1 Samuel 20:1-23 – Helping a Friend

Read 1 Samuel 20:1-23

two hands shaking each other as friends would do

If David was in denial before this, he is now certain Saul’s intentions are to kill him. Interesting that as he fled the scene in our last reading, he now ends up in the presence of his friend, Jonathan.

David hasn’t forgotten who Jonathan’s father is. Crazy thoughts like, “should I trust Jonathan?” or “is Jonathan going to be loyal to his father or me?” were likely running through David’s head. But the question that was actually haunting David was What is my crime? How have I offended your father that he is so determined to kill me?” I thought that to be a particularly good question!

Nobody could answer that question, even Saul. What had David done? Other than be a loyal warrior known for his success, David had done nothing wrong. It was the mere fact of Saul’s own jealousy and fear of the future that anybody who behaved such as David would be a threat. The evil spirit working inside Saul would make sure his anger, jealousy, fear, bitterness, paranoia, and all things bad, were stirred up and in play.

The men craft a plan to keep David safe. Jonathan had a great idea, but you could tell he had some fear himself. Could he be thinking that his father’s anger could boil over and have him killed just for being friends with David? Stranger things have happened. To cover the bases, Jonathan said, “And may you treat me with the faithful love of the Lord as long as I live. But if I die, treat my family with this faithful love, even when the Lord destroys all your enemies from the face of the earth.”

We see evidence that Jonathan followed God and put his trust in the LORD. Those are the kinds of friends we need to surround ourselves with as well.

I always think of the analogy of a bonfire. When an ember pops and is away from the rest of the fire, it goes out quickly. To keep burning, it needs to return to the fire to be consumed. Does it make sense that we should stay close to the fire as Christians so we can be consumed with God’s love and transformed to be the people God designed us to be? If we stray to far, the fire burning inside is likely to out and we’ll miss out on God’s abundance for us. I want my fire to stay burning bright!

Take time today to talk with God and tell him what’s on your heart. Ask him to show you which of your friends might need a helping hand right now. If it’s you, have the courage to ask God to show you the solution. Be ready to get an answer!

praying hands looking up

Let’s pray …
Lord, you know what’s on my heart now. I really want to be living the life you intend for me. Like young David, I want to be bold and ready to fight, letting you lead the battle. Thank you for the friends you surround me with, Lord. Prepare my heart to serve you in ways I may not feel ready for now. Shine through me over and over again. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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