I don’t think any of you would disagree that we, as people, need friends. That’s not news to us, right? Even before the COVID pandemic, there was an epidemic that medical professionals were beginning to recognize based around this: loneliness. Even before the pandemic, loneliness had become a health epidemic. You can guess what the COVID pandemic did to the loneliness epidemic. Do some simple googling and you’ll see some scary stats.
God knows this about us. He knew it about David. Read through 1 Samuel 23:13-18. You’ll see a David running from stronghold to stronghold running away from Saul, unable to find help or safety anywhere. Yet, you’ll also see that Saul couldn’t find him no matter how hard he looked. And we know why. God wouldn’t let Saul find David.
But Jonathan did find David. And as a true biblical friend, Jonathan strengthened David in the promises of God. He didn’t tell him any news of the world, or about his father, Saul’s, whereabouts. He just reminded him of the things God had promised him. That’s friendship- bound in the promises of God.
I wish I could promise that I will always be that friend for you. I’ll try to be there in your wildernesses, I’ll try with all my heart to love you perfectly in Jesus’ name, but I know all too well that I won’t be perfect. None of us can be.
But we do have a perfect friend. A friend who sought us in the wildernesses of our lives. One who pursued us at great personal cost to himself. One who teaches us and reminds us that everything is going to be so much more than ok. His name is Jesus. Can we revel in that together?
1 Samuel 23:14-29
14 And David stayed in strongholds in the wilderness, and remained in the mountains in the Wilderness of Ziph. Saul sought him every day, but God did not deliver him into his hand. 15 So David saw that Saul had come out to seek his life. And David was in the Wilderness of Ziph [a]in a forest. 16 Then Jonathan, Saul’s son, arose and went to David in the woods and [b]strengthened his hand in God. 17 And he said to him, “Do not fear, for the hand of Saul my father shall not find you. You shall be king over Israel, and I shall be next to you. Even my father Saul knows that.” 18 So the two of them made a covenant before the Lord. And David stayed in the woods, and Jonathan went to his own house.
19 Then the Ziphites came up to Saul at Gibeah, saying, “Is David not hiding with us in strongholds in the woods, in the hill of Hachilah, which is on the south of Jeshimon? 20 Now therefore, O king, come down according to all the desire of your soul to come down; and our part shall be to deliver him into the king’s hand.”
21 And Saul said, “Blessed are you of the Lord, for you have compassion on me. 22 Please go and find out for sure, and see the place where his hideout is, and who has seen him there. For I am told he is very crafty. 23 See therefore, and take knowledge of all the lurking places where he hides; and come back to me with certainty, and I will go with you. And it shall be, if he is in the land, that I will search for him throughout all the [c]clans of Judah.”
24 So they arose and went to Ziph before Saul. But David and his men werein the Wilderness of Maon, in the plain on the south of Jeshimon. 25 When Saul and his men went to seek him, they told David. Therefore he went down [d]to the rock, and stayed in the Wilderness of Maon. And when Saul heard that, he pursued David in the Wilderness of Maon. 26 Then Saul went on one side of the mountain, and David and his men on the other side of the mountain. So David made haste to get away from Saul, for Saul and his men were encircling David and his men to take them.
27 But a messenger came to Saul, saying, “Hurry and come, for the Philistines have invaded the land!” 28 Therefore Saul returned from pursuing David, and went against the Philistines; so they called that place [e]the Rock of Escape. 29 Then David went up from there and dwelt in strongholds at En Gedi.