Read 1 Samuel 18:1-4; 19:1-24; 20:1-42
It was Jonathan, the son of king Saul, who attempted to reconcile the relationship between David and his father, and who on multiple occasions came to David’s defense against his father’s allegations. The Scriptures describe their friendship such that “the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul” (1 Samuel 18:1).
It should come as no surprise that Jonathan was upset by his father’s actions against his friend. Wanting to smooth things over between the two, he had a conversation with Saul and encouraged him, “Let not the king sin against his servant, against David, because he has not sinned against you, and because his works have been very good toward you” (1 Samuel 19:4). In response, the Scriptures state that “Saul swore, ‘As the Lord lives, he shall not be killed’” (1 Samuel 19:6). How trustworthy was Saul’s oath? Had he not been insincere and violated such in the past?
Indeed, Saul’s true colors were shown as his jealousy and paranoia returned. He attempted “to pin David to the wall with the spear” (1 Samuel 19:10), and then “sent messengers to David’s house to watch him and to kill him in the morning” (1 Samuel 19:11). David escaped with the help of his wife, Saul’s daughter, Michal. David then fled to Ramah to find Samuel and told him all that had occurred. Saul pursued him there; David fled again, and again his true friend Jonathan was there to help.
Saul became terribly angry with his son, calling him the “son of a perverse, rebellious woman,” warning Jonathan that “as long as the son of Jesse lives on the earth, you shall not be established, nor your kingdom” (1 Samuel 20:30-31). Saul was determined that David must die.
Despite the knowledge that he would never be king, Jonathan defended his friend. “Why should he be killed? What has he done?” (1 Samuel 20:32). Saul, enraged by his son’s loyalty to David, threw a spear at Jonathan in an attempt to kill him!
Do you have friends that will defend you when you are wrongly accused? Are you the type of friend that will stand up against false allegations against your friends? May we all strive to be friends like Jonathan and David.