05 Sep Shepherd To King-Day 8
Scripture: 1 Samuel 18:1-4 (NLT) “After David had finished talking with Saul, he met Jonathan, the king’s son. There was an immediate bond between them, for Jonathan loved David. From that day on Saul kept David with him and wouldn’t let him return home. And Jonathan made a solemn pact with David, because he loved him as he loved himself. Jonathan sealed the pact by taking off his robe and giving it to David, together with his tunic, sword, bow, and belt.”
Observation: Godly relationships are built on love, trust, and excellence.
Application: Today, we use the story of two friends, David and Jonathan, King Saul’s son, to examine requirements of a relationship. This is a particularly extraordinary story because we learn that an immediate bond was formed between them. For more context, I’d encourage you to read 1 Samuel 18 (NLT). Later in David’s journey, their relationship became immensely vital in his quest for survival from the hands of King Saul. Now, let’s dive in piece by piece:
David meets Jonathan: The Amplified Bible Translation (AMP) version of verse 1 tells us that David sharing a testimony with Saul about his victory over Goliath (see Day 7) drew Jonathan’s admiration and thus established the relationship. You can form a friendship with someone simply because they admire you! A few months ago, the Holy Spirit dawned it on me to carefully review the account of Jesus so that I can further my relationship with him. From his baptism to temptation to the assortment of miracles he performed, I became more in awe!
An immediate bond was formed: Although not every relationship starts off with an immediate bond like Jonathan and David’s, their bond does exemplify the type Jesus wants with us and what he wants us to have with others. This type of connection is rooted in God’s love. Paul said in Romans 8:38 (AMP) that he was fully convinced nothing can separate us from the love of God in Jesus. As a believer, the Holy Spirit joins with our spirit to confirm that we are God’s children (Romans 8:16 (NLT)), just like Jonathan’s soul was bonded to David’s!
A solemn pact was made: In verse 3, the solemn pact Jonathan made can be synonymous to a covenant, as was custom in those days. A similar covenant was made between God and Abraham. It connotes intimacy and commitment. This covenant was established because Jonathan loved David as himself, which is precisely one of the great commandments Jesus left us with (see Matthew 22:39 (NLT)). Loving someone is not a feeling—it is a decision we make, to be kind, compassionate, and loyal to that person in a manner that glorifies God. We know from John 3:16 (NLT) that God gave Jesus because he loved the world. Who can you be intentional about loving today?
The pact was sealed: Verse 4 is symbolic in multiple ways. First, it means Jonathan is relinquishing to David his right to succeed King Saul. True relationships require sacrifice. Second, it is a crystal-clear display of trust, another key relationship ingredient. Third, it symbolizes excellence. Apostle Paul in 1 Thessalonians 3:12 (AMP) said, “And may the Lord cause you to increase and excel and overflow in love for one another, and for all people, just as we also do for you”. To excel can mean to express love and kindness way beyond someone’s imaginations. Jesus loves us excellently (Ephesians 3:18 (NLT)) and he is the quintessence of how we can excel in our relationships.
Prayer: Lord, I thank you for reminding me today about having a relationship. Please help me to draw closer to you as you do to me and connect me with those whom I can form a bond with that is rooted in your love. Today, I choose to love you more than ever before and I will let that love overflow towards my family, friends, and anyone who I come in contact with, in Jesus’ name.
- Come back tomorrow for Day 9
- I would encourage you to tell one or two people about Jesus, that he loves them just the way they are and that they can lean on him and trust him as their friend and companion!
- If you see yourself having a strong and godly relationship with someone, like Jonathan and David, I would warmly suggest that you tell them. Let them know you can trust them with personal information.
- Increase your slot & spot time by 15 minutes. Give your sick family member a call on your lunch break. Check up on your pastor on a weekend. Surprise your new neighbor with a gift. If you have been checking up on a friend monthly, make it biweekly. This is how you excel. Practice these and watch your relationships blossom!
Dayo Afekare, PhD/Pastoral Care Team/Prayer Team/J-Group Mentor
Dayo has been attending The Journey with his wife, Melody, and three-year old daughter, Haven, for just over a year. He is a graduate of the Journey Leadership Institute Core program. He loves doing an in-depth study of the Bible, serving on the Pastoral Care J-Team, connecting with others, and helping people realize their identity in Christ through the Word of God. Dayo works as a Senior Research & Development Engineer at DuPont and loves watching soccer and socializing with his family and friends in his spare time.