1 Samuel 23:15-29
15 David was at Horesh in the Desert of Ziph. There he learned that Saul had come out to kill him. 16 Saul’s son Jonathan went to David at Horesh. He told David that God would make him strong. 17 “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “My father Saul won’t lay a hand on you. You will be king over Israel. And I will be next in command. Even my father Saul knows this.” 18 The two of them made a covenant in the sight of the Lord. Then Jonathan went home. But David remained at Horesh. 19 The people of Ziph went up to Saul at Gibeah. They said, “David is hiding among us. He’s hiding in places of safety at Horesh. Horesh is south of Jeshimon on the hill of Hakilah. 20 King Saul, come down when it pleases you to come. It will be our duty to hand David over to you.” 21 Saul replied, “May the Lord bless you because you were concerned about me. 22 Make sure you are right. Go and check things out again. Find out where David usually goes. Find out who has seen him there. People tell me he’s very tricky. 23 Find out about all of the hiding places he uses. Come back to me with all of the facts. I’ll go with you. Suppose he’s in the area. Then I’ll track him down among all of the family groups of Judah.” 24 So they started out. They went to Ziph ahead of Saul. David and his men were in the Desert of Maon. Maon is south of Jeshimon in the Arabah Valley. 25 Saul and his men started out to look for David. David was told about it. So he went down to a rock in the Desert of Maon to hide. Saul heard he was there. So he went into the Desert of Maon to chase David. 26 Saul was going along one side of the mountain. David and his men were on the other side. They were hurrying to get away from Saul. Saul and his army were closing in on David and his men. They were about to capture them. 27 Just then a messenger came to Saul. He said, “Come quickly! The Philistines are attacking the land.” 28 So Saul stopped chasing David. He went to fight against the Philistines. That’s why they call that place Sela Hammahlekoth. 29 David left that place. He went and lived in places of safety near En Gedi.
“How important good friends are! David was under serious amounts of stress and in peril, and his good friend Jonathan comes to him to “help him find strength in God.” I find it very interesting that Jonathan took the initiative and went to David in Horesh. No doubt inconvenient and dangerous for Jonathan whose own father was hunting David down. And Jonathan makes his words of encouragement to David solemn and significant, considering them words of promise under the Lord himself.
I am very encouraged and inspired by this biblical example of friendship between two
people that could have been sworn enemies. I need friendships like this in my life. Friends like Jonathan, who take the initiative to care for and support me in times of distress. Friends who help me find strength in God. Friends that speak words of encouragement to me with all integrity – considering their words as if before
God, help me to be such a good friend to others, and God, grant me such high quality friends like Jonathan here is to David.
Written by Ps. Rob Waugh