1 Samuel 18:1
“Now when 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.”
The relationship between David and Jonathan is one of the most beautiful and encouraging in all of Scripture. We find that these two young men met while serving the Lord and furthering His kingdom. Their relationship was built on love, humility, and self-sacrifice. It was this relationship that proved to be a constant source of encouragement to David, and a means by which Jonathan learned to discover God’s plan for his life.
Friendships are essential to a healthy Christian life. Solomon wrote,
“The righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray.”
“As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.”
David’s life was greatly enhanced by the relationship he forged with Jonathan. Like a knife being rubbed against steel, David’s character was sharpened by Jonathan. The jealous rage of king Saul often beat upon David’s countenance, and it was Jonathan who encouraged and strengthen him. In one of the more revealing passages we read,
1 Samuel 23:16
“Then Jonathan, Saul’s son, arose and went to David in the woods and strengthened his hand in God.”
Jonathan did this by simply visiting his friend in time of need, and reminding him of the promises of God. This provided David with hope and strength to continue in that which God had called him.
We would all be better off with a friend like Jonathan, but it is important to keep a few things in mind. First, David and Jonathan met while serving the Lord. The best and healthiest relationships are the ones forged in the service of Christ. The more we dive into “Kingdom work,” the more likely we are to meet others who will provide encouragement to help us keep on with Christ. Second, in a very practical passage, Solomon gives the following advice,
“A man who has friends must himself be friendly…”
The secret to establishing good relationships, is to seek to be the friend you desire others to be. We all want a Jonathan in our lives, but perhaps a better approach is to seek to be a Jonathan in the life of others. He laid his life down, and sought to encourage David to become all God had called him to be.