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“And Jonathan, Saul’s son, rose and went to David at Horesh, and strengthened his hand in God.”
1 Samuel 23:16 (ESV)
David’s life offers many stories to consider. One that stands out is the friendship between Jonathan and David. Everything between them starts on a high note and goes smoothly for a season and the two make a covenant of friendship.
But that friendship is tested when Jonathan’s father, King Saul, loses affection for David and begins to seek his life. Jonathan faces a major decision on whether or not to encourage and edify David or join his father to destroy David.
Jonathan doesn’t minimize David’s concerns and comes alongside him to strengthen him in his faith in God. His character is made evident in the testing. His commitment to friendship stays steady.
This is a spiritual friendship with God at the center.
The calling of each believer is to encourage others as Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 5:11. Jonathan’s example reminds me that in the midst of own life and season, I need to not be myopic.
My calling is to observe and recognize places and times to provide specific encouragement to those the Lord brings into my life and be available to Him to edify others more than seeking my own.
Encouraging and edifying a friend not only helps them in the moment, but also prepares them for later situations that may occur by building up his or her faith now.
How easy it can be to be so consumed with our own daily lives that we neglect the commitment to friends. In Christ we have the very best of friends and it is He who can provide us with the insight and selflessness to provide encouragement to our friends in this life.
Dear Lord, let me never forget the example of Jonathan in David’s life as I live out my days. Help me to be a friend whose commitment provides the edification that builds up the body and honors you.
Let me be ever sensitive to your leading and nudges in the lives of friends close and far.
Thank you. Amen