A Covenant Friend – God will counteract Saul’s raging in your world with a covenant friend – the friendship of a Jonathan. You also find who your real friends are in your Saul times. Hold onto your Jonathan. He will sacrifice for you. He will defend you. He will let you be yourself no matter how ‘yourself’ looks. He will encourage you. The Lord Jesus can be your real covenant friend. He will give you everything, but does expect in return your love, service, and loyalty.
By Pastor Delbert Young
A Covenant Friend
A Covenant Friend
Scriptures: 1 Samuel 17:57; 1 Samuel 18:1; 1 Samuel 18:10-11; 1 Samuel 18:6-7; 1 Samuel 18:8; 1 Samuel 18:9; 1 Samuel 20:1; 1 Samuel 18:1; 1 Samuel 18:3-4; 1 Samuel 19:4; 1 Samuel 20:41-42; 1 Samuel 23:16; Proverbs 18:24; 1 Samuel 18:3-4
1 Samuel 17:57 As soon as David returned from killing the Philistine, Abner took him and brought him before Saul, with David still holding the Philistine’s head.
That’s a vivid image. How well would that go over today? The head of Goliath was the trophy of a giant problem David conquered. Along those lines, how many “heads of giants” do you still hold? On the other hand, how many giant problems hold your head as their trophy?
1 Samuel 18:1 After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself.
1 Samuel 18:10-11 The next day an evil spirit from God came forcefully upon Saul. He was prophesying in his house, while David was playing the harp, as he usually did. Saul had a spear in his hand and he hurled it, saying to himself, “I’ll pin David to the wall.” But David eluded him twice.
The next several chapters of David’s life were a weaving of the love of a true friend in Jonathan and the hate of a maniac king in Saul who raged in David’s world. What do we learn from David concerning the Saul maniacs raging our worlds?
Black eyes and bleeding lips make a wife fear her abusive husband. Yelling, screaming, over spending, and threats of divorce make a husband fear his dominating wife. The ranting of a supervisor makes an employee fear the boss. A bully makes a boy fear the embarrassment of belittlement at school. The school gossip makes a girl fear for her dignity. Sauls continue to rant and rave in our lives today. Have you ever experienced any of these fears? Also, be aware we could be or become a maniac Saul. Are you one? Sometimes we take words and hurl them at people in an attempt to pin them to the wall.
1 Samuel 18:6-7 When the men were returning home after David had killed the Philistine, the women came out from all the towns of Israel to meet King Saul with singing and dancing, with joyful songs and with tambourines and lutes. As they danced, they sang: “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands.”
The people immediately made David a national hero. They gave him a “ticker-tape parade.” He killed Goliath. One would think the wonderful triumph would set David for only good things ahead. In reality, the aftermath of killing Goliath set in motion the longest, deepest, and darkest times of David’s life.
We don’t think about it, but a great mountain top victory only begins the downward journey to the next valley. I have had times in life when things seemed great only to find something going wrong. One such incident was the coming together of this church. It seemed we had a great victory. People were excited about me and acted as if I hung the moon. Initially, I could do no wrong. The future looked very bright. It didn’t last long. Before long, people became upset with me. Instead of us conquering our area for God, I found myself trying to survive. My wife went into depression. My point is there is a valley on the other side of every mountaintop. It was that way with David. Saul, already mentally tormented, became a jealous mad man and David became the focus of Saul’s madness.
1 Samuel 18:8 Saul was VERY ANGRY; this refrain galled him. “They have credited David with tens of thousands,” he thought, “but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?”
The word translated angry is charah. It means to glow; to blaze up, of anger, zeal, jealousy. Saul’s anger drove Saul more insane. What is the angriest you have ever been? We have words that describe anger such as “hot,” or “boiling,” or “out of control,” or “lost it.” Remember that time you were blazing mad? Remember how that anger took control of you? Did you become someone’s Saul? I am absolutely embarrassed about my angriest moment. I went insane. I became a Saul. We need to see that this angry, evil, tormenting spirit, sent from the Lord, is actually tormenting Saul concerning David.
Anger begins as a choice, but easily becomes a habit. Anger can get to a place where everything and anything makes you angry. Wayne Dyre wrote in his book titled Erroneous Zones: “It is a learned reaction of frustration, in which you behave in ways that you would rather not. In fact, severe anger is a form of insanity. You are insane whenever you are not in control of your behavior. Therefore, when you are angry and out of control, you are temporarily insane.”
I want us to know that we will have raging Saul’s in our lives, but I also want us to realize that we can quickly become a raging, insane Saul in the lives of others – children, spouse, the person driving up U.S. 27…
1 Samuel 18:9 And Saul EYED David from that day and forward.
Have you ever been the focus of someone’s insane anger? Have you ever felt the glare of someone’s anger and hate? Or, have you ever put the eye on someone? They became the focus of your angry life.
Jealously and anger can move anyone over the edge, but Sauls become deadly dangerous. Sauls attempt to injure, destroy, and even kill. Saul attempted to kill and have David killed, six times. (1) He threw a spear at David (1Sa 18:11). (2) Saul demanded a deadly dowry from David to marry Michal, his daughter (1Sa 18:25-27). (3) Saul ordered people to kill David who refused (1Sa 19:1). (4) Saul threw another spear at David (1Sa 19:10). (5) Saul sent men to David’s house to kill him (1Sa 19:11). (6) Saul pursued David in the wilderness for years.
Saul’s anger puzzled David.
1 Samuel 20:1 Then David fled from Naioth at Rama… “What have I done? What is my crime? …he is trying to take my life?”
Why was Saul angry at David? David only helped Saul. David killed the Philistine for Saul. David played the harp to bring healing to Saul. He honored and served Saul. David led Saul’s army. Why did he want David dead?
As was David, I have been puzzled many times with the actions and feelings of people toward me. I’m not talking about when I did something stupid that caused people to be angry with me. I’m talking about times when I had done nothing wrong? All I did was try to help. I performed their weddings, dedicated their children, baptized them, counseled them, prayed for and with them, taught them wonderful sermons, gave them deep Bible truth, and on and on. Yet, they turned and tried to destroy me, throwing words like spears, attempting to turn people against me, even trying to turn my wife against me. They continue to pursue me. I remember asking like David, “What have I done? What is my crime.?”
There is no answer other than the Spirit of the Lord has departed Saul. At least when I look at my times of my becoming a Saul that is exactly what I see. Surely, the Spirit of the Lord is not with me if I want to destroy a person. Anger that leads to spearing people and damaging a person’s character cannot be of God, can it? Well, can it?
Why does a father torment his own child? Why does a wife belittle her husband? Why does a boss demean an employee? Why do dictators torture. Why do priests molest boys? Why do the strong take advantage of the weak and vulnerable? Can it only be because the Spirit of the Lord has departed? Sauls continue to haunt Davids today.
What does God do for the Davids harassed by Sauls? Shouldn’t God do something for David? Shouldn’t God wipe Saul off the planet? Shouldn’t he nuke the nut? Well, maybe eventually, but not for a long time, though we want him to. Be certain that God will deal with your Saul and with you if you are a Saul. He has always dealt with mine and me. It’s scary when I look at it. I can’t tell you what he will do to your Saul, but I can tell you what he will do for you. What’s that Delbert? He will give you a Jonathan – a true friend. A covenant friend. It’s in the Saul times of life we find our true friends.
1 Samuel 18:1 And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that THE SOUL OF JONATHAN WAS KNIT WITH THE SOUL OF DAVID, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.
God countered Saul’s insane anger toward David with Jonathan’s loyalty to David. Jonathan became a covenant friend to David. Think about this for a second. Had it not been for a true friend during your raging Saul times, you would be the one insane. You needed a covenant friend.
The word knit (qashar) means to tie together.The thought is God sewed together the very soul of Jonathan and the soul of David. This is a covenant friend.
1 Samuel 18:3-4 And Jonathan MADE A COVENANT WITH DAVID BECAUSE HE LOVED HIM AS HIMSELF. Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt.
A covenant friend – friendships like Jonathan and David are rare in a lifetime. We will only have one, maybe two, seldom more in our entire life. I am talking about people whom you become knit. Let’s look at the makings of a covenant friend.
(1) A covenant friend is willing to sacrifice. Jonathan gave David his personal treasured items. A covenant friend will sacrifice time, money, energy, anything for you. It’s never too late or too early to help a covenant friend. It’s never too much and it’s never too hard. You can hardly impose on a covenant friend. It’s the person who is always there no matter if you are right or wrong.
(2) A covenant friend is loyal and defends you before others. He or she is not a fair-weather friend. They defend you before anyone.
1 Samuel 19:4 Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father and said to him, “Let not the king do wrong to his servant David; he has not wronged you, and what he has done has benefited you greatly.
Saul was the king. Saul was also Jonathan’s father. It made Jonathan heir to the throne. Yet, Jonathan defended David. There was no envy or jealousy. Jonathan was a covenant friend.
Once I had a very well know preacher at our church for several meetings. One evening after the meeting, he began to slam a covenant friend of mine who is also a preacher. I stopped him in his tracks and told him he would not speak negatively about the man in my presence. It cost me the relationship with the visiting preacher, but he was not going to defile my friend.
(3) A covenant friend let’s you be yourself. You feel safe with a covenant friend. You don’t hide anything. You can weep, laugh, and enjoy life in a way you can’t with anyone else. It’s a covenant friend.
1 Samuel 20:41-42 …[David] 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…
The kiss was a kiss on the cheek, a show of affection. With whom can you cry and hurt and be honest, yet not fear you have been too vulnerable? That’s a covenant friend.
(4) A covenant friend is an endless well of encouragement.
1 Samuel 23:16 Jonathan WENT TO FIND DAVID and ENCOURAGED HIM to stay strong in his faith in God.
David was at one of the lowest times of his life. He was frightened. He was alone. Jonathan went to find David. Jonathan knew David needed him. All Jonathan could do was encourage David. He couldn’t fix the situation. That encouragement was so helpful to David.
I have had some frightening moments when I felt alone and threatened. A covenant friend would always find me and encourage me. He would remind me who I am in God, what I have accomplished in God, how God has always brought me through, and tell me to stay strong in my faith.
(NLT) Proverbs 18:24 There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.
There are “friends” who make us doubt humanity and the goodness of people. Real covenant friends show us the good and pure side of humanity. They honestly strengthen our hope in people. What would we do without a real friend? We would be the insane one along with Saul.
Who is, or maybe are, your real covenant friend(s)? To whom are you a real covenant friend?
Chapter 18 verse 3-4 said…
1 Samuel 18:3-4 And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt.
Did you notice that David gave Jonathan nothing materially back? Jonathan was the son of king. David was a poor man’s son. All he could give back was his love, service, and loyalty. It’s like the Christ follower’s real covenant with Christ. Jesus gave us everything. All he expects back is our love, our service, and our loyalty. IF WE GIVE THAT, we have a real covenant friend. What a friend we have in Jesus!
Sauls continue to rage in your world. Most likely, God will not nuke the nuisance immediately. Instead, he will use your Saul to develop your character. You find out who you really are in your Saul times. David could have never become the man he became without Saul in his life. God will counteract Saul’s raging in your world with the friendship of a Jonathan. You also find out who your real friends are in your Saul times. Hold onto your Jonathan. He will sacrifice for you. He will defend you. He will let you be yourself no matter how “yourself” looks (I don’t mean he/she won’t tell you that you are messing up). He will encourage you. The Lord Jesus can be your real covenant friend. He will give you everything, but does expect in return your love, service, and loyalty.
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