Today's Devotional Thought
June 28, 2010 by Rachel Piferi
Of all of the friendships in the Bible, the friendship between David and Jonathan is among the most special relationships described. We are first introduced to the depth of the relationship between David and Jonathan in I Samuel 18.
In the beginning of this chapter, we see the first introduction to their friendship. And, in this chapter, we see that Jonathan is clearly taken with David. He is impressed by him and he loves him as the newest member of his father’s court. He is not jealous of him at all. Instead, he shows his generosity towards David by giving him his own robe, armor, sword, bow, and belt. Giving his armor to David was a huge sign of his love and respect for him as these were expensive and personal items. And, the mention of a covenant in verse 3 further indicates to us the strength of this relationship.
As their story unfolds, we see that Jonathan’s father Saul becomes jealous of David and his popularity. And eventually, Saul strives to kill David. And, Jonathan is the one who stands by David (against his father) and helps save David. When David and Jonathan are discussing Saul’s wish to kill David, Jonathan says to David,
"Whatever you say, I will do for you." (I Samuel 20:4)
They devise a plan and Jonathan willingly enacts the plan so that he can help David. He shows loyalty to David, even against his father. It becomes evident to both Jonathan and David that Saul does indeed wish to kill David. So, after a tearful and emotional departure scene, David and Jonathan separate.
Throughout the story of David and Jonathan, you can feel the intensity of the relationship. You can feel the devotion. You can feel the love between these two men.
So, what can we learn from the relationship between David and Jonathan?
First and foremost, we can learn about trust. David and Jonathan trusted each other immensely. David really trusted that Jonathan would not sell him out to his father, Saul. Jonathan also trusted that David would not betray him if he helped him escape his father’s plan. The trust between these two men is evident. Imagine how much stronger our relationships would be if we showed this level of trust and trustworthiness. Being able to trust others with our weaknesses, with our fears, and ultimately with our lives strengthens our relationships with others. And, it is important to note that being able to trust is related to being trustworthy. Both David and Jonathan trusted each other. They were also trustworthy.
Secondly, we see sacrifice in this friendship. Jonathan sacrificed his position in his father’s favor by siding with David. Jonathan also sacrificed his own safety to protect his friend. What I think is interesting is that Jonathan probably didn’t see it as a sacrifice. He probably willingly helped David due to his love for him. We can learn from his example and if you have ever sacrificed something for a dear friend, you are aware of the blessings that emerge from such a sacrifice. And, similar to Jonathan, it doesn’t feel like a sacrifice. It merely feels like a Godly response to a friend.
Finally, we see the presence of God throughout this relationship. Early on in the story, it is written that the Lord knit their souls together. Later, they made a covenant before God proclaiming their friendship. God was woven into their friendship, into their conversations, and into their plans. And, we also can learn from this piece of their relationship. Both men focused on God and brought God into their friendship and as a result, it was a strong, deeply spiritual brotherhood.
The friendship of David and Jonathan is an excellent example of a divinely inspired best friendship that goes beyond our traditional understanding of friendship. They trusted each other, sacrificed for each other, were not jealous of each other, and were utterly devoted to each other. Imagine how much stronger our relationships could be if we practiced these elements in our own relationships. The story of David and Jonathan is the story of a very special friendship. Read through it today and learn from this God-centered, trust and love filled brotherhood.
2Saul took him that day and did not let him return to his father's house.
3Then Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself.
4Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, with his armor, including his sword and his bow and his belt.