By Poh Fang Chia
Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. —1 Samuel 18:3
John Chrysostom (347–407), archbishop of Constantinople, said this about friendship: “Such is friendship, that through it we love places and seasons; for as . . . flowers drop their sweet leaves on the ground around them, so friends impart favor even to the places where they dwell.”
Jonathan and David illustrate the sweetness of a true friendship. The Bible records an intimate and immediate bond between them (1 Sam. 18:1). They kept their friendship alive by demonstrating their loyalty to each other (18:3; 20:16, 42; 23:18), as well as nurturing it by expressions of concern. Jonathan gave gifts to David (18:4) and watched out for him through many difficulties (19:1-2; 20:12-13).
In 1 Samuel 23:16, we see the highest moment of their friendship. When David was a fugitive on the run from Jonathan’s father, “Jonathan, Saul’s son, arose and went to David in the woods and strengthened his hand in God.” Friends help you find strength in God during the low points of life.
In a world where most relationships are about what we can get, let us be the type of friends who focus on what we can give. Jesus, our perfect Friend, demonstrated for us that “greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13).
Thank You, Lord, for the friends You’ve given me to love me in spite of my failures and weaknesses. Let me treat them as You treated Your friends. Bind us together in You and enable us to help one another. The glory of life is to love, not to be loved; to give, not to get; to serve, not to be served.
The deep friendship between David and Jonathan withstood the test of time and circumstances, evidenced when Jonathan went against his father, King Saul (1 Sam. 20), endangering his own life in order to save David (v.33). Although Jonathan was the crown prince, he encouraged David by assuring his safety and affirming that he would be the next king (23:17). After Jonathan died in battle (31:1-6), David honored him with the “Song of the Bow,” which was to be remembered by the people of Judah (2 Sam. 1:18-27).
Devotional forwarded to you by:
UP CHRISTIAN YOUTH MOVEMENT
NCCP Ecumenical Ministry – Church of the Risen Lord
University of the Philippines, Diliman Campus, QC