1 Samuel 17:52-18:4 – New Friends

Read 1 Samuel 17:52-18:4

two cuddly teddy bears sitting in a field, facing away, one posed with it's arm around the other

What a statement David’s actions made that day for the Israelites and the living God. The soldiers didn’t waste any time plundering the deserted camp. I can just imagine the relief they felt. They would not have to endure the bondage that seemed so sure.

It seems for David it was “all in a day’s work.” He carries Goliath’s head like a trophy, yet not with selfish pride but with gratefulness to God for giving him the strength. David’s deed had obviously caught Saul’s attention. Saul wanted to know everything about David. There doesn’t appear to be any recognition or association with the harp player, David. We see two, distinctly different sides of the same man in the accounts we’ve been reading.

What strikes me most about this passage is the instant bond between Jonathan and David. They both have one thing in common. They have done deeds which bring Saul into a positive light. Because of the bravery of those two young men, Saul’s kingship has some high points.

Other than his brothers, I don’t suppose David had a lot of friends. The sheep would no doubt be huge fans of David, but a shepherd’s life can be lonely. David made this new friend very quickly, but it was probably, in part, because Jonathan was already familiar with him, they were close in age, and they both loved the Lord.

I may be stretching it a bit to say Jonathan loved the Lord, but he did seek the Lord’s will during one of the victories he was involved with in a preceding chapter. Jonathan certainly seemed to be more driven by his faith than his father, Saul.

Jonathan loved David with the ultimate of respect and awe. The two men seemed to be brothers yet not by blood. And then Jonathan proceeded to do something surprising! “Jonathan sealed the pact by taking off his robe and giving it to David, together with his tunic, sword, bow, and belt.” Did Jonathan know? Had God given him special knowledge?

As I understand it, Jonathan’s actions were, in essence, his way of handing the throne over to David. If it was expected that sons should follow fathers as the kings of the nations, then Jonathan would be next in line. We know it was David who would be the next king, as did David. This gesture seems to be a bit of a foreshadow of what’s coming.

When I look at the people God has placed in my life, I am especially blessed when I meet people at just the right time. Now when I meet new people, I am always curious about how God intends for us to serve each other. Are we to be just friends, or will we play major roles in each other’s life?

We need to all be on the look out for ways we can be used by God to help others. Helping friends is the easy part. It’s familiar and we seem more in tune with what their needs may be. But God is also calling us to be friends to those not like us. Jesus was known as the friend of sinners. Shouldn’t we take his lead?

praying hands looking up

Let’s pray …
Lord, thank you for all the people you have brought into my life to help me in times of need. I pray that you will use me to be that solution for others I know and may not yet know. I am so grateful for all your provisions. Open my eyes and heart to be ready to be your servant. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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