Bible Society of South Africa
Xanthe Hancox

Friendship – Day 14

David and Jonathan – a life-long commitment

Bible text(s)

41After the boy had left, David got up from behind the pile of stones, fell on his knees and bowed with his face to the ground three times. Both he and Jonathan were crying as they kissed each other; David's grief was even greater than Jonathan's. 42Then Jonathan said to David, “God be with you. The LORD will make sure that you and I, and your descendants and mine, will for ever keep the sacred promise we have made to each other.” Then David left, and Jonathan went back to the town.

1 Samuel 20:41-42GNBOpen in Bible reader

Like any real friendship, David and Jonathan’s was not one-sided. We read about Jonathan’s sacrificial love for David (in Day 13) and today, we see just how much David loved and respected Jonathan.

David and Jonathan sealed their friendship by the covenant they made in 1 Samuel 20:42, yet this would be the last time they spent much time together. In fact, they would meet only briefly once more (1 Samuel 23:16-18) before Jonathan’s death. Their friendship and the promises they made to one another, however, were not limited by geographical proximity or even death. When Jonathan died, David’s friendship lingered. So great was David’s love for Jonathan that, upon the news of Saul and Jonathan’s death, he composed a song of lamentation, and instructed that it be taught to the children of Judah (2 Samuel 1). Even after the death of Jonathan, David kept his promise to show kindness to his friend by extending the gesture of friendship to Jonathan’s descendants. He sought out Jonathan’s son, Mephibosheth, and provided for him the rest of his life, even inviting him to eat at his own table (2 Samuel 9).

They could have been enemies and rivals, yet they set aside jealousy, resentment and lust for power, choosing instead to become the closest of friends.

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