Today’s Readings: Samuel 19 & 1 Thessalonians 2:13-20
‘I’ve got your back; you’re my friend and I’ll do whatever I can to support you; I love you! or …
I hate you enough to want you dead!’
The contrast of these two statements are what jump out to me, as we continue reading through the book of Samuel; the unfolding story of God’s plan of salvation for his people; the unfolding story of God’s plan which not just sets aside, but knocks aside personal challenges that might distract us from listening to His voice and the call He has on our life (yes, like me I suspect this comment is another story for another time).
A significant part of the books of Samuel for me are about the importance of friendship and how friends support us; sharing good times and (if they are not just really good friends, but spiritually mature friends) they just seem to know when it’s important to defy what others might think as safe, and simply be there.
Do you know this type of friend? The one who would set aside the ‘blood is thicker than water’ mentality or what can only be described as ‘family loyalty’, simply because it’s just the right thing to do?
The depth of Jonathan’s relationship with David was like this.
‘My Father Saul seeks to kill you. Therefore please be on your guard until morning, and stay in a secret place and hide vs2 …… Thus Jonathon spoke well of David to Saul his father, and said to 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.” Samuel 19:2&4
Yes, life was very different for David and Jonathon than for us thousands of years later. But this is not about compromising or even sacrificing God’s framework for life; the Holy Spirit we can know as a certainty and reality because of Christ, supersedes the need to feel we personally are responsible for sustaining worldly relationships.
Don’t get me wrong. Yes, encouragement of each other is important. Yes, be there for you friends. But the situation David and Jonathon found themselves in is more than just standing up for your buddy. Encouragement is very much a biblical principle.
‘Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing ….’ 1 Thess 5:11
Yes, I’ve jumped ahead with reading Thessalonians, but not really ….
‘And we also thank God continually because when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe.’ 1 Thessalonians 2:13
As we approach the advent season this year, Christmas; as we approach the period of time when we stop and think about what is means that Jesus is more than the baby born at the end of the year, December, maybe it’s about for the first time, receiving him.
BUT receive him in the real sense. Stop and reflect on the simple truth that yes, the word of God has the same saving grace for us today, as it did for David (and Jonathon). Yes, believe.
Speak well of others not just at this time, but at any time, and delight in the friendships God has blessed you with. But more than this, as we’ve already read in the earlier chapters of 1 Samuel ….
‘The Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’ 1 Samuel 16:7
How’s your heart, not just, how’s your friendships?
I’ve got your back; you’re my friend and I’ll do whatever I can to support you; I love you … and there is no other option!
As much as it might appear to be just a clique, Jesus … he’s got your back if only you’ll trust him. Trust me … like David (and Jonathon and everyone else over the past 2,000 plus years who has put their trust in him), know …