David & Jonathan
I Samuel 18:1-4 ESV
Psalm 7:1-2 ESV
Psalm 31:11-12 ESV
Psalm 59:16-17 ESV
I Samuel 31 (King Saul in battle)
2 Samuel 1:11-12 ESV
2 Samuel 5:1-3 ESV
The bond between David and Jonathan was a very unusual occurrence because of their stations in life. Jonathan was King Saul’s oldest son so he was Crown Prince, first in line to be King when Saul died. David on the other hand was the youngest son of a farmer. A friendship between the two would not have been possible. However we learn in I Samuel 18:1 that they loved each other. They were knit together in love. They were forever friends. In today’s language we might call them kindred spirits (https://enduringword.com/bible-commentary/1-samuel-18/).
I Samuel 18:1-4 says, “As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. And Saul took him that day and would not let him return to his father's house. Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, and his armor, and even his sword and his bow and his belt.”
Though David’s life was filled with pain from Saul, his love for Saul’s son Jonathan helped to sustain him.
We need to consider David’s state of mind. David was pursued by Saul for several months/years. Experts do not agree on how long David was pursued but from David’s Psalms we know he was in great distress.
We know from Psalm 7:1-2, “O Lord my God, in you do I take refuge; save me from all my pursuers and deliver me, lest like a lion they tear my soul apart, rending it in pieces, with none to deliver.
In Psalm 31:11-12 David wrote, “Because of all my adversaries I have become a reproach, especially to my neighbors, and an object of dread to my acquaintances; those who see me in the street flee from me. I have been forgotten like one who is dead; I have become like a broken vessel.”
But through it all David relied on God. Even though he was in great distress and he felt like he was surrounded on all sides he turned to God.
In Psalm 59:16-17 when Saul sent his men to wait for David to kill him, David wrote:
“I’m singing your prowess, shouting at dawn your largesse,For you’ve been a safe place for me, a good place to hide.Strong God, I’m watching you do it, I can always count on you— God, my dependable love.”
In the midst of David’s pain and fear God sent him a friend who loved him.
David knew God would sustain him and God knew Jonathan’s friendship would comfort him.
They were forever friends.
Their friendship and love comforted both of them.
One of my children is an extreme extrovert. He loves people. Even when he was young he collected friends. My other children had friends but they were satisfied with one friend. I’ve always been that way.
Last year I lost a great friend.
While I am glad she is with Jesus, I miss her terribly. She comforted me. She understood. We laughed and cried together. We loved.
I’ve never experienced it before like this but the instant she died I saw and felt a portal open in heaven. In an instant I knew she was gone. She was in a hospital several hours away but I knew she was gone. I wept for hours. I mourned the loss.
It was a terrible mourning because it felt like I would never have a long-term friend like her on earth again. I know I will see her again but for now, I miss her every day. I miss her wisdom and her great council. I miss her down to earth sense of humor. I miss her laugh.
I think David felt that way about Jonathan. Jonathan was David’s forever friend of his youth. They met at a time when David really needed a true friend. Saul (Jonathan’s father) really hated David and was determined to kill him. It’s interesting that it was his own oldest son who loved David.
Jonathan held David ever so close to his heart.
In 1st Samuel 31 the Philistines killed King Saul and his three sons in battle. When David heard Saul and his beloved friend Jonathan had been killed in 2 Samuel 1:11-12 we are told, “Then David took hold of his clothes and tore them, and so did all the men who were with him. And they mourned and wept and fasted until evening for Saul and for Jonathan his son and for the people of the Lord and for the house of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword.”
Even though David’s time of running and being pursued by King Saul was over, he mourned their passing; he mourned the passed of Israel’s King and he mourned the loss of his friend who he loved. In 2 Samuel 5:1-3 we read,“Then all the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and said, “Behold, we are your bone and flesh. In times past, when Saul was king over us, it was you who led out and brought in Israel. And the Lord said to you, ‘You shall be shepherd of my people Israel, and you shall be prince over Israel.’” So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a covenant with them at Hebron before the Lord, and they anointed David king over Israel.”
David’s life would never be the same after the day Saul and Jonathan died. The throne of King Saul would pass to David by proclamation of the tribes of Israel.
King David lost his lifetime beloved friend, Jonathan. Yes, after that day David would never be the same.
Spiritual Practice: Remember
Remember someone you have loved and lost and be grateful they came into your life.
In God, Deborah