“Then David fled from Naioth at Ramah and went to Jonathan and asked, “What have I done? What is my crime? How have I wronged your father, that he is trying to kill me?” 2 “Never!” Jonathan replied. “You are not going to die! Look, my father doesn’t do anything, great or small, without letting me know. Why would he hide this from me? It isn’t so!” 3 But David took an oath and said, “Your father knows very well that I have found favor in your eyes, and he has said to himself, ‘Jonathan must not know this or he will be grieved.’ Yet as surely as the Lord lives and as you live, there is only a step between me and death.” 4 Jonathan said to David, “Whatever you want me to do, I’ll do for you.” 1 Samuel 20.1-4
1 Samuel 20 is the beginning of an amazing interchange between David and Jonathan. These are two friends the likes we have not seen in Scripture. Their love for one another and their friendship is godly and honoring to the Lord. They love each other as brothers and are devoted to the wellbeing of Israel.
David has just come from Naioth where he was hiding (and worshipping) with the prophet Samuel. Saul followed and was swept up by the Spirit of God so that people thought he was a prophet. He was not a prophet but rather captured by God’s Spirit in a powerful way (see previous blog for more on this.)
David has now returned to Jerusalem to get help from Jonathan, the son of the King who is unaware that his father still wants to kill David. And so, as friends and brothers in the Lord, David makes an oath to Jonathan that he is telling the truth and that Saul wants David dead. Jonathan has a hard time believing David but pledges to him, “Whatever you want me to do, I’ll do for you.”
The rest of the chapter details the plan for helping David escape which is a fascinating and moving story. But before this, lets consider the friendship of David and Jonathan and the willingness of Jonathan to help his friend regardless of the cost.
Jonathan had nothing to gain by helping David except friendship. He was already second to the throne, the second most powerful person in Israel, and he had the ear of the king. Why help this rogue warrior who would one day replace him as king? Because he loved him as he loved himself, the text tells us in later in 1 Samuel 20. Jonathan loved David and therefore was willing to make all kinds of sacrifices for his friend.
We can learn a lot from Jonathan and his willingness to love another. He was willing to give up everything he knew and loved in order to ensure the safety of David. And shouldn’t we do the same for our loved ones? Denying our own wants and needs in order to show others the love of God?
Let’s learn from Jonathan today and practice loving others with an everlasting love. In other words, love like Jesus first loved us.
”O Lord God, you are good. I praise you for your love and for you kindness. Come now, Holy Spirit, find me willing and able to love you and love others. Pour out your Holy Spirit on me that I might know the power of your love and the truth of your grace. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen