A Loyal Friend (I Samuel 18:1-4)
I Samuel 18:1-4, And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. And Saul took him that day, and would let him go no more home to his father's house. Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. 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.
Jonathan was a faithful, mighty warrior, and one of the bravest men who had ever lived. Jonathan’s victorious strategy at the battle of Michmash was successfully used in World War I at the same exact location 3,000 years later, which has been considered the most successful military tactics ever used in battle. One-night, Major Vivian Gilbert of the British army was contemplating the situation against the Ottoman forces. He remembered a town by the name of Michmash written somewhere in the Bible. He found the verses, and discovered that there was supposedly a secret path around the town. Incredibly, he managed to ﬁnd that secret path, and with the British forces using this path to outmaneuver the Ottomans, the British took the town British troops, under the command of General Edmund Allenby, captured the city of Jerusalem on December 9th, 1917.
Jonathan and David were great friends, likened to brothers. The Scriptures suggests they could not have been closer had they been actual brothers, in spite of the fact that David had been chosen by God to take Jonathan’s place as the next king of Israel. It was David who killed Goliath and defended the people. This was enough to earn Jonathan’s respect and trust. Yet rather than being resentful, Jonathan poured his heart into his friend, making his life better. Decide to be the kind of friend who makes the lives of others better rather than seeking the best for yourself.
Jonathan came to David and put all that he had at his feet (I Samuel 18:4). He began with his robe. Jonathan's robe suggests his position, for it was the robe of a king's son, the robe of a crown prince of Israel. Jonathan also gave his garments to David. His garments speak of his possessions, the things which most personally belonged to him. Jonathan gave David his sword. His sword speaks of his protection, his right of self-defense. Jonathan put his bow at David's feet. Jonathan's bow suggests his prowess; it represents a skill he had. Finally, Jonathan put his girdle at David's feet. His girdle suggests his plans.
This was not something King Saul received well. Saul wanted David out of the picture, regardless of what God had already decided. This resulted in David becoming a hunted man. He was the number one wanted man on Saul’s hitlist. Taking his father’s side would have been easy to do, but Jonathan was “born for adversity” (Proverbs 17:17).
David and Jonathan are the epitome of what true friendship should be. No family ties, loyalties, or blood kinship could surpass the loyalty of these true friends. The souls of Jonathan and David were knit to the death. And no fault, failure, flaw, or foulness of David could waiver Jonathan's loyalty to him or make him love him less. If a friend is anything, it is someone who knows everything about you and loves you nonetheless.
Jonathan, along with his two brothers and father, was killed in a battle with the Philistines (I Samuel 31:2-6). Upon hearing this, David was brokenhearted. He lamented the death of his dear friend, especially referring to his courage, saying he was swifter than an eagle and stronger than a lion (II Samuel 1:17-26). David could not hide his love for Jonathan and God cannot hide His love for you. He loved you so much that He sent His only begotten Son to die on a cross, that He might spend eternity with you.
Points to Ponder:
· If you have a friend, cherish that friendship.
· Be a true friend to someone else today.
· A true friendship is a great treasure and exceedingly rare.
PRAYER: Father in Heaven, help me to be as true and loyal as Jonathan was to David. In Jesus name, Amen!
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.