I have been studying 1 Samuel with with a precious Precept Ministries Bible Study Group. My heart has been moved by the quintessence of friendship exemplified through Jonathan toward David.
Beginning in 1 Samuel 13, we read of Jonathan's amazing commitment and love as a friend. We see it contrasted with Jonathan's father, Saul, who poised himself against David (to put it mildly).
My heart is saddened for Saul, who went looking for donkeys one day and returned as a king. (1 Samuel 9) Had he yielded his heart to the Lord with this position of honor and responsibility, wonderful fruit could have come forth. Had he obeyed the Word of the Lord, his legacy would have been different. Had Saul honored God, God would have honored him.
Studying this touching account of friendship in 1 Samuel, I have prayerfully purposed in my heart that I want to be a Jonathan kind of friend. By God's grace, love, Spirit and strength. God has been teaching me so much about friendship and calling me to be a better friend, a Jonathan kind of friend. He is showing me how He wants to define the kind of friend He wants me to be before Him, yet I am not to define the kind of friend others should be to me. Love, His love, is the only sure foundation.
Jonathan loved David as himself. Jonathan's relationship was founded in love.
Saul's relationship with David was rooted in jealousy and insecurity.
Jonathan obeyed the Word of the Lord, and he honored God.
Saul disobeyed the Word of the Lord, and he dishonored God.
Jonathan wanted the best for David and helped him achieve that.
Saul was envious of David and tried to kill him.
Jonathan was loyal and committed.
Saul was selfish and wanted to use David for his own benefit.
Jonathan rejoiced in the truth, and he trusted.
Saul followed his own ways. He was suspicious and not trusting.
Jonathan was a servant.
Saul wanted to be served.
Jonathan spoke well of his friend and greatly delighted in him.
Saul cast blame and tried to pin David to the wall with a spear.
Jonathan protected and defended his friend in truth.
Saul put David in harm's way, was critical of him and did not keep his word.
Jonathan was for David. Saul turned against David.
Jonathan desired peace for David. Saul intended harm toward David.
Jonathan was loyal and committed, even in the heat of battle and rough terrain.
Saul wasn't willing to go through the heat with a friend.
Jonathan made a vow of friendship before God. Jonathan revered and loved God.
Saul did not reverence God with his whole heart. He did not honor God through his relationships.
As I continue my study of these precious chapters in 1 Samuel, I am going to keep my heart before the Lord and ask Him to show me how to be more of a Jonathan kind of friend.
My heart is thankful for the Jonathans in my life. How precious is the gift of a Jonathan kind of friend. May we nourish and care for our friendships with great love and thanksgiving to God, the giver of all good things.
"After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself...And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt." 1 Samuel 18:1-4