“A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” - Proverbs 18:24 (ESV).
At once Saul was drawn to David whom he was grateful for killing Goliath, the giant who had long terrorized the Israelites. Then as the favor of the Lord became so evident upon the life of David, suddenly Saul became jealous. So much was he consumed with jealousy that he started conspiring to kill David.
However, David had the good fortune to find a friend in Saul’s household, who was none other than but his very son, Jonathan. “Saul told his son Jonathan and all the attendants to kill David. But Jonathan had taken a great liking to David and warned him, “My father Saul is looking for a chance to kill you. Be on your guard tomorrow morning; go into hiding and stay there” (I Samuel 19: 1-2).
The two lads were so drawn to each other that later they even swore an oath to look out for each other. “So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, “May the Lord call David’s enemies to account.” And Jonathan had David reaffirm his oath out of love for him, because he loved him as he loved himself” (1 Samuel 20: 16).
After determining that Saul was clearly intent on killing him, Jonathan sneaked out of the palace and went to up to David, asking him to flee. “Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship with each other in the name of the Lord, saying, ‘The Lord is witness between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants forever.’”..(vv 42).
In many ways David’s life was spared because of Jonathan. When earlier on he had apologized for his absence at the meal table where Saul was expecting him, in anger, Saul had hurled his spear to kill him instead (vv 33). David had had a good fortune of finding such a dear friend who could stand in for him even in the threat of death.
In life, who doesn’t need a friend like Jonathan! There was apparently no existing prior relation between the two; one a prince and the other a herdsman son. In fact, Jonathan could have been as envious of David’s success, who was a threat to his succession as king. Jonathan put aside his claims to the throne, and became David’s greatest defender and promoter.
God had moved ahead of David, and in the court of Saul, placed a friend, who would be a great help in a time of trouble. It helps to have such a friend, and may we pray that we all find friends such as Jonathan.
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I thank you for the friendships you have blessed me with, and gratefully I pray that I too may be such a friend to those whom you bring into my contact, for the cause of the Gospel, this I pray in Jesus’s name
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“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful” – ( 2 Timothy 4:7).
Fighting may be looked at as a non-desirable way of life, especially by those who are pacifists. In fact, throughout Christian history there are many who have literally taken Jesus’s admonition of “turn the other cheek” in Mathew 5:39, to mean nonresistance in the face of attack. The fact that Jesus rebuked the Apostle Peter for drawing a sword against his captors ( Mathew 26:52), means giving in to those who attack them, as a sign of humility.
Yes, of course there are moments where Christians must practice that humility and give in to those who attack them well remembering His word, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay, says the Lord” ( Romans 12:19). However, that said, Believers in Christ would be mistaken to imagine that they must not fight for their faith, whenever under attack. For in reality, the faith of believers is under constant attack from Satan, who comes to “kill and destroy” ( John 10:1).
Faced with this, Paul went at great length to advise Christians to “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” ( Ephesians 6:11). To ward of constant attacks by the enemy Paul challenged us to “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” ( vv 14-17).
Paul is telling us that if you think that ours is a walk over faith where you are not going to fight back against the attacks of the enemy you are very mistaken. Fight we must, and hold our ground. The devil respects that! And when all is done, we can then gladly say, “we have fought the good fight, finished the race” and thank God Almighty we are free at last!
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I rise ready to resist the attacks of the enemy, by wearing the full of armor of God, and with the sword of the Spirit, fight back to victory, this I pray in Jesus’ name!