The Friendship of David and Jonathan

1 Sam 20:1-42

Today’s passage is one that shows the depth and extent of David and Jonathan’s friendship, it was a commitment unto death.

David ran away from Naioth and met with Jonathan, who was unaware that his father Saul was still after David’s life. When David told him about it, they both made a plan to confirm this. David was to miss the new moon festival, while in hiding, when Saul asks Jonathan of David’s absence, he was to tell him he had taken permission to visit his family in Bethlehem. They would confirm Saul’s position by his reaction to this, and know if it was safe for David to return or to flee.

On the first of the three days of the new moon feast, when all the king’s men had taken their seats, Saul noticed David was missing, but thought maybe he was unclean and couldn’t make it. However on the second day when he was still not there, he asked Jonathan about it, and Jonathan told him of the permission to go visit his family. At this juncture the king snapped, and spoke ill words to Jonathan, abusing him and his mother, implying he was a bastard. He made him know that as long as David lived, Jonathan would never be king, and that he was to fetch David so that he could be killed. When Jonathan asked why David should die, his own father threw a Javelin at him and almost killed him.

Jonathan was now very sure of the extent of his father’s hatred against David, he was very sad, and fasted and grieved the whole day. On the third day, he went to the field and gave David the sign that he was not to stay but flee away as Saul was intent on killing him. Both men wept and David departed.

It is so clear that Jonathan definitely loved David more than his own Soul or his own position. David was the only one in the way of his kingship, but he would rather allow David be king. His disobedience to his father could also result in his own death, but he did not mind, he had a covenant and commitment to his friend, and more so, he knew God was with David, and he feared God. Jonathan really deserves a lot more praise and acknowledgement for his friendship. If every friend today were like Jonathan, friendship would be the most beautiful thing in life.

Could you desire the promotion of your friend more than yours? Are you willing to die in the place of your friend? No wonder Jesus himself said, No greater love than this, that a man should lay down his life for his friend. That was what Jonathan did for David. Could you?

Some verses to remember

vs 31-32: For as long as the son of Jesse liveth upon the ground, thou shalt not be established, nor thy kingdom. Wherefore now send and fetch him unto me, for he shall surely die. And Jonathan answered Saul his father, and said unto him, Wherefore shall he be slain? what hath he done?

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