Today's Devotional Thought
February 28, 2011 by Rachel Piferi
Friendships with others are so important. And of all of the friendships in the Bible, the friendship between David and Jonathan is one of the most special relationships described. The friendship between David & Jonathan is a deep, soul-level friendship created by God. We are first introduced to the depth of the relationship between David and Jonathan in I Samuel 18 and throughout their story, you can feel the depth of the relationship. You see numerous examples of their devotion and love for each other.
Wendy and I are currently working on a book about friendship. And as we study friendship in the Bible, we see different examples of characteristics of deep, devoted friendship. And as you look at David and Jonathan, you see several of these characteristics. So, why was their relationship so strong?
First and foremost, their relationship was created by God and we see the presence of God throughout their friendship. Early on in the story, it is clearly written that the Lord created the bond between the two men by knitting their souls together. In I Samuel 18:1, it is written, "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 Jonathon loved him as his own soul." Later, they made a covenant before God proclaiming their friendship. God was woven into their friendship, into their conversations, and into their plans. Both men focused on God and brought God into their friendship and as a result, it was a strong, deeply spiritual brotherhood.
In addition to God being at the center of it, the second reason their friendship was so precious was the level of trust we see between these two men. 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 both trustworthy.
Finally, 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.
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. And, more important than all of these qualities, God was at the very center of their friendship. Jonathan believed in God’s anointing of David and willingly supported this future king of Israel. God created their friendship and they sustained it by keeping Him at the center.
Do you have a friendship like this in your life? Do you want a friendship like this? Having a friendship like this is a gift from God that must be protected by practicing the elements seen in David & Jonathan’s friendship. Imagine how much stronger your relationships would be if you placed God at the very center of them and behaved with trustworthiness and sacrifice for the others’ wellbeing. The story of David and Jonathan is the story of a very precious friendship that beautifully demonstrates the importance of selfless, godly devotion to another and is a wonderful reminder to us of the qualities of true friendship. Study this friendship and practice its elements in your own relationships today.