This devotion originally appeared on www.christianwomenliving.com
My husband rolled his eyes and said in jest, “he was going upstairs to pack my bags
because I was surely going to need them for my trip down memory lane.”
A very close friend from childhood was in town visiting, and I was excited about seeing
her again. Although outwardly, we were now “thirty something,” inwardly, we were still
two high school girls. As soon as we saw each other again, our conversation came as
natural as breathing, and the weight of motherhood, marriage and caregiving lifted as
fresh air filled my soul, rejuvenating my suffocating spirit.
Perhaps you have a friend like this—the one who was with you during those awkward tween years and throughout the storm and stress of adolescence. The friend who
witnessed your yo-yo diets and plethora of emotions as you started a new job, walked
down the aisle and had your first child—yes, the one who stood by you, through thick
One of my favorite Bible stories is that of the friendship between David and Jonathan.
David was a young shepherd whom God had chosen to be the future king of Israel, and
Jonathan was the son of the current king, Saul. With a front-row seat into the depth of
their friendship, our key verse reveals, “As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul,
the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own
soul” 1 Samuel 18:1 (ESV).
My great-grandmother loved to knit. One day she noticed that the blanket she had
knitted for my daughter was lying on a shelf so she asked me why it wasn’t being used.
I explained to her that out of fear that it would unravel if washed, I had set it aside for
safekeeping. Picking up the blanket, she showed me how each piece was woven into
the next and assured me that the threads were tightly knit together, making it nearly
impossible for them to unravel.
The Bible says that Jonathan and David’s souls were knit together. What a strong bond
those two shared! Moreover, Jonathan went one step further, claiming he loved David
even more than he loved himself. How many times have we ever made such a
declaration, to actually love a friend more than ourselves? Oh, we may exclaim, “I love
this girl!” or quip, “Love ya!” at the end of a text, but do we really love so strongly that
we’d forgo our own comfort or security for the betterment of a friend, even our best
That is exactly what Jonathan was willing to do for David and indeed, did. He knew that
his father’s jealousy had fueled his desire to kill David. 1 Samuel 18 reveals the lengths that Jonathan took to protect David, “ushering him from his father’s house “ (v3) and
“giving him his robe, armor, and even his sword” (v4). Jonathan was in line to sit upon
the throne; however, upon handing his royal robe to David, he acknowledged and
accepted that the Lord had chosen David, not himself, to succeed his father as the next
king of Israel. Humility, obedience, and self-sacrifice in action.
Samuel recounts how Jonathan shielded David from the danger of Saul’s deep
resentment on numerous occasions. He warned David about his father’s plans, supplied
him with weapons and provided David an invaluable resource—encouragement. To say
that Jonathan had David’s back is an understatement.
Despite their strong bond of friendship and the risks and sacrifices he made for David,
Jonathon chose to remain with his father instead of fleeing with David. Subsequently,
when the king later went into battle against the Philistines—those same enemies of God
from whom Goliath hailed and David defeated in his youth—Saul and his sons were
slain. Eventually, David became the rightful king of Israel, and he kept his promise to
show loyalty and kindness to the household of his fallen, beloved friend, the one he
called his brother, Jonathan.
How thankful I am to be blessed with a friendship akin to that of Jonathan and David’s.
But, even on the best of days, it does not compare to a relationship with the constant
companion and perfect friend, Jesus. He is the friend who sticks closer than a brother
(or sister). Unlike earthly friends, the Lord never abandons us; He loves us
unconditionally, laying down His life for ours so we can be with Him throughout eternity.