1 Samuel 20:1-42: Politics came between these two friends
Is politics coming between you and a friend?
Once there were two young men. One was the crown prince of the land, the other a humble shepherd. Despite the differences in their upbringing, they got along famously. Day after day they played and hunted and talked together. They were closer to each other than to their own brothers.
But politics got in their way. The shepherd boy is anointed to be the next king. The prince was not jealous, he was happy for his friend to be king, but the prince's father determined to kill the shepherd boy. The prince heard of the plot and went to warn his friend.
The king's spies made that difficult. The prince didn't know whom he could trust, so he planned a secret code with the shepherd boy. "Tomorrow I'll go target practicing with my bow and arrow," said the prince. "You hide near the target. If my father has cooled down and things are safe for you, I'll tell my servant, 'The arrows are on this side of you.' If father is still angry, I'll say, 'The arrows are beyond you,' and you'll know to get out of town."
The code worked. The king was still angry, but the shepherd boy was warned. He had to flee for his life, perhaps never to see the young prince again. But he couldn't leave without saying good-bye.
The two friends—Jonathan and David—embrace and weep, “but David wept the most.” No wonder, in light of all Jonathan gave up to be his friend.
This is more than a story of human friendship. It is the story of the faithfulness of God. He protects his anointed one, David, through the noble friendship of Jonathan.
Is politics coming between you and a friend? What is your next step to deal with this situation with integrity, love, and courageous, tactful conversation?
God our friend, thank you for the faithful friends who point us to you.
DR. GARY HOLLOWAY
Gary Holloway is Executive Director of the World Convention. Holding degrees from Freed-Hardeman, Harding, The University of Texas, and Emory University, he has written or edited thirty books, including (with Douglas Foster) Renewing God’s World: A Concise Global History of the Stone-Campbell Movement from ACU Press. He is married to Deb Rogers Holloway.