A Friend in Need
Author: F. Duane Lindsey
Week of December 14, 2014
1 Samuel 20:1-42
Jonathan had proved to be David’s friend. He had pledged his love, loyalty, and allegiance to David by giving him “the robe he was wearing...along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow, and his belt” (1 Sam. 18:4). He had interceded for David and “spoke well of David to Saul his father” (19:4). So David fled to Jonathan for advice and encouragement in his time of persecution. Jonathan reaffirmed his “covenant with the house of David” (20:16). Also he agreed to test his father’s attitude toward David’s absence from court during “the New Moon festival” (v. 5). When Saul hurled his spear at Jonathan to kill him for protecting David, Jonathan realized that his father would not be dissuaded from seeking David’s life.
Two days later David waited by a large stone in a designated field. Jonathan came to the field as though for archery practice. Then he shot an arrow beyond the boy picking up arrows, a prearranged signal to David that he should flee because Saul indeed planned to kill him. But David felt he must risk saying good-bye to Jonathan, so the experienced and hardened warriors “kissed each other and wept together” (v. 41). And then David departed as Jonathan said to him, “Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship with each other in the name of the Lord, saying, ‘The Lord is witness between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants forever’ " (v. 42).
What about it? Do you know a person who, like David, has been wrongfully mistreated? Have you, like Jonathan, sacrificed your own interests to defend and affirm that person? Jonathan’s friendship to David was one that he knew would cost him dearly, perhaps even his own life. Are you willing to enter into friendships like that of Jonathan and David “in the name of the Lord” (v. 42)? Begin today to seek a relationship that will lead to that kind of friendship.