1 Samuel 20

1 Samuel 20 shows the power of true friendship as Jonathan and David figure out how to know what King Saul’s intentions are.  David has been living on the run, fearing for his life.  It makes no sense to him and he meets Jonathan to try and get some answers.  “What have I done? What is my guilt? And what is my sin before your father, that he seeks my life”?  David may have been selected by God through Samuel to be the next king, but right now it doesn’t really feel all that secure.  David is confused by what is happening, and wants Jonathan to find out what Saul is up to next.

They devise a plan whereby Jonathan will ask Saul about David.  Realize that this is a friendship that doesn’t really make sense.  If David is to be king, that means that Jonathan will not be the next on the throne and it would normally be his as the son of the king.  But Jonathan and David have a relationship that is deeper than a normal friendship.  “Jonathan made David swear again by his love for him, for he loved him as he loved his own soul”.  These guys were kindred spirits, of one heart, and were committed to each other at a level most never experience.  Jonathan and David truly loved each other, even when it meant their own future would be impacted.

Jonathan is going to ask Saul about his intention with David.  Based on that response, they devised a plan whereby Jonathan would shoot three arrows in the field as David hid nearby.  Based on Jonathan’s direction to a boy who was along to run pick up the arrows, it would provide the direction to David about his future and fate.  “I will shoot three arrows to the side of it, as though I shot at a mark….the arrows are on this side of you…. then you are to come….there is no danger.  But if I say to the youth, Look, the arrows are beyond you, then go, for the Lord has sent you away”.  Pretty ingenious way to deliver the message discreetly without letting the cat out of the bag.

Saul explodes when Jonathan asks about David, so the arrows fly and the message is sent.  After the rest have returned to the palace, “David rose from beside the stone heap and fell on his face to the ground and bowed three times. And they kissed one another and wept with one another, David weeping the most”.  There is a very deep love here.  These guys know that their circumstances will prevent them from seeing each other any longer.  The king will prevent them from being best friends.  So they share a deep commitment to one another – one that goes beyond their lives as Jonathan says: “The Lord shall be between me and you, and between my offspring and your offspring, forever”.  Friends forever – not just a cute saying – a reality between Jonathan and David!


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  1. […] 1 Samuel 20 (asorensen.wordpress.com) […]


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