Tuesday 25 October, 2016

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 harm 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 of friendship in front 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 Your Majesty, 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 the hiding places he uses. Come back to me with all the facts. I’ll go with you. Suppose he’s in the area. Then I’ll track him down among all 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.

The value of faithful friendships. I admire so much the brotherly love and faithfulness of Jonathan to David, and it is well described from chapter 18 through to this chapter. They were kindred spirits. Many a time did Jonathan protect David against his father’s desire to have him killed. He tried reasoning with his father against hurting David, and gave warnings to David on numerous occasions.

This set of verses today again shows Jonathan warning David, but he did more than that. V16 “ and helped him (David) to find strength in God”.

Jonathan was an encourager as well as a protector. David is one of the great Bible heroes of faith, and I am sure that in his younger days, the influence, care, faithfulness and encouragement of Jonathan helped mould David into the man he became.

I would so love to see how this simple, but profound verse, was played out. Jonathan was truly a great friend.

Lord, help me to be a faithful friend, one that encourages and protects. Help me to always see how I can build into friend’s lives, that they may be encouraged to find strength in God, in all situations of life. Amen

Written by Stephen Fell

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