One in Spirit
"Jonathan committed himself to David, and loved him as much as he loved himself." — 1 Samuel 18:1b
Common interests, passions, experiences, and skills naturally draw people together. We all enjoy partnering with others with whom we can identify. When someone says, “I know how you feel,” and you believe that he really does, a bond is formed. David and Jonathan are examples of two men who experienced that deeper connection; they were, “one in spirit,” drawn together by a shared faith (1 Sm 14; 17). Both men trusted God when no one else did, and as a result, David and Jonathan were key in God’s plan to defeat the dreaded Philistines. Both men trusted God even though the odds were not in their favor.
David and Jonathan’s decision to trust God was not an easy choice, so they both profited greatly from the encouragement that they gave to one another. We read that Jonathan “loved David as much as he loved himself” In other words, Jonathan cared for David’s well-being as much as he cared for his own. At this point, Jonathan had no idea how much his commitment to David would be tested. Soon after David and Jonathan expressed commitment to their friendship, King Saul, Jonathan’s father, became jealous of David, and for the next twenty years, Jonathan was caught between loyalty to his father the king and his friendship to David.
Saul’s jealousy of David increased with time, and eventually he went on a murderous rampage, killing anyone who sided with David (see 1 Sm 21–22). When David hid from Saul in a cave in the desert, Jonathan went there, risking his life, to help David find strength in the Lord. Jonathan found his friend and told him not to fear. Jonathan came to David with words of encouragement about God’s promise and call on his life. Jonathan’s faith strengthened David’s faith.
1. Do you have a friendship like the one Jonathan had with David? If yes, thank that person today. If not, do you know someone who has similar passions with whom you can share encouragement and accountability?
2. What practical steps can you take to establish a close and committed relationship with another believer?
Extra Reading: 1 Samuel 14:1–14; 18:1–4; 23:15–18
Dear Lord, bless me with a friendship that will encourage me and hold me accountable in my walk with You. Amen.