David and Jonathan
Todd Anderson | 2013 January February Shepherd's Voice
David and Jonathan
In the Bible there are many stories about friendship. One of these friendships was between David, a shepherd boy, and Jonathan, the son of King Saul. Saul was king when David fought the giant Goliath. Goliath had asked for one of Saul’s people to come fight him. Saul was afraid because he didn’t have anyone in his army who wanted to face Goliath. David volunteered because he trusted that God would protect him. David killed Goliath with a sling and one stone. Jonathan admired David’s courage and bravery. He realized that David had faith and trust in God, just as Jonathan himself had. After the day when Goliath was killed, David and Jonathan were the best of friends. “The soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul” (1 Sam. 18:1). Then Jonathan and David made a promise, or covenant, that they would look out for and care for each other. They promised to never let anything come between them.
It was tradition that when a king died his son would become the next king, but God revealed to Jonathan that David instead would become king. Rather than being jealous, Jonathan accepted God’s will. He even gave David his robe, sword, belt, and armor. Jonathan was faithful to David but more importantly to God and His will.
Saul kept David in his house to serve him. David did whatever Saul sent him to do. He did everything so well that Saul gave him a high rank in the army. This pleased all the people and they praised David. In his unbelief King Saul became jealous of David and wanted to kill him. Jonathan rebuked his father and reminded him that David had risked his life when he killed Goliath. Instead of taking the side of his father, Jonathan was a loyal friend to David. He warned him that Saul was looking for a chance to kill him. David fled into the wilderness to get away from him. Jonathan went in secret to meet David to encourage his friend. “And Jonathan Saul’s son arose, and went to David into the wood, and strengthened his hand in God” (1 Sam. 23:16). Jonathan and David were able to support each other in faith. God blessed their obedience and friendship.
Why is it important to have a believing friend like David had with Jonathan? Believing friends help us to stay in faith. We can speak to them of our trials and temptations. We can tell them of matters that trouble our conscience, and they can do the most precious thing any friend could ever do: they can preach the gospel, the forgiveness of sins. “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up” (Eccl. 4:9,10).
We thank God for our believing friends. They help us on our way to heaven.
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January/February 2013 Shepherd’s Voice