Todays readings… 2 Samuel 1, Jeremiah 7, Matthew 18
“YOUR LOVE … WAS EXTRAORDINARY”
Today we read of David’s reaction when he received the news of the death of King Saul and his son Jonathan. A special bond had developed between David and Jonathan. From the time Jonathan witnessed David’s faith in going out fearlessly to face Goliath, he felt a special kinship to David, as we read last week, “the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul” [1 Samuel 18 v.1] As they would say it today, they became bosom pals.
Jonathan himself had a strong faith in God, on one particular occasion the Philistines were defeated because of Jonathan’s initiative. Jonathan climbed up to face about 20 Philistines, saying to his armour bearer, “Come up after me for the LORD has given them into the hand of Israel” [1 Sam. 14 v.12]; he killed them and created a panic among the Philistines.
Saul appreciated David at first but then turned against him warning Jonathan that he would lose his right of succeeding him as king saying, “as long as the son of Jesse lives … neither you nor your kingdom will be established.” [1 Sam. 20 v.31] We read last Friday how Jonathan found David in the wilderness and said, “Do not fear for the hand of Saul my father shall not find you. You shall be king of Israel, and I shall be next to you.” [1 Sam 23 v,17]
David and Jonathan were both men of zealous faith in God and this was the vital factor that created the bond between them. At the start of his kingship Saul was exalted and served God in an acceptable way. It could have been a great team, Saul, Jonathan and David, but Saul’s unbalanced character in which pride was a factor, brought it all undone. How often has this sort of situation hindered a group in the success they could have had in serving God.
Jealousies between the disciples threatened their teamwork until after the resurrection. So David laments, as we read today, “How the mighty have fallen … I am distressed for you my brother Jonathan; very pleasant have you been to me, your love to me was extraordinary” [2 Sam 1 v.26] It was a relationship founded on their mutual love and faith for God. What an example this sets to us, especially when we team together to serve our Lord.