They Don’t Come Better Than This…
King Saul warned his son about David: “As long as the son of Jesse lives on this earth, neither you nor your kingdom will be established. Now send someone to bring him to me, for he must die!” (1Sam.20:31). Jonathan loved David. He had chosen to believe that his father’s psychotic episodes would not cost David his life. He had been naïve but now that Saul’s paranoia had overflowed to the point where even he had to avoid the wrath of his spear, he knew David must escape. If Saul had just humbled himself before God he could have seen out his days in glory.
No, he would not have been able to start a dynasty, he had lost any hope of that, but he would have gained an army with two mighty leaders at its head. It would never be. Your heart has to break for Jonathan. He wanted nothing more than honour his father and, at the same time, be a good friend to David. By God’s decree, the House of Saul was doomed. Unlike his father, Jonathan accepted it. He was not going to sit around and play mind games. There was no hoping against hope that he might yet be king. Saul tried to manipulate the events of man in some vain hope of changing God’s mind, Jonathan would have no part of it. God had spoken Jonathan had accepted! Acceptance was bound up in the resolve that, whatever happened, he would be a loyal friend.
David would go to live among Israel’s enemy, the Philistines. Jonathan sent him on his way, both broken-hearted. David bowed before Prince Jonathan three times. He rose, but before he departed, he didn’t hear the words of a prince. He heard the words that every man longs to believe is at the heart of every friendship. Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship with each other in the name of the LORD, saying, ‘The LORD is witness between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants forever’” (1Sam.20:42). Friends—They don’t come better than this!