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There are several examples of friendship in the Bible...some not good like Jobís buddies that show up during his time of need...and then the one we are going to look at today as we wrap up our series on David. You see, David had one true friend...Jonathan, prince of Israel and the son of King Saul...the man who was trying to kill him.
Much has been made today about David and Jonathanís relationship...in fact some cynics have suggested that the two were so close that their relationship just had to be more than "just friends" if you catch my drift...and I think that is sad. What these cynics are overlooking is the wide chasm between the culture of Davidís time and the culture today. We can go back to even the time of the apostle Paul...four times he instructs the recipients of his letters to greet each other with a holy kiss. Now, granted Paul was speaking to more of a Greco-Roman culture when he gave these instructions...but even with that...the culture in ancient Israel was much closer and much more intimate than the one we currently have. I have asked us to join hands in prayer before...now, let me ask you...were you just a little uncomfortable doing that with others that you are not married or related to? Most people if they are honest would admit that they are a little uncomfortable doing that...I know that occasionally I am. But, closeness like this was not a big deal to David and his culture. So the suggestion that the he and Jonathan are romantically involved is ludicrous...just a malicious attack on the part of those who want to discredit the Bible. However, they were very close friends.... the type that would be sitting beside each other in jail talking about how much fun they had. Letís take a look at an example of their friendship.
If you have your Bibles turn over to 1st Samuel chapter 20. At the start of the chapter we find David talking to Jonathan and he is asking him why his father is so angry with him...to todayís young people he would want to know why he is "hating" on him. David claims that he has not done anything wrong...and an examination of the scripture would show that this is exactly the case...Jonathan claims that there is no plot on Davidís life so they come up with a plan. David has been invited to attend a festival that would last several days at Saulís house. David decides not to attend and he tells Jonathan that if Saul asks about his absence to tell him that David has gone to Bethlehem to be with his family. He says that if Saul shrugs it off...then he knows he is safe...if Saul gets angry then Jonathan will know that he intends to do harm to David. They work out a signal with arrows to notify David of the situation. Jonathan will return to the field that they are meeting in and shoot three arrows toward the rock where David is hiding and will send a servant to retrieve them. If he tells the servant to "go further because the arrows are beyond you" then David knows that Saul intends to harm him. Weíll pick up the narrative in verse 24.
Saul doesnít mince a lot of words does he...it is clear from his words here that he intends to kill David. We covered this a couple of weeks ago...why Saul
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