Sometimes a true friend can only listen and grieve. It is great to be a friend when things are easy—more difficult to be a friend when things are dire. Jonathan could only ache as he watched his father mark his friend for death. He could still deliver him. He could still be committed to him—but he could not affect the outcome in any way. In those times, a friends very inability to change the outcome is also the lovely act that shows commitment. Jonathan never backed away, abandoned or betrayed his commitment to David. That commitment would stay with David all the days of his life.
In our lives, we are faced many times with situations where all we can do is listen, grieve and pray for our friends. Our temptation is to want to withdraw, because it literally hurts not to be able to help. In other times we simply wear out and no longer desire to remain in the messy lives of others. But, the true friends roll up their sleeves and stay in the lives of their friends in need. Often times, when they do, they feel hopeless and inadequate—NOT TRUE. It is in those times, as with David, that we have the greatest impact on those we love. Our steadfast prayer, continued encouragement and small gifts are the very lifelines that keep our friends from giving up.
If I were to list all of you that have profoundly changed my life, I fear this devotion would extend for pages. Suffice it to say, that You will only find out in Glory how much you truly did to save the Smith household and how eternally grateful I am and we are! To each of you I can only humbly say thank you for never backing away.
God Bless You
28 Jonathan answered, “David earnestly asked me for permission to go to Bethlehem. 29 He said, ‘Let me go, because our family is observing a sacrifice in the town and my brother has ordered me to be there. If I have found favor in your eyes, let me get away to see my brothers.’ That is why he has not come to the king’s table.”
30 Saul’s anger flared up at Jonathan and he said to him, “You son of a perverse and rebellious woman! Don’t I know that you have sided with the son of Jesse to your own shame and to the shame of the mother who bore you? 31 As long as the son of Jesse lives on this earth, neither you nor your kingdom will be established. Now send someone to bring him to me, for he must die!”
32 “Why should he be put to death? What has he done?” Jonathan asked his father. 33 But Saul hurled his spear at him to kill him. Then Jonathan knew that his father intended to kill David.
34 Jonathan got up from the table in fierce anger; on that second day of the feast he did not eat, because he was grieved at his father’s shameful treatment of David.
35 In the morning Jonathan went out to the field for his meeting with David. He had a small boy with him, 36 and he said to the boy, “Run and find the arrows I shoot.” As the boy ran, he shot an arrow beyond him. 37 When the boy came to the place where Jonathan’s arrow had fallen, Jonathan called out after him, “Isn’t the arrow beyond you?” 38 Then he shouted, “Hurry! Go quickly! Don’t stop!” The boy picked up the arrow and returned to his master. 39 (The boy knew nothing about all this; only Jonathan and David knew.) 40 Then Jonathan gave his weapons to the boy and said, “Go, carry them back to town.”