This upcoming Sunday I continue my David series and focus on friendship. Like everything else in David’s life, his friendship with Jonathan was complicated. As is my custom, below is a preview section of the sermon from 1 Samuel 18:1-4. It comes about 40% of the way through and is the section I use right before the big problem emerges—the problem being Jonathan’s father, Saul. My inspiration for this was both my boyhood friends but also thinking about Prince Harry and his army buddies on leave. I think Jonathan and David must have been a lot like that. Enjoy.
Use your imagination for a moment and imagine—image Jonathan and David. Not just textually, but the emotional energy it is trying to communicate. That language there—two souls closely knit together—is not the kind of language that you use for filler. No, the writer is attempting to tell us about the depth of their relationship.
The way I read the Bible here, these are both young men, now both accomplished in battle so they are soldiers—not boys, but youthful, brave, and probably a little bit dashing. David is not yet married, and Jonathan is likely unmarried as well at this time although we don’t know. They are the guys who Hebrew girls giggle and stare at when they walk by and then they get posters of them from Tiger Beat Magazine to put on their wall.
Imagine Jonathan and David hunting together in the wilderness, stalking prey and shooting a bear with a bow and arrow and then see their joy at eating wild game over a fire together. Can you hear them telling jokes?
Jonathan and David live a fairy tale life of privilege in the beginning. They live in the King’s home with all the luxuries and privileges you would expect. Jobs, expenses, and bills are not their concerns. They have the best armor, wear the most fashionable clothes, have attendants to pull the car out of the garage and to shuffle the cards for them when they play poker at night with the boys.
For these two it is a kind of ideal existence. They have no care in the world except to be young men sharing life together.
Can you hear them at night, whispering and talking. Can you hear Jonathan saying, “I know that my father expects me to be king, but I also know that Samuel was right and you’re the next king.” Can you see David shaking his head, “No, we shall reign together! We will be brothers till death!”
Can you hear it? Can you hear them dreaming of the future–a future waiting to be robbed from them by an evil madman.