“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