“By the time David had finished reporting to Saul, Jonathan was deeply impressed with David—an immediate bond was forged between them. He became totally committed to David. From that point on he would be David’s number-one advocate and friend.
Saul received David into his own household that day, no more to return to the home of his father. Jonathan, out of his deep love for David, made a covenant with him. He formalized it with solemn gifts: his own royal robe and weapons—armor, sword, bow, and belt. Whatever Saul gave David to do, he did it—and did it well. So well that Saul put him in charge of his military operations. Everybody, both the people in general and Saul’s servants, approved of and admired David’s leadership.” 1 Samuel 18:1-5 (MSG)
Jonathan and David came from two different worlds. David was used to being out in the field with his sheep, while Jonathan was the king’s son. Jonathan had lived a life of royalty, yet when he saw the courage, strength, and leadership that David had, he was immediately drawn to him. After David had killed Goliath, Jonathan and David became close friends. Jonathan gave David the very symbols of his position: his royal robe and weapons. What would it have been like to see David walking around in Jonathan’s robe? People probably would have had questions, because the features of the royal robe would have been recognizable. In humbling himself through giving, Jonathan was able to elevate David. It became apparent that their different backgrounds were not going to be an obstacle in their friendship. At that moment in time, David could not have realized how valuable this friendship would be to him. The prophet, Samuel, had already anointed David to be the next king, even though he was not currently serving in that capacity. The irony of their friendship was that David would eventually take the position that Jonathan would have naturally assumed as the next king. From the other accounts in 1 Samuel of their interactions, there was not a spirit of competition between them. They were simply there for one another. As King Saul took David into his household, there would be tension that rose, and eventually Saul would try to take David’s life. In the midst of all of this, David had an ally in Jonathan. Their friendship would protect David even when he was later running for his life.
Most people would recognize the value of friendship. We all need to have support in our lives. However, it can sometimes be easier to amass a large group of friends that know little about us. Yet, there is great benefit in developing deep friendships that go beyond convenience. We need people in our lives that will be our advocates, and we need to be that for others, as well. A person who will stand by your side even in the midst of adversity can be difficult to find. All friendships and relationships require an investment from us. Friendship applauds the successes of the other and protects and defends when faced with adversity. As in the case of David and Jonathan, the bond can be immediate, but often the friendship between two people grows as both are willing to invest time and energy into one another. Does friendship keep you from battles? Like David experienced, the answer is no. Yet, friendship allows you to walk through trials with someone. God can use those people in our lives to protect us and allow us to see what might otherwise remain hidden. On the other hand, how does your friendship elevate others? There is a lifting and support that is deposited into our lives when we are generous in our friendships. Sometimes we wait and want friendship to be initiated by the other person. Yet, God is giving us each that opportunity to be the friend. There is blessing in finding friends who will journey through the good and the bad with you. There is no secret recipe to this type of friendship. As you honor God through your relationships, He is able to forge bonds that are not easily broken. As we partner with God, invest in friendships that will last. You might not need them today, but God can use those people to help you when you face even the most difficult of circumstances.
Scripture taken from THE MESSAGE. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.