In David's disintegrating world there was one place of sanity, one refuge still in tact--Jonathan
Dale Ralph Davis
The young David, with the hand of God upon him, had loaded the sling and killed the giant. As a result he was summoned to stand before King Saul. He came, hands drenched in blood, carrying the head of Goliath. Saul and David had conversation. Listening in was Saul's son Jonathan. Jonathan was in line to the throne and was already a rescuer of Israel. He was beloved, proven, and faithful. What he saw and what he heard that day gripped him down deep inside.
Jonathan's heart was "knit to the soul of David, and he loved him as his own soul" (I Samuel 18:1). Jonathan was older than David and yet he sought David out and made a covenant with him.
As Saul continued to turn away from God, so did he continue to lose his sanity. Instead of bringing David to his bosom to love, he sought to kill David. In contrast, Jonathan sought to protect David. Saul was jealous. Jonathan was not. Saul saw David as a threat. Jonathan embraced David as a friend. God was with David, even as Saul "eyed" him. Saul's mind unraveled and was even willing to use his daughter Michal as a means of destroying David. Saul was afraid because he knew that God was with David. God granted David favor with all of Israel.
When David was on the run, in fear of his life, Jonathan interceded for David. As the danger grew, Jonathan renewed his covenant with David. When it was abundantly clear to Jonathan that Saul was intent on killing David, Jonathan said:
Go in peace, because we have sworn both of us in the name of the LORD, saying, 'The LORD shall be between me and you, and between my offspring and your offspring, forever.' And he rose and departed, and Jonathan went into the city (I Samuel 20:42).Lessons about friendship abound in the Jonathan and David story. Jonathan the older warrior and David the up-and-coming leader were knit together in a bond that was so deep and so high that it transcended the bond of family blood. The explanation for their friendship is found in the covenant faithfulness of God. Jonathan's commitment to friendship is staggering to consider. He made a covenant with David that involved giving his robe, armor, sword, bow, and belt to David (19:4). Jonathan, in line to the throne, cleared a pathway so that David could ultimately become King. Jonathan, the greater, emptied himself so that David, the lesser, could be protected and exalted. His love was sealed by covenant.
Are you the kind of friend, willing to sacrifice your own interests for the interests of your friends? Is your soul knit to theirs in love? Do you have such a friend? There is a friend who left heaven's glories, became a servant, and laid his life down for his friends. His name is Jesus. His friendship will be your "one place of sanity" your "one refuge still in tact" in the midst of a world groaning under the burden of sin. David had to trust that Jonathan would be faithful to his covenant. Jonathan was rock-solid-reliable. A greater than Jonathan stands ready to give you a friendship that is sealed in the covenant of blood.
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