After the boy had left, David got up from behind the pile of stones, fell on his knees and bowed with his face to the ground three times. Both he and Jonathan were crying as they kissed each other; David’s grief was even greater than Jonathan’s. Then Jonathan said to David, ‘God be with you. The Lord will make sure that you and I, and your descendants and mine, will for ever keep the sacred promise we have made to each other.’ Then David left, and Jonathan went back to the town. (verses 41,42)
Read 1 Samuel 20:24-42
Before Jonathan and David’s emotional reunion and reaffirmation of their covenant, Jonathan had faced Saul’s hostility, standing firm in his friendship for David. Saul made no bones about his feeling about Jonathan. Saul’s tyrannical words made his opinion clear. He said, in effect, ‘You imbecile! You’re a disgrace!’
Can you imagine Jonathan’s humiliation? Though deeply wounded he remained true to his friend. David had wished no harm on Saul. In this he was innocent, and Jonathan was prepared to stick by his friend through thick and thin. Both honoured their vowed friendship, sharing each other’s pain, giving love and finding solace in the Lord.
Cutting words that are false, that pierce our deepest being, can only be borne as we live in the love of Jesus. It is in that same spirit that we can be loyal to those who are not present to defend themselves.
Father, you were true to your promise to save me. With deep gratitude I thank you for the pain and suffering, the attacks, that Jesus gladly took on himself for me. Be beside me today as I walk in loyalty to you and those who need my trust. Amen.
by Eunice Freiberg in ‘Renewed Hope for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 2000)
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