1 Samuel 18:1 …the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.
Friends can either make us or break us. Bad friendships, such as the friendship of Amnon and Jonadab (see yesterday’s devotional) can destroy us. But good friendships, such as the friendship of Jonathan and David, can bring rich blessings into our lives. Today we consider the friendship of David and Jonathan. Who were these two men and what caused them to be such good friends?
David, as many of you know, was the shepherd boy who slew the giant Goliath. Jonathan was the son of King Saul. It is believed that these two men were as much as ten or twenty years apart in age. They were also from two entirely different backgrounds. Jonathan had been raised in the palace while David had spent much of his life out in the open fields tending his father’s sheep. Jonathan had been raised in a life of luxury, while David’s upbringing was most likely very plain and humble. Yet although these two men were very different, in many ways they were very much alike. How so?
1) Both were men of INTEGRITY.
The Bible says that Jonathan’s soul was knit (bound) to David’s soul. As Jonathan listened to David speak, something in David’s demeanor said “integrity” to him and it caused him to love David as if he was his younger brother or perhaps even his son.
2) Both were men of SELFLESSNESS
1 Samuel 18: 3 Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. 4 And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle.
By giving David his royal garments, Jonathan was acknowledging that it was God’s will for David to become the next king and not himself. A selfish person would not have done this. A selfish person would have begun looking for a way to rid himself of his rival. But Jonathan, in his selflessness, was willing to lay his personal success in order to see his young friend accomplish God’s will.
How different this was from the actions of Jonadab. Rather than helping Amnon resist his sinful lusts, Jonadab only fed them.
3) Both were men of LOYALTY
Jonathan and David remained good friends for the rest of their lives. Jonathan defended David even at the risk of his own well-being. (see 1 Samuel 20) And after Jonathan’s death, David revealed his loyalty to his dear friend by the way he treated Jonathan’s family.
The Bible says that many years later, when David had become the king, he asked this question – “Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may shew him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” When it was revealed that Jonathan had a crippled son named Mephibosheth; David called for the boy to be brought to his palace and there Mephibosheth ate from his table for the rest of the boy’s life. (see 2 Sam 9)
The Bible says – “A friend loves you all the time, and a brother helps in time of trouble.” Pr 17:17 NCV