Several questions have surfaced for me in these chapters, not the least being why did the man "after God's own heart" come up with a plan that included lying? (1 Samuel 20:5-8) Wasn't there any other way? Really, David...not a great example here...just sayin'...
Moving on to the end of chapter 20, after Jonathan indeed has the answer that his father, King Saul, has every intention of killing David. they reunite in the field after the boy hunting arrows with Jonathan leaves...both knowing what this means for them. Continued hiding and constant separation. All due to circumstances out of their control. Seems unfair. Terribly hurtful. I love what happens next...
Jonathan turns the focus off of the circumstance and back onto the constant - God himself. The same God that allowed them to bond is the same one allowing them to be separated now. All they had left was God and He was enough. What an encouragement this is to my heart...my heart that has said goodbye to a friend one too many times can find comfort in the fact that God is still God and in control of it all. God truly wants to be the main focus of my life...even where friendships are concerned. Doesn't mean there won't be any hurt along the way. The friends wept together. They were hurting. Because of God, however, they were able to go on...even though now it was on different paths.After the boy had gone, David got up from the south side of the stone and bowed down before Jonathan three times, with his face to the ground. Then they kissed each other and wept together—but David wept the most.
Jonathan said to David, "Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship with each other in the name of the LORD, saying, 'The LORD is witness between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants forever.' " Then David left, and Jonathan went back to the town. (1 Samuel 20:41-42)
More questions...do you ever wonder if one or both of them wished they had never met? Ever wondered why God allowed this to happen in your own life? I have. In a moment of grieving for a friend, I have wondered why God allowed us to meet in the first place. The answer is always the same. We meet and we part for His glory. Understanding the circumstance is secondary...relying on the Constant is primary.
Another (seemingly unanswerable) question is why is David weeping the most pointed out of the two? I can relate to David, here...I live out life with my heart not with my head. I was not called Janet "the Waterfall" Wilson in college for nothing. Things move me to tears more often than not...always have and probably always will...especially when someone I love is concerned.
The story continues with David hiding, Saul seeking, and Jonathan being the go-between. Jonathan was strong at heart, no doubt. He knew how to handle himself and make others around him feel safe at the same time. Jonathan, in the middle of chapter 23, does a beautiful thing for his friend...
"And Saul's son Jonathan went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength in God." (1 Samuel 23:16)
Here is the meaning to being a friend...to help someone find strength in God. Again, the meeting between two friends was in secret and ended in separation, but it was worth any risk for Jonathan to go and encourage his friend in the Lord. Awesomeness, pure and simple.
I am challenged by this story of friendship. I am encouraged to look for the Constant amidst the circumstances. I am grateful for a God who cares enough to send people into my life...some only for a brief time...with whom I can experience an amazing friendship.
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12