God was manifest in the flesh. You will never know God apart from Jesus, but if you see Jesus, the Son of the Father, you will get the knowledge of His grace.

Let us now observe David as he comes to Israel's camp. We will follow and see what happens. He notices the state of misery and despair on every hand. And now once more the giant comes and renews his challenge, and David not only hears, but he sees. He heard him, but he saw something else. "And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him, and were sore afraid" (1 Sam. 17:24). They had universally the sense, we cannot meet him.

And now, my dear friend, have you the sense that you cannot meet Satan? He has overcome every man but One, the Man who, in lowly grace, had come uncalled and unwanted into this scene. Jesus met him in the wilderness first of all, and refusing his temptations, morally overcame him; then He met him in the garden of Gethsemane, and again was the victor; then on the cross He bore Satan's attack and conquered, going by the pathway of death right down into his stronghold that "through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil, and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage" (Hebrews 2:14,15).

Arrived on the scene of conflict, David makes a few inquiries, which bring his brethren to the front. "And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spoke unto the men; and Eliab's anger was kindled against David." Do you know who Eliab is? He is the type of the self-righteous sinner that has come into this hall, and who does not want a Saviour. You say, I do not believe that I am lost. You will not be saved then. See what Eliab says here. "Why did you come down here? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride, and the naughtiness of your heart; for you have come down that to be able to see the battle" (1 Sam. 17:28). I think that is very fine. "To see the battle." There was no battle to see. So also is it with you and Satan today. You need a Deliverer as Israel did. You are nothing but a weak, polluted sinner, only fit for hell, and that is where you will spend eternity if you do not believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. That is very strong language, you say. Yes, strong but true nevertheless. A lady said to me today, "Doctor, you do not seem to be mealy-mouthed as to eternal things." No, I am not. Hell is hell, and heaven is heaven. I have escaped the one and know the joy of the other, so I want you to get on the road to heaven if I can persuade you to take that step.

But you say, Why did the Son of God come down here? He came down to save men, and, thank God, He has saved me. He came down to wash away all my sins, and He has done it. He came to fill my heart with joy and gladness, and He has done it. What He has done for me, let Him do for you. I think David's answer to Eliab here is beautiful. "What have I now done? Is there not a cause?" (1 Sam. 17:29). Friend, listen! From the glory tonight the Saviour says to you, "Is there not a cause?" Indeed there is, for if Christ do not intervene there is no salvation for any. The cause was manifest; the foe was too strong for us. Love brought Him down, I admit. And then upon the cross sin was laid on Him, and He bore sins that He might blot them out, and deliver and bring to God every one that trusts Him. Could Israel meet their enemy? They could not. Can you meet Satan's power? You cannot, and further, you are unfit to meet God. If you die in your sins, you will be buried in them, and you will be raised in them, and you will pass to the Great White Throne in them, and from thence you will pass into the lake of fire in them. Mark this, the man that does not part company with his sins in time will not part with them in eternity,

"There is no pardon in the tomb,
And brief is mercy's day."

My friend, wonderful indeed are the causes that induced the Saviour to come down.

Now, notice the way David wrought deliverance for Israel. He gathered from the brook 5 smooth stones. What good could they be against such a giant? I think when Saul saw him do that, he regarded it as folly. And do you know what some people in our day have said? "The story of the cross I cannot accept. I do not believe that I can be saved by the dying agonies and the atoning sufferings of a Man upon that tree. It seems folly to me." Such speakers have been already pointed out, for the apostle Paul says, "The preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God" (1 Corinthians 1:18). I know that I seem to some of you in this day of unbelief to be indeed foolish, but I am quite prepared to be counted a fool for Christ's sake. But please observe that what you count "foolishness" is "salvation" to me. Is not that strange? Who is the wise man today, the man of faith, or the sceptic? The man of faith, for the preaching of Christ is the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16; 1 Corinthians 1:21). That is the meaning of the 5 smooth stones; what looked the essence of feebleness was the power of God.

The giant curses David, and treats him with disdain. The latter goes out with only stone and sling, and what happens? He slings that stone, and it enters the giant's forehead. All thought it was impossible. Yes - but the fact is this, what is impossible with man is possible with God. That which seems weakness with man is power with God. What could be weaker than a stripling and a stone? I can tell you of something weaker. A babe lying in a manger. I read, "And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger" (Luke 2:12). There are two signs God gives us in Scripture. A babe lying in a manger. That was the sign given to the shepherds. But there is yet another deeper sign of weakness. Do you know what it is? A dead man. The Lord Jesus said, "An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: for as Jonas was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth" (Matt. 12:39, 40). The expression of absolute weakness is a man in death. Do you know how I am saved? Through a Man in death. He was rejected by everybody, betrayed by a false friend, and denied by a true one, forsaken by everybody, and at length forsaken by God, and on the cross "crucified through weakness" (2 Cor. 13:4). But that cross is God's power unto salvation. There is nothing will meet and deliver man but the cross. It is God's way of meeting man where he is, a sinner in his sins. "Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men" (1 Cor. 1:25).

When the giant falls, what is the next thing? David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith" (v.51). I think Jonathan took a good long breath when he saw the giant's head come off. I see five points in Jonathan's history. When David came into the camp he was trembling, he was miserable. When he saw David go forth, for he had heard what David had said, he was hopeful. I hope he will conquer him, said he; and you say, I hope Christ has met my case. When the giant's head came off, he could well say, Thank God it is all done, I am clear of that enemy now. He was delivered. Next he was enriched, and lastly he became devoted.

It is a great thing to see that by Christ's death on the cross the power of Satan was broken. To put Christ on that cross was the most foolish thing the devil ever did. He got Judas to sell Him for thirty pieces of silver. (Do not you spend eternity in hell with Judas.) And he got Herod to taunt Him, and then he got Pilate to condemn Him. (I should not like to spend eternity with Judas, Pilate, and Herod. My mind is made up. I am going to spend eternity with Jesus. You do the same. That is my advice.) Then the Romans nailed Him to a tree, and the devil said, I have got rid of Him now. What a profound mistake. He did not know that by His death He was going to meet the claims of God on man, and take up the whole question of man's sin in His death, and, blessed be His name, He did it. And what is the next thing? A risen Saviour, an empty tomb, and then a rolled-away stone. The stone was not rolled away to let the Saviour out. No, no; but to let you and me look in, and see the proofs of His victory over death and Satan. Thereafter the Lord went up on high triumphant.

What must Satan have then said? The most foolish thing I ever did was to put that Man on the cross. His death has saved millions. If you are wise you will say, By the grace of God I will have Him tonight as my own. You may well have Him, boast in Him, and yield all to Him, for He is worthy.

We have already seen that David cut off the giant's head with his own sword. What does that teach us? Do you know the sword that Satan holds over a sinner's head? Death. He says to you when you are young, "There is plenty of time." When you are middle-aged he will say, "You must work hard and make money now." When you are old he will say to you: "You have missed your opportunity of salvation. It is too late." Then he will hold over your head the solemn fact that you have been a sinner, and that the wages of sin is death. His witness is quite true, but he will not tell you the gospel. If you are wise you will, where you are, get hold of this, that a Man, on whom death had no claim, has gone into death, that He has come up out of the grave, triumphant over Satan, and that He has left unsettled no question as to the sins of those who trust in Him. There was no sin on Him when He went on the cross. Then "the sins of many" were laid on Him while on the cross, but there was no sin on Him when He came down from the cross. There He atoned for and put them all away, and as a consequence He has gone into death and annulled it. Did you ever ponder this verse? "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil" (Heb. 2:14). Do you know why you and I die? Because we are the children of a fallen man. Do you know why Christ became a Man? That He might die. Death had no claim on Him, for "he did no sin" (1 Peter 2:22). He "knew no sin" (2 Cor. 5:21), and "in him is no sin" (1 John 3:5). As to this, testimony is abundant from every side, divine, satanic, and human. God searched Him and found "nothing" in Him (Ps. 17:3). He Himself said, "The prince of this world (Satan) comes, and has nothing in me" (John 14:30). Then the dying thief said, "This Man hath done nothing amiss" (Luke 23:41). He was absolutely perfect.

Having met Satan in the stronghold of death - the very citadel of the king of terrors - He has annulled his power and risen from the dead. I think I can understand now why He says to John, "I am he that lives, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death" (Rev. 1:18). He, so to speak, says to John, "I have been down exactly where you were, I have gone into the death you ought to have died, I have met the one who had the power of death in my passage through death, I have plucked the keys from his girdle, and wrenched the sceptre from his hand; he is a defeated foe, and I am a risen, victorious Saviour." That is the One I know.

I repeat that I believe Jonathan drew a good long breath when he saw the giant's head roll off, and the sense of deliverance entered his bosom. Nor am I at all surprised to read, "And the men of Israel and of Judah arose, and shouted" (1 Sam. 17:52). I sometimes, wonder how people when they hear and get hold of God's delivering gospel do not shout, "Hallelujah, I am saved tonight." I should rejoice to hear you say it. You get the enjoyed sense of the deliverance of Christ, and it will mightily move you. The fact is, that people are very proper nowadays, and are little moved by the gospel. They forget that a great many are going into hell with the utmost propriety. They will be terribly moved when they stand before the great white throne. The men of Israel and Judah were moved. They spoiled the tents of the Philistines, and they were enriched. Among them Jonathan was enriched. At first anxious, then hopeful, then delivered, now he is enriched, and in the next chapter we notice that he becomes devoted to David, and surrenders all to him.

David comes back to the camp with the giant's sword in one hand, and his head in the other. And now I read, "And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul" (1 Sam. 18:1). Yes, he sees, and owns his deliverer. And, my dear friend, when you see the beauty of Jesus, the grace of Jesus, and the value of the blood of Jesus, if you see that by His death He has delivered you and saved you from Satan's power, and that in His clearance of death and judgement the Christian now stands in association with Him, your heart will be captivated. He said to His own, "Because I live, ye shall live also" (John 14:19). He said to Mary, after He was risen from the dead, "Go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God" (John 20:17). He associates us with Himself in life, favour, and relationship before God. "In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace" (Eph. 1:7), is the Spirit's record. I do not wonder that Jonathan's heart was captivated by David, and I hope yours too is won for Jesus fully.

The next thing we read is this, "And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle" (1 Sam. 18: 4). I think it produced great consternation that day, when the heir to Israel's throne was seen to step out to this simple shepherd lad, take off his royal garments and give them, with his weapons, to David. There is the most perfect surrender. He says, "My heart is yours, David, and my all is yours."

My friend, tell me, do you know anything like that in your soul's history? Surrender your all to Christ. It is easily done when a person's heart has been captured. I do not want your head or your money, but I want your heart, and your heart for Christ. He wants your heart. Do you not feel inclined to yield your heart to Christ now? Imitate Jonathan It was a fine start he made. May you be devoted to Jesus from this night forth.