A Covenant of Friendship Day 18

gettingreadyforthecross.jpgAfter David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and loved him as himself. From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return to his father’s house. And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt…And Jonathan had David reaffirm his oath out of love for him, because he loved him as he loved himself.” —1 Samuel 18:1–4; 20:17

DAVID AND JONATHAN became “one in spirit” as their close friendship continued to develop over time. Their acquaintance turned in-to friendship, which morphed into a deep abiding brotherly love, or what one would call an extreme love for each other. Several key characteristics of extreme love surface from the story.

Extreme love builds a relationship that lasts through the thick and thin of life. Their mutual covenant was forged in good times, yet held its bond through the most difficult of days. Saul’s intense jealousy of David led to repeated attempts of David’s murder. Jonathan knew his father was in the wrong and stayed unflinchingly true to David.  Extreme love removes the layers of pretense to become extremely vulnerable. In the beginning of their relationship, Jonathan intentionally removed the barriers that could have prohibited growth and depth of friendship. He laid it aside and opened him-self up in order to go farther in their depth of connection.

Extreme love gives personally, sacrificially, and disarmingly to the point of great risk. Jonathan progressed in his commitment to David by completely disarming himself of guarded or protective measures. He lays aside his sword, bow, and belt for his friend. His personal and sacrificial presentation to David literally says, “I’m willing to risk it all for you!” Even after Jonathan’s death, David continued to honor their covenant by taking care of Jonathan’s crippled son (2 Sam 9:1–13). Extreme love continues on!

Dear Father in heaven, thank you for the model of extreme love we see demonstrated between Jonathan and David through the many difficult and trying years. Help us to desire such a love among our friends. May we seek to go farther and deeper in the key and trusted relationships in our life. In Christ Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

-Vernon Allison, Senior Pastor, First Church of God, Sidney, Ohio

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