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Posts Tagged ‘loyalty’

David now fled from Naioth in Ramah and found Jonathan. “What have I done?” he exclaimed. “What is my crime? How have I offended your father that he is so determined to kill me?”

“That’s not true!” Jonathan protested. “You’re not going to die. He always tells me everything he’s going to do, even the little things. I know my father wouldn’t hide something like this from me. It just isn’t so!”

Then David took an oath before Jonathan and said, “Your father knows perfectly well about our friendship, so he has said to himself, ‘I won’t tell Jonathan—why should I hurt him?’ But I swear to you that I am only a step away from death! I swear it by the Lord and by your own soul!”

“Tell me what I can do to help you,” Jonathan exclaimed.

David replied, “Tomorrow we celebrate the new moon festival. I’ve always eaten with the king on this occasion, but tomorrow I’ll hide in the field and stay there until the evening of the third day.  If your father asks where I am, tell him I asked permission to go home to Bethlehem for an annual family sacrifice.  If he says, ‘Fine!’ you will know all is well. But if he is angry and loses his temper, you will know he is determined to kill me.  Show me this loyalty as my sworn friend—for we made a solemn pact before the Lord—or kill me yourself if I have sinned against your father. But please don’t betray me to him!”

“Never!” Jonathan exclaimed. “You know that if I had the slightest notion my father was planning to kill you, I would tell you at once.”

Then David asked, “How will I know whether or not your father is angry?”

“Come out to the field with me,” Jonathan replied. And they went out there together.  Then Jonathan told David, “I promise by the Lord, the God of Israel, that by this time tomorrow, or the next day at the latest, I will talk to my father and let you know at once how he feels about you. If he speaks favorably about you, I will let you know.  But if he is angry and wants you killed, may the Lord strike me and even kill me if I don’t warn you so you can escape and live. May the Lord be with you as he used to be with my father.  And may you treat me with the faithful love of the Lord as long as I live. But if I die,  treat my family with this faithful love, even when the Lord destroys all your enemies from the face of the earth.”

So Jonathan made a solemn pact with David, saying, “May the Lord destroy all your enemies!”  And Jonathan made David reaffirm his vow of friendship again, for Jonathan loved David as he loved himself.  1 Samuel 20:1-17

I’ve always been intrigued by this dynamic relationship between Jonathan and David.  This story says much about the faith and testament of Jonathan to God.  I’m going to type in the profile that is in my study bible for Jonathan because I couldn’t do him the justice that he deserves…

Loyalty is one of life’s most costly qualities; it is the most selfless part of love.  To be loyal, you cannot live only for yourself.  Loyal people not only stand by their commitments; they are willing to suffer for them.  Jonathan is a shining example of loyalty.  Sometimes he was forced to deal with conflicting loyalties:  to his father, Saul, and to his friend David.  His solution to that conflict teaches us both how to be loyal and what must guide loyalty.  In Jonathan, truth always guided loyalty.

Jonathan realized that the source of truth was God, who demanded his ultimate loyalty.  It was his relationship with God that gave Jonathan the ability to deal effectively with the complicated situations in his life.  He was loyal to Saul because Saul was his father and the king.  He was loyal to David because David was his friend.  His loyalty to God guided him through the conflicting demands of his human relationships.

The conflicting demands of our relationships challenge us as well.  If we attempt to settle these conflicts only at the human level, we will be constantly dealing with a sense of betrayal.  But if we communicate to our friends that our ultimate loyalty is to God and his truth, many of our choices will be much clearer.  The truth in his Word, the Bible, will bring light to our decisions.  Do those closest to you know who had your greatest loyalty?

Strengths and accomplishments

  • Brave, loyal, and a natural leader
  • The closest friend David ever had
  • Did not put his personal well-being ahead of those he loved
  • Depended on God

Lessons from his life

  • Loyalty is one of the strongest parts of courage
  • an allegiance to God puts all other relationships in perspective
  • Great friendships are costly

Vital statistics

  • Occupation:  Military leader
  • Relatives:  Father:  Saul.  Mother:  Ahinoam.  Brothers:  Abinadab and Malkishua.  Sisters:  Merab and Michal.  Son:  Mephibosheth

Key verse:

“How I weep for you, my brother Jonathan!  Oh, how much I loved you!  And your love for me was deep, deeper than the love of women!”  (2 Samuel 1:26)

His story is told in 1 Samuel 13-31.  He is also mentioned in 2 Samuel 9

I like the way the KJV puts it, “The soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.”  1 Samuel 18:1 (emphasis added)  I don’t even know why, but this wording, the way that their relationship, their affections are described just simply intrigue me.  Maybe this is the kind of relationship that I not only want, but expect from my marriage.  I think this is true and I don’t necessarily think that it is off from the way God expects our marriages to be.  All the symbolism in the bible that points to us as God’s bride and He the Husband would indicate a marriage relationship like the love, loyalty, self-sacrificing and trust between Jonathan and David.  

I suppose I’m a bit of a cynical skeptic, but I don’t think that there are to many Christian marriages like this in the world today.  Though, there are some really good marriages, some mediocre marriages and some horrible marriages, I just don’t think that marriages are being held up to the standard set in the bible. 

At one time I would have done anything to stand by my convictions; I withstood a church council and being “put out” of the brethren, I’ve withstood criticism, some fairly strong at that, from my family regarding my choice(s) with the raising of my children and my marriage, I’ve withstood friendly advice, suggestions and admonishment given in love because of things I’ve said or done based on my convictions.  And, my husband loves me more than he ever has loved me, yet, nothing seems to matter to me any more.   I suppose I’m going through my daily life hanging on to this old saying, “this to shall pass.”  Because I know that it will.  I can see that I’m caught up in the today and tomorrow’s of my life and I shouldn’t be.  But I’m sure that you know whenever you do get caught up in these worries, it is hard sometimes to get out of that rut and start thinking right. 

“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’  These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.  Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.  Matthew 6:31-34

Ultimately, I’m here, I’m reading the Word of God, I’m writing to you, I’m doing these things by rote, knowing that eventually, God will get through to me, as stubborn and hard-headed as I am.  I know that God will save me from myself when He knows that I’m ready to take the next step.  That’s why I love God.  I know that my relationship with Him is so steady and true.  I know that no matter how discouraged I may become, how hard-hearted, how undeserving of His love, grace and mercy I may be, He is still right there beside me, waiting for the perfect and right time to “fix” me and make things better for me.  I love Him because He doesn’t force Himself upon me, but waits for me to be ready.  I love Him because “He first loved me.”  I love Him because He is waiting for me to forgive those that need forgiving and because He is waiting for me to let go of my anger and bitterness.  I am not perfect, yet He waits for me to be ready and willing for Him to cleanse me.  He takes me by the hand, wraps His arms around me and simply quietly holds me while I cry and cry until I have no more tears.  People can’t do that, they feel that they must “fix” whatever is wrong with you when you cry, but not Jesus. 

I love Jesus.  I may not be doing a very good job of showing it or living out my expectations/convictions right now at this time of my life, but my love for Jesus is still strong.  I don’t question it and I know that Jesus don’t question it and that is all that matters.  It will be good to bask in the sunshine again after I come out of this tunnel.  That will happen one day too. 

Again, sorry for such a dismal post today.  Keep me in your prayers while I struggle.

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.  Psalm 139:23-24

May God provide the increase.

 

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