Read 1 Samuel 23, 24 and Psalm 54
“And Saul’s son Jonathan went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength in God. ‘Don’t be afraid,’ he said. ‘My father Saul will not lay a hand on you. You will be king over Israel, and I will be second to you. Even my father Saul knows this.'” 1 Samuel 23: 16-17
In the midst of all the difficulty in David’s life, he is still following God with an undivided heart. When he finds out that the Philistines are fighting against Keilah, his first response is to ask God if he should go and help Keilah. When God tells him that he should go, he gets absolutely no support from his band of 400 malcontents (23:1-3). They complain and ask why they should borrow trouble.
David doublechecks with God and then despite the words of his men, he leads them to help as God says to do. Saul figures this is the perfect opportunity to catch David while he is in the city walls; Saul is right. The people of Keilah would have given David over to Saul even though he had just saved them. But God knows, and before the people of Keilah can betray him, God tells David to move on to the Desert of Ziph.
Here David is, once again fleeing for his life- in a desert . . . literally! :). God knows he is running out of strength. He sends along Jonathan who selflessly once again encourages David to find strength in God. He reminds David of the truth that they all know – that David will be the next king of Israel. Don’t we sometimes need friends like that? Friends who put aside their own agendas? Who remind us that God is the one we can find strength in? Who hold up the truth of a promise God has given us and say, “This is going to happen. We all know it.” We all need that type of friend. The friend who points us back to the power and plan of God.
Even when the Ziphites betray David to Saul, David writes these words, “Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.” Psalm 54:4
The Lord gave David strength (through Jonathan) – and he would need it! Now Saul is after him with 3000 ‘chosen’ men to help him but David is no longer afraid (23:17). Even when he is given a chance to kill Saul, he only cuts off his robe (24:4-5). Then, in one of David’s most impassionioned speeches, he reasons with Saul and declares his loyalty. Evidence of God’s strength within him shines in every word. And Saul responds unknowingly with the same words of encouragment his son gave earlier. “I know that you will surely be king and that the kingdom of Israel will be established in your hands.” (24:20)
Father, I sooo long to be someone that is filled with strength from you! Can you please send me a friend like Jonathan? Can you shape me to be a friend like that? Thank you God!