Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship with each other in the name of the LORD.” 1 Samuel 20:42
What makes a true friend? How many friends do you have? We have many acquaintances but few friends. Common interests, convenience, mutual gain will bind people together for a time. But when trouble arrives, friends can quickly become enemies.
Jonathan and David stand out as a great model of true friendship. King Saul burned with an insane jealousy of David, the slayer of Goliath, the one anointed by Samuel to succeed Saul. David trusted God and obeyed His commands. Jonathan was caught in the middle. As Saul’s son, he stood in line to become king and owed his father obedience. As David’s friend, he wanted to help him.
The moment of testing arrives. Saul seeks to kill David. David waits in hiding to get word of Saul’s intent. Jonathan stands up for David and becomes a target for Saul’s spear. He realizes David must flee. According to a prearranged signal, he warns David and then runs to him for a final embrace. In the words of our text he reaffirms their friendship. They were loyal friends because they trusted in the same Lord and called on him as witness. Jonathan remained loyal until his untimely death on the battlefield. David grieved for his friend and later welcomed Jonathan’s son at his own table.
Friends in the Lord. Only God can bind two people together in a lasting friendship. Because of our rebellion, we shun God’s friendship. Similarly, we betray friends when selfishness takes over. But God sent His Son as Friend of sinners to die on the cross. Through Christ, God has changed us from enemies into His friends. We, then, can make friends with others.
PRAYER: Thank You, Lord, for friends. Make me a true friend, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
(Devotions from “My Daily Devotion” by Dr. Stephen J. Carter, copyright 1988 CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For ordering information, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit www.cph.org.)
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