I have been struck by the closeness of the friendship bond between David and Jonathan in 1 Samuel. And honestly, never really studying these characters before, I had no idea there was secular debate about their “bond” and “love.”
Just reading through I noticed that the language was strong when describing their emotions for one another and their “covenant.” And without even realizing it, I caught myself asking, “how close were these two??” (Read 1 Samuel chs. 18, 19, 20)
Regardless of platonic or romantic, I still find myself drawn to this idea of open, strong, unbreakable bonds between friends that David and Jonathan display. There is a sense that one would give their life for the other and vice versa. Jonathan even recognizes that he will lose his birthright to rule the kingdom to David. Then Jonathan goes on to deceive his own father and endure his wrath to spare David’s life.
These type relationships rarely exist these days, or at least in the world that I live in. I mean, don’t get me wrong…I have “buddies” that would do anything for me…and I would certainly reciprocate…but it doesn’t have the same “feel” that I get from reading 1 Samuel.
“one in spirit”
“loved him as himself”
“Jonathan was very fond of David”
“found favor in your eyes”
Jonathan says to David, “Whatever you want me to do, I’ll do for you.”
“reaffirm his oath out of love for him”
“kissed each other and wept together”
So what do you think? Not necessarily about the love between Jonathan and David…that could be debated by scholars and secularists forever and I’m really not interested in going there…
I’m more intrigued by what others think about “friendship”…the kind that would last forever…the kind that weathers the storms of life together and leaves both parties stronger and more connected rather than weakened and disconnected. Maybe you have friends like that…maybe you would describe your best friends with the same language of 1 Samuel…
Personally, I think we all need friends like that…what do you think?