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  • Writer's pictureEast Martin CRC

A Friendly Shot in the Arm

1 Samuel 23:15-18

Verse 16 And Saul’s son Jonathan went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength in God.

David and his men have been in Horesh in the Desert of Ziph, which is about 25 miles south of Bethlehem, and now Saul has made his way there to kill his nemesis. David knows he has been found and that must have brought various feelings to the future king. He would know Saul was still serious about killing him and that must have hurt on some level because he had once looked up to the king. It would also mean that Jonathan was close by, and he must have missed his dear friend. David may have hoped for a glimpse of Jonathan and yet feared the sight of him too.

Jonathan was looking forward to seeing his friend again too, in fact he wanted it so bad that he made it happen. Leaving his father’s troops behind Jonathan crosses the invisible battle line and searches for the man his dad wanted dead. The moment the men spot each other must have revealed the biggest smiles on both faces. It is likely that a bear hug followed and then the men may have sat down so that Jonathan could do what he had come to do, strengthen his friend in the Lord.

Jonathan knew that his dad would be mad if he found out about this visit but Jonathan knew his friend needed him. Jonathan didn’t need to ask his friend how he was, the situation would have told the story but he also knew how to read the expression on his friend’s face, his friend needed to know he was still holding to their vows to each other. He wasn’t coming as an enemy in friend’s clothing. Though in his father’s army, he didn’t see David as the enemy and would do anything he could to protect him.

Jonathan opens the conversation with the reassurance that David had no reason to be afraid. Not only was Jonathan still his covenant friend, David was a man of God and Jonathan had no doubt that God was going to replace his father with his friend. Jonathan needed David to know that he wanted that too, he was on God’s side no matter what his father wanted. David needed to remember that he was God’s chosen man and Jonathan needed to be the one to remind him of that. After renewing their covenant to each other, Jonathan goes home, proving he doesn’t want to be a part of his father’s quest.

There is nothing like a friend to give us the reminder of who we are in Christ. None of us are immune to times of feeling low and wondering why we are here, but God has a purpose for all of us and we have an obligation to encourage each other when we are down.

Making It Personal

When has a friend given you the words you needed to carry on? Have you ever given such words to a friend who was suffering? Who could use some words of encouragement today?

Making It Personal Kids

Has someone ever said something to you that made you feel better? Have you ever said something to someone to help them feel better? Can you think of someone who could use some kind words today?

Closing Prayer

Father, thank You for friends who are always willing to speak loving truth into our lives. Give us the words to say which will encourage and lift up our fellow Christians as well as the words that could lead someone to know You in a fresh way. In Jesus’ name, amen.


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