The friendship between David and Jonathan in 1st Samuel 18 is a beautiful picture of what we all desire in having a friend and what true friendship could look like.
You may recall that Jonathan, King Saul’s son, is the crowned Prince of Israel and David, the youngest son of a farmer. Jonathan overhears David, after he killed Goliath, telling his father about his faith in the living God and Jonathan sees with spiritual eyes that the 2 of them have the same type heart, hearts that desired to serve God and God alone.
1st Samuel 18 goes on to say that Jonathan “loved him as his own soul”. Isn’t that a picture of the deepest kind of love and my only human point of reference for that type of love is the oneness between a man and wife without the sexual component. This type love transcends our human understanding of love and comes only from an even deeper love for God. I think what I’m trying to say is that type of love is a natural by product of a deep and passionate love for God wherein God is all you want, need, desire. If you love God like that, then you don’t have the time or the desire to focus on yourself and you are freed up to focus on others.
This type of love is described in 1st Corinthians 13 and is a picture of how God loves us. That kind of love between friends creates and incredible bond that the evil one hates but cannot penetrate and circumstances rarely affect.
Jonathan and David’s individual and collective focus was completely on God and what God had in store for each of them, individually, was irrelevant. They simply wanted to be in the center of God’s will, no matter what, to the point that Jonathan gave David his robe, armor and sword which was a visible proclamation that he was the future king of Israel and not him.
What a beautiful picture of humility, God-centeredness and true friendship. But, as my wife often reminds me, to have a friend like that, you have to be a friend like that. I have a ways to go!