Commentary by Michael VandenBerg
Jonathan (son of Saul) said to David (Saul’s successor), “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.’”
Have you ever had the occasion to become friends with someone who is so different from you that you wonder how it is that you ever became so close? Have you ever had a friend that even in spite of distance, there was a bond there that could not be broken? Have you ever walked into a room of strangers with an overwhelming feeling that you all had something in common and unbreakable?
This is friendship. Friendship requires letting down our guard, stepping out in faith and loving unconditionally. I can’t tell you how many times I have gone to an unknown church and preached but never feeling as though I were a stranger or outsider, but family, and in Christ I was. This past week I said my goodbyes to a new friend, one that I have only known for several months, but one that I have already become close to. They have a shared faith, an open heart and were willing to risk in getting to know the unfamiliar. Even though they are moving hundreds of miles away, I know that the next time I see them, God willing, we will pick up right where we left off.
I have friends in Indianapolis close at hand and friends across country both of whom are near to my heart. I have friends I see every week and those I see every decade, but belong to each of them. Friendship is not based on geography but upon the heart.
In the Bible, King Saul’s son, became an inseparable friend with David who later would go on to succeed Saul as King. In spite of his father’s insistence that they no longer have anything to do with one another, Jonathan continues to befriend David and even protects him from the wrath of his father.
Don’t you want a friend like that? One that can encourage you, protect you and be there in times of greatest need. King Solomon said of the coming Messiah, Jesus, that there was such a person, one that could be and would be closer to them than even a brother. You too can have that closeness, that sense of belonging that we all are looking for and even an intimate connection with one you have never met face to face but yet He already knows you better than you know yourself. You can have the most unlikely of friendships, a friendship with God. What you really need to know right now is that God loves you and want you to become His friend and as God’s friend, SO DO I.