Frivolous Friendships continued…

RobDevotions

When one thinks about powerful friendships of the Bible—the kindred spirits, the three Amigos, Butch and Sundance type deals, etc. — you’re hard-pressed to come up with a better example of XTreme friendship then that of David and Jonathan. So closely knit were these two friends, that, sadly, the homosexual community often tries to point to their friendship as, “more than friends.” One reason for this may very well have to do with the fact that this kind of love and deep friendship between two men (without having anything to do with physical attraction) is so rare. It was rare back then, without all the paranoia about what people might think, it’s even more rare today because there is such paranoia. Let’s take a look at what scripture says here.

Now it came about when he had finished speaking to Saul, that (1) the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and (2) Jonathan loved him as himself.
2 Saul took him that day and (3) did not let him return to his father’s house.
3 Then (4) Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself.
I Samuel 18:1-3

It’s sad that some can read into a text like this what they wish rather than what the Lord clearly intended. And what was intended? Read it again in the New Living Translation,

 

After David had finished talking with Saul, he met Jonathan, the king’s son. There was an immediate bond of love between them, and they became the best of friends. 2From that day on Saul kept David with him at the palace and wouldn’t let him return home. 3And Jonathan made a special vow to be David’s friend, and now in, “The Message,” 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. 2Saul received David into his own household that day, no more to return to the home of his father.
3Jonathan, out of his deep love for David, made a covenant with him.

People have a hard time seeing the possibility of such loyalty and dedication between two individuals unless they are in love. But, this is precisely the kind of friendship and love that Christ encourages us to have for our brothers in Christ. And we’re to have it without seeking anything in return.

 

 

Jonathan is perhaps the most shining example of love and dedication to a friend found in the entire Bible. And this loyalty didn’t come cheap. He paid a huge price for his friendship with David on a number of fronts. Let’s take a look at all Jonathan gave up for this friendship.

First, Jonathan wasn’t simply one of David’s childhood friends from the hood. He was the son of Israel’s king, Saul. As such, he was certainly a logical (if not THE logical) choice to reign over Israel after Saul’s death. But, worse still, the nation’s prophet, Samuel had already announced to King Saul that the Lord God was taking the kingdom from him and giving it to another. That, “other” the kingdom was to be given to was none other than David. Not only does Jonathan lose out on being king someday, but the one who will have that honor instead is none other than his best friend, David. By all accounts, not only should they have not been friends, they should have been natural enemies—rivals for the throne, with Jonathan having the clear edge as the son of the present king.

 

 

Can you see this happening today?

 

 

Have you ever even heard of this happening?

 

 

Even a cursory study of the empire of Rome and it’s leaders shows the lengths to which people were (and still are) willing to go to have what they perceive as their right! Assassination seemed to be the leading cause of death among Caesars and potential Caesars of Rome. Just a few kings down the time-line for the nation of Israel and the pattern is much the same. People would stop at nothing to get at that throne. Yet, here is a man with a perfect right to it, who steps aside in order to help clear the way for God’s choice and his friend. Now, lest there be any doubt whatsoever that this was Jonathan’s intention, read verse 4, “…He formalized it (the covenant he’d just made with David) with solemn gifts; his own royal robe and weapons—armor, sword, bow, and belt.” To put this in perspective, it would be like handing someone else the very crown worn by the king! These were all the items signifying Jonathan’s royal place in the royal family—once given up, any claim to the throne went with it. This kind of sacrifice was simply unheard of!

 

 

Unbelievable!

 

 

But it gets even better.

 

 

The plot clots.

 

 

Check back in the next day or so as we continue exploring friendship and what it really means.