18 April 2017
Reading: 1 Samuel 20-21; Psalm 34; Matthew 5
16 So Jonathan made a covenant with David, saying, “May the Lord destroy all your enemies!” 17 And Jonathan made David reaffirm his vow of friendship again, for Jonathan loved David as much as he loved himself. (1 Samuel 20:16-17 NLT)
When David and Jonathan met, David was actually a threat to Jonathan’s career and future. Samuel had already anointed David as Israel’s future king. As Saul’s oldest son, Jonathan was crown prince of Israel. Now every feat of courage and every military victory on David’s part moved them one day closer to the time David would rule on the throne Jonathan could have inherited.
But Jonathan loved David as much as he loved himself! I’ve been sitting here thinking about Jonathan and my admiration for him grows with every thought. Jonathan was noble, loyal, and was willing to lay down his throne and his life for his friend David. Jesus said that the two most God-pleasing things a person can do are to 1) Love God supremely and; 2) Love your neighbor (friend) as much as you love yourself! Jonathan must have been a very God-pleasing man!
I’m learning to value friendship more and more. Since moving back to the United States, there’ve been times when I kept so busy I didn’t invest as deeply as I could have in my friendships. In margin-less lives, friendships starve. I’m determined to feed my friendships better.
I suspect that some of my friends are better friends to me than I am to them, measured by the care and concern they show to me compared to the care and concern I show to them!
Do you have a friend like Jonathan? Are you a friend like Jonathan? I recommend that you ask God to help you develop a handful of real, rich friendships. It will cost time, money, effort, and might possibly cost you some achievement. However, when you’re looking back on your life, I’m pretty sure you won’t regret your investments in friendships!
Father, I purpose to be a better friend to my friends. I’m open to new friendships and I will do my best to be a good steward of the friendship gifts you give me. I’m going to feed my friendships with time and effort so they will be healthy and strong. Amen.