"Saul's son Jonathan went to David
and helped him to find his strength in God."
1 Samuel 23:16
This verse is yet more evidence of one of the most blessed friendships in the Bible – that of David and Jonathan. David was one of eight sons of Jesse, but even with seven brothers, we see no evidence of any friendship between David and any of them. If this story were written by anyone but God, David and Jonathan would probably be bitter enemies, with one of them killing the other in a duel. After all, Jonathan is the son of King Saul, and David is the man anointed to be the next king. If this were a TV miniseries, the only thing missing would be both of them in love with the same woman.
But like all deep friendships, these two men have something in common. This was a friendship based in the Lord. The ways in which David and Jonathan showed their friendship to each other are examples of how God wants friendship to be. Jonathan and David made a covenant with one another, and Jonathan gave David the very robe he was wearing, along with his tunic, his sword, his bow, and his belt. As these were property of the king’s son, they were probably beautiful items, made from the finest material available.
When Jonathan finds out that his father is trying to kill David, he does everything in his power to help David escape, even to the point of lying to his father. Jonathan did this because he was one in Spirit with David.
There are probably countless ways that David and Jonathan showed friendship to each other, but this verse in chapter 23 is so inspirational to me. Jonathan went to his friend, who was running for his life, hiding, afraid… and he helped him to find strength in God. What better gift can there be? What better way to help a friend who is weak? Can others say this about me? Can my husband, my children, say that I help them find strength in God?
There is much to be admired about David: his courage, his strength, his faith… and we are privileged to take strength and inspiration from his psalms to God. But I would be remiss if I did not learn from Jonathan, too, about friendship in the Spirit of the Lord, about loyalty and devotion, about being the friend that sticks closer than a brother.
~ "the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David,
and Jonathan loved him as his own soul" ~
1 Samuel 18:1