Good morning friends! I am reading through the book of 1 Samuel right now. As it has before, the relationship between David and Jonathan continues to amaze and delight me. The type of relationship they shared is a unique example of how God can so deeply knit hearts together.
A couple verses that stand out to me are found in 1 Samuel 23:16-17. It reads – “And Saul’s son Jonathan went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength in God. ‘Don’t be afraid’, he said ‘My father Saul will not lay a hand on you. You will be king over Israel, and I will be second to you. Even my father Saul knows this.’ The two of them made a covenant before the Lord. Then Jonathan went home but David remained at Horesh.”
Notice it says that Jonathan went to David to help him “find strength in God”. Why, you may wonder, did David need help? At this point in his life, David had been anointed King over Israel, but he had yet to take the throne. The current King, Saul, was still ruling and reigning and hating David. He hated David so much that he was trying to hunt him down in order to kill him. David was on the run and was becoming weary. Therefore he needed help in finding strength. David knew the source of His strength, it was God and God alone. Although he knew the source of his strength, he still needed help finding strength.
This is where the friend of his heart comes in. These two simple verses show us how Jonathan helped David find his strength in God:
- Jonathan went to David. He gave him the gift of his presence. Whatever else Jonathan was doing in his life, he put that on hold for a time in order to go help his friend. What a friend.
- He calmed his fears. He brought words of comfort and peace – “Don’t be afraid . . .” Sometimes we just need someone to tell us that everything is going to be OK, don’t we?
- He spoke the truth to David. “You will be king over Israel.” Jonathan knew the truth and he reminded David of the truth. God was still in charge and His plans would come to fruition in David’s life. God hadn’t gotten David this far to ditch him now.
- Jonathan committed to stick with him and involved God in their commitment as they made covenant before Him. Two is better than one, but three is greater still.
- Finally, Jonathan left and went back to his life, but not until Jonathan knew David was strong once again. This is a good example of a healthy relationship. Jonathan helped David, but then he left. There is no unhealthy co-dependence here.
What a great lesson about how to help those closest in your life to find strength in God. Do you have people who look to you to help them find strength? Do you have people you look to? It’s important that there is both, not just one or the other. However, the more of a leader you come, the more lopsided this equation can become as well. As a leader, you have many people looking to you and fewer and fewer you can look to. Beware of this! Isolation is a tool of the enemy to make you disconnected in the body of Christ. Fight against it. There are times you need help being strengthened in God. Make sure you are being real and vulnerable with a couple of people whom God has placed in your life. Just like God has placed you in other’s lives to strengthen them, He’s placed trusted people in your life to strengthen you. Let them.
Your Friend in Ministry,