S21P19 – Portraits of faith: Jonathan

1 Sam. 20:16-17
So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, “May the Lord call David’s enemies to account.” And Jonathan had David reaffirm his oath out of love for him, because he loved him as he loved himself.

Jonathan was called to be loyal to three men: his Lord, his father and his friend. His relationship with the first would control whether he would be able to loyally walk out his relationships with the other two. When we consider the above words of Jonathan, an interesting detail emerges. Jonathan would soon discover that his father, King Saul, intended not only to harm his friend David but to kill him.

Being faced with this grim reality, Jonathan’s faith in God controlled his response. Jonathan had seen David operate under the power and favor of God. He also knew God’s standard and that Saul’s killing an innocent man was murder. So Jonathan committed to protecting a great man of God whom he had come to love as he loved himself. Had Jonathan’s loyalty been to his father first instead of God, David likely would not have received the warning that his life was on the line. But Jonathan loved God and desired to please him by protecting the servant who faithfully completed God’s work for him.

We sometimes feel like we are in competing relationships where it seems that remaining devoted to two certain people at the same time is impossible. This is often the case when we have friends who have no desire to be friends with each other or who have decided that they are now enemies. When we are in the awkward place of trying to balance these loyalties, we can be successful if we only remain loyal to God and his instruction first. That will give us wisdom in making the difficult decisions in those relationships. Father, help us to keep our relationship with You foremost in our lives and to allow You to guide our personal relationships from there.