The Facet of the Capacity to Love, No. 4
We’re looking at the capacity to
love, one of the facets of the pentagon of the defense of our soul.
This is the fourth one in this series on the
capacity to love. Most expressions about
love today are mere talk. Consequently they are expressions
of a pseudo love in the form of “eros” or sensuality. The people who like to talk about love are
also the people who are planting bombs and leading rebellion and riots. The people who like to talk about this pseudo
love like to trample the rights of others and the freedoms of others
while demanding great freedoms for themselves.
Love is viewed primarily as an
emotional quality and it’s expressed in physical ways. It has
permanent attachments. But love in the
Bible, we have learned, is first a state of mind. It
is free of bitterness, and it is filled with sacrificial concern. We call that
the “agape” love.
Now we’re going to view the warm
comradery that can exist
between friends. A beautiful example of
friends in the Bible and the love between two friends is that between
Jonathan. Here are two patriotic virile
men. David was in his teens when he
killed the giant Goliath who none in Israel’s army had dared to
In 1 Samuel 17:11, here is the
situation: “When Saul and all Israel
had heard the words
of the Philistine Goliath, they were dismayed and greatly afraid.” From the king down through his troops,
through his officers and his men in the lines, there was nothing but
Goliath had spoken. Along comes this
teenage boy and he has a totally different perspective.
Because in this teenage kid there existed a
structure. Therefore, as we have been
learning, saw the same thing that the king and his troops saw, but his
spiritual maturity gave him the right interpretation on what his eyes
the rest of them were being led to misinterpret what they were seeing
Jonathan, the other young man in this
team, was the oldest
son of King Saul. Therefore he was heir
to the throne of Israel. The first
reference that we have to Jonathan in the Bible is two years after his
Saul became king. It was during the war
at a place called Mikmash. 1 Samuel 13
tells us about this. “Saul was
old…’” (There’s a
break here in the
Hebrew text.) “… when he had
years over Israel. Saul chose him three
thousand men of Israel of which two thousand were with Saul in Mikmash
Bethel and one thousand were with Jonathan in Gibeah of Benjamin. And the rest of the people he sent every man
his tent. And Jonathan smote the
garrison of the Philistines that was in Geba, and the Philistines heard
and Saul blew the trumpet throughout all the land saying, ‘Let
Our first contact with Jonathan is
here at the campaign at
Mikmash. His father is commanding
two-thirds of the army, two thousand troops, and Jonathan is in charge
thousand of the men, one-third of Israel’s army.
Jonathan is camped at Gibeah. He
attacks the Philistines at a place called
Geba and he wins. But notice verse 4,
“And all Israel heard it said that Saul had smitten a garrison of
Philistines, and that Israel also was held in abomination by the
(that is, the Philistines were indignant over this conquest), and the
were called together after Saul at Gilgal.”
Jonathan wins the victory but his father takes the
The Philistines amass for battle. Israel’s army, when faced with them, in
retaliatory move, the army of Israel melted away. They
broke up and they took flight. 1 Samuel
13:5 says, “And the Philistines
gathered themselves together to fight with Israel, 30,000 chariots and
horsemen. And the people of the sand on
the seashore in multitude and they came up and camped in Mikmash
Beth Aven. When the men of Israel that
they were hedged in, for the people were distressed, then the people
themselves in caves and in thickets and among the rocks and in high
it pits. And some of the Hebrews went
over the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead.
As for Saul, he was in Gilgal and all the people
Saul’s army just crumbled in the
face of this attack by the
Philistines. Now here comes Jonathan
again in the picture. Jonathan takes his
armor bearer and he secretly assaults the Philistine fortress at
of all things, he takes it. 1 Samuel
14:1 says, “And it came to pass that upon the day that Jonathan
the son of Saul
said unto the young man that bore his armor, ‘Come and let us go
over to the Philistine
garrison that is on the other side,’ but he told not his
father.” He made a secret move with
Then verses 6 through 15 tell you of
their plan of
attack. Jonathan says, “We’ll
the outpost and we’ll seek God’s guidance and we’ll
make a decision according
to how the outpost acts. If we approach,
and they say, ‘Halt,’ we’ll act one way.
But if we approach and they say, ‘Come on up
here you Jews,’ that will
be the signal that God has given them into our hands.” And sure enough when they reached the
outpost, the guards were careless and they said, “Come on up here
teach you something, Hebrews.” So
climbed up the incline and Jonathan told his armor bear, “Stay
behind me.” When they got to the top
they slaughtered the
garrison that was up there.
Verse 14 says, “And that first
slaughter which Jonathan and
his armor bearer made was about twenty men within, as it were, about a
half-acre of land which a yoke of oxen might plow, and there was
the hosts, in the field, and among all the people; the garrison and the
spoilers they also trembled and the earth quaked, so it was a very
trembling.” So that Jonathan with
armor bearer caused the enemy such turmoil that they literally began
other, and literally began in the confusion to kill each other.
Now this evidences in Jonathan a
structure. This was the source of his
bold action. Here was a man’s soul
was in phase with God. Here was a man
who had a mind. His mind was on divine
viewpoint. Here was a man that had
self-awareness, and his self-awareness was preoccupied with God. Here was a mind who had a conscience, and his
conscience was on absolute truth—absolute standards of truth. Here was a mind that had a will, and it was
on positive volition. Here was emotions
in this man. And his emotions were a
relaxed mental attitude expressing itself in love toward God, and the
confidence of what God could do.
Now this is spiritual maturity. That’s a spiritual maturity structure. And we have a lot of talk about getting to be
spiritual and getting to be mature, but nobody knows really how to go
because nobody has really been taught what God has put into our souls
needs to be made mature, and how you go about making it mature. Now this was Jonathan to a “T.” Consequently, he made a good soldier.
One of the discussions I had in
Chicago was over this
questions of “How about the war?” And
it’s always an amazing thing to point out to people that there
words in Hebrew (like maybe eleven words) for “kill,” but
there’s only one word
in Hebrew that means “murder,” and that’s the one
that’s used in the
Decalogue. That’s when it actually
“Thou shalt not murder,” and not “Thou shalt not
kill.” That’s different than
defending your national
entity under the authority of the state.
A Christian who has a spiritual maturity structure
is the finest soldier
in the world because he gets on the field of battle and he defeats the
Now Jonathan evidenced that he had a
structure. For example, we have the fact
that he was grace-oriented. In 1 Samuel
14:6, Jonathan said to the young man who bore his armor, “Come
and let us go
over unto the garrison of those uncircumcised (these unbelievers). It may be that the Lord will work for us for
there is no restraint to the Lord to save by many or by few.” And that’s a great verse of Scripture. There’s no restraint from the Lord to
through many people or through few.
Now from a military point of view this
was insanity, for two
men to be going up right into the enemy’s stronghold and standing
up there and
saying, “We’ll fight them.” But
did, because this man was grace-oriented, and it was no problem to him
will do for man. That’s
does for man. Legalism is what man is
trying to do for God.
Scripture indicates that there were no
mental attitude sins
that we’re aware of on the part of Jonathan, so he had a relaxed
attitude. And he had plenty of reason to
be bitter because he could see that David was going to be king. David was going to get the throne that
rightfully should have gone to Jonathan, but we have not one single
the Scripture that he resented that decision of God.
His father resented it but he didn’t.
The details of life were obviously
under his mastery. Along with his relaxed
mental attitude, he
had a mastery of the details of life which is another part of being
mature, part of that pentagon of defense in your soul.
He didn’t stop at the odds of the enemy which
were against him. Nor did he stop
because his father got the credit for what he had done.
His physical eyes were oriented to see things
in the right way.
Well the result was that the
Philistines at Mikmash were
panicked. Fighting broke out among
themselves. 1 Samuel 14:16-23 describes
to us how Saul’s troops saw what was happening and gradually
their courage returned. They left their
hiding places and they got
out there pursuing their enemy. Verse 23
says, “So the Lord saved Israel that day and the battle passed
over unto Beth
Aven.” The battle is always the
Lord’s. That’s faith rest. When you get hold of the fact that the battle
is the Lord’s, that’s faith rest.
I had to try to point that out to
pastors I’ve talked
to—that they have to learn that the battle is the Lord’s. You’re always going to have pushy church
members. But you don’t fight back. You just declare the facts and you let it lie
there, and God goes from there.
The troops were panicked.
Saul’s army came out and a great victory was
won because the glory of
God was reflected in the spiritual maturity structure of Jonathan.
Now between David and Jonathan there
developed a very
dramatic and a very tender friendship.
It began on the day that David killed Goliath. It so happened that Jonathan was present at
the time when Saul was interviewing David.
1 Samuel 18:1 says, “And it came to pass when
he (David) had ceased
speaking unto Saul after he had slain the giant that the soul of
knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own
soul.” Now here you have two
men—each of them with a
mind, each of them with a will and emotions.
And you have David on one side and Jonathan on the
other side. And it was as if they both
shared the same
soul. When Jonathan looked at David, he
said, “Now I think like that fellow.”
You may have had the experience of
having a comradery with a
friend that you could even say, “I know that if my friend had to
make a decision
for me, he would make the same decision, he would come to the same
that I would. I wouldn’t even have
tell him what I think. He would come (to
the same conclusion) because we think alike.
Their wills had a comradery.
Jonathan discovered that when David makes a choice,
“Amen, brother, that’s the choice I’d make.
I would do the same.” Their
emotions were the same. The things that
they were hot for, they were both hot for.
And what David was cool toward, Jonathan said,
“I’m cool toward that
And here was a soul-to-soul attachment. Remember (that) the soul is the real
you. The only contact you and I have
with one another is soul-to-soul. That’s
the point of our relationships to each other on this human plane. What was the relationship?
The soul of Jonathan was “knit” with the
of David and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. And
the Hebrew word is “ahab.” This
(love) is the equivalent of the New
Testament Greek word “agapao.” The
relationship they had between them was exactly what we’ve been
of a mental attitude love, and that’s why these two men were
to one another. They were knit. They were intertwined. They
were interrelated. Here you have the basis
of a genuine lasting
friendship between two people.
Now the people that you have a close
ground of comradery
with, as a Christian, a really close ground of comradery, and I’m
about this surface civility that you interrelate with people, like
you buy something from in the store and they say, “Come
back,” because they’re
just dying to have you visit them again because you’re such a
nice person. We’re talking about
relationship, that tenderness of experience that you share with
somebody. As a Christian it is because you
because your souls are intertwined, because you have minds that are
emotions that are compatible, and wills that are compatible. And the people you will become the closest to
on this earth are those that have a spiritual maturity structure that
your spiritual maturity structure.
Now you can have this and you can
destroy it too as we shall
see in a moment. You can have this
comradery and it can cool off, and there’s a reason for that. Now David was drawn to Jonathan as much as
Jonathan was drawn to him because of the spiritual maturity that they
shared. It was evident that this
teenager David has a spiritual maturity structure.
He had grace orientation. Look
at 1 Samuel 17:37 where David said,
“Moreover the Lord who delivered me out of the paw of the lion
and out of the
paw of the bear. He will deliver me out
of the hand of the Philistines. And Saul
said unto David, ‘Go, and the Lord be with thee.’” Verse 46 says, “This day will the Lord
deliver thee into my hand (speaking to Goliath), and I will smite thee
thine head from thee, and I will give the carcass of the host the
this day unto the fowls of the air and unto the wild beasts of the
earth, and all
the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. And
all this assembly shall know that the
Lord saveth not with sword and spear.
For the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give
you into our hand.”
Now that’s a fantastic verse. You and I, from human viewpoint, say if
going to go and have combat, it’s the guns we use.
It’s the weaponry. That’s
what we win with. No.
is the Lord’s battle, and it is the Lord who gives us the victory. The battle is the Lord’s and he will
into our hand. And what brought the
victory from Jonathan? Now follow this
through. Why could Jonathan take himself
and his armor bearer and go up that hill and conquer that outpost and
whole enemy into such furor that Saul’s army could come out and
victory? Because there lay in Jonathan a
spiritual maturity structure.
And as General George Patton said,
“You do not defeat an
enemy on the basis of your weapons, but you defeat his soul.” Very perceptive. It
is the soul at the point of combat. And
here was David who, because he had a
maturity structure already, learned what it was like to depend on God
he was grace oriented and he could meet that lion and that bear and
them, let alone to stand up against this giant.
And mind you what he’s seeing. His physical eyes are seeing this 13-foot
tall creature. What a frightening
sight. Armor rattling, spear, sword so
heavy that this poor kid had to use both hands to pick it up to chop
giant’s head off a little later. And
he’s looking at this fellow and says, “You know what? I’m going to come out there. I’m going to knock you down. I’m going to kill you right on the spot
the field of battle. And you see all
those troops lined up behind you? I’m
going to make a big banquet out of your troops for the vultures. The fowl are going to have a big feast day on
Philistine hides today, because the battle is the Lord’s.”
Now that’s true Christian
warrior talk, friends. And some of you
don’t like it, but it happens
to be biblical orientation to the defense of the nation against the
enemy. David has grace orientation. The battle is the Lord’s.
David had a mastery of the details of life
which was evidenced in 1 Samuel 17:38-39 which says, “And Saul
armed David with
his armor. He put on a helmet of bronze
upon his head. Also he armed him with a
coat of mail. And David girded his sword
upon his armor and he attempted to go.”
Now you can imagine this teenage boy. He’s not fully as strong as he’s
be. And the king puts all this armor on
him, and this kid is walking around, staggering around here with all
on. And the king is trying to help him
to fight this giant. And it says he
hadn’t tested it. “And David
Saul, ‘I cannot go with these for I have not tested them.’ And he put them off.”
He said, “Just a minute. These
are details of life. I know that by human
viewpoint I should put
on all this defense mechanism, but that isn’t the way the Lord
wants me to do
it. Just let me take my slingshot, and
let me pick out five aerodynamically sound stones, and I’ll take
care of the
giant. That’s all I need.” And so he did.
He had a relaxed mental attitude. 1 Samuel 17:26 says, “And David spoke to
men who stood by him saying, ‘What shall be done for the man who
Philistine and taketh away the reproach from Israel?
For who is this uncircumcised Philistine that
he should defy the armies of the living God?’”
David viewed this as an insult against God. He wasn’t frightened.
No, fear is a sin. Anytime
you’re afraid your relaxed mental
attitude is broken down. David says,
“What are we all afraid of here?”
And in verse 32, David said to Saul,
“Let no man’s heart
fail because of him (the giant). Thy
servant will go out and fight with this Philistine.”
And then David’s oldest brother was
one who wore the officer’s uniform. The
guy with the epaulets up here, and all the braid. The
fellow who was the pride of the family
because he was in the officer corps. And
he looked at his kid brother her, the teenager who was doing all this
working on the morale of the troops, and David’s relaxed mental
attitude gets a
real testing here.
Notice verse 28.
“Eliab, his eldest brother, brother heard when
he spoke unto the men,
and Eliab’s anger was kindled against David.
Why camest thou down here? And
with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness?” He says, “What are you doing here, you
no-good kid?” And you might want to
something stronger. “What did you do
with those few sheep? You know we’re
a rich family. We don’t have too
sheep. You went off and left them in the
wilderness didn’t you? You no good
little irresponsible brat. “I know
pride and thy naughtiness of heart.” (“I
know how ugly you are,” is what it means.)
“And thou art come down to see the
battle.” (You’re just coming
down here just to see the
And David said, “What have I now
done? Isn’t there a cause
here?” Is there not a cause here
that we should
apply ourselves to? Why do you berate me
when I am applying myself to a cause? We
Christians have a habit of doing that when somebody who’s really
themselves to a cause gets berated, as if there were no cause to apply
“And he turned from him toward
another and spoke after the
same manner: and the people answered him
again after the former manner.” That
David turned and he kept inquiring, “What’s the situation? What’s the situation?”
But you notice he didn’t do
anything more than say, “Brother
there’s a cause here. That’s
doing this. And I’m not trying to be
smart-alec or ugly or irresponsible. And
it took a relaxed mental attitude not to turn back and bark at his
get into a fist fight with him.
He also had the capacity to love. 1 Samuel 13:14, Samuel says to Saul
concerning David, “But now thy kingdom shall continue. The Lord hath sought him a man after his own
heart and the Lord hath commanded him to be captain over His people
thou hast not kept that which the Lord commanded thee.” Samuel is telling Saul that David, who was a
man after God’s own heart, which is a way of saying,
“Here’s a man who really
loves God.” And that’s what
God wants, a
man who will love him. Not a man who
will give to him, but God wants a man who will love him.
Samuel is saying, “God has found that man,
and that man is going to be king.”
So between Jonathan and David, these
men with two strong
spiritual maturity structures, there was a knitting of souls. In 1 Samuel 18, we’re told how a
pact developed between them. And Jonathan
sealed this pact by giving David several gifts.
Verse 2 says, “And Saul took him that day and
would let him go no more
to his father’s house. Then Jonathan
David made a covenant because he loved him as his own soul.”
Now David’s fame made Saul
jealous, and it made Saul
determined, consequently, to kill David.
1 Samuel 18:7 says, “And the women spoke to
one another as they played
and said, ‘Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten
thousands.’” This became the
song that was number one on the
hit parade. The women were all going
around singing this song, “Saul hath slain his thousands, and
David his ten
thousands.” And it just carried on,
everywhere that Saul went the juke boxes were just playing out,
slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.”
He just got sick of listening to the women
singing and praising David.
Verse 8 says, “Saul was very
angry, and the saying
displeased him. And he said, ‘They
ascribed unto David ten thousands and to me they have ascribed but
thousands. And what can he have more but
the kingdom?’” Now, mind you. Saul says, “There’s only one thing
doesn’t have. He’s got the
the adulation of the population. He just
doesn’t have my kingdom.”
Now I want to remind you that there
was in Saul a spirit of
comradery friendship love toward David. Look
back in 1 Samuel 16. 1 Samuel 16:21
says, “And David came to Saul and stood before him and he loved
greatly.” And this is the Hebrew
used. And Saul “ahab” David
greatly. He “agapao’d”
David greatly, so
that there was on the part of Saul a mental attitude love and good will
David upon his initial meeting with him in the incident with Goliath. “And David came to Saul and stood before
and he loved him greatly and became his armor bearer.” Now armor bearer is an official position of
honor. It didn’t mean that he had to
around carrying the heavy armor around.
Somebody else did that. But
was an executive in charge, a sort of a military aid to Saul. “And Saul sent to Jesse saying,
‘Let David I
pray thee stand before me for he has found favor in my sight.” Saul sends back word to David’s father
and says, “I want to keep the boy with me.”
“And it came to pass when the
evil spirit from God was upon
Saul that David took a harp and played with his hands so Saul was
was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.”
Yes, he loved David, but he loved David
because David had therapeutic value.
Saul had an affliction of depression, perhaps manic
depression. And he would come into these
depression, and David, who was a musician, would get on his harp. Little David would start playing on his harp,
and Saul’s mental attitude would be soothed.
His emotions would be resolved, and it served to
heal Saul’s internal
tension. It was a relief to Saul. David served him in a very specific directly
beneficial way, and that was part of the reason that Saul had this
receptivity toward him. It was motivated
by benefits from David.
The time came that the friendship that
Saul had for David was
wiped out. Why was it wiped out? It was wiped out because a mental attitude
sin entered between them. Saul said,
“They’re singing about my conquering my thousands and he
conquers his ten
thousands. What more can he have now
than my kingdom? First he was angry with
David over the song, then he became jealous because he was more popular
the people. And from hatred he went to
vindictiveness. (“I’m going to
And we’re told that he became
fearful. Verse 9 says, “Saul watched
from that day onward.” Now he has
into mental attitude jealousy and vindictiveness. And
it came to pass on the next day that the
evil spirit from God came upon Saul and he prophesied in the midst of
and David played with his hand, as at other times:
there was a javelin in Saul’s hand. And Saul cast the javelin; for he said,
smite David even to the wall with it.
(I’ll pin him to the wall with the javelin.) And David escaped from his presence
twice. And Saul was afraid of David
because the Lord was with him and was departed from Saul.”
Saul recognized that his sin, his
willful sinning again and
again had removed the hand of blessing from him and that the king
been transferred to David. Now Saul,
instead of accepting this as the plan of God (which then discipline
become blessing to Saul at it did to Jonathan).
Jonathan accepted it and it became blessing to him
because Jonathan had
spiritual maturity but Saul did not.
Saul went all the way from hatred to fear. He feared this man. He
feared everything he was doing. He was
envious. He was jealous.
He was contentious. And
he began to be sneaky. And he began to lay
plans in order to bring
about the death of David.
The friendship of Jonathan and David,
you can see, under
these conditions, was bound to face a severe testing.
Saul made repeated attempts on the life of
David. Furthermore, he hadn’t kept
promise to David. David had been told
that whoever conquers the giant Goliath would receive Saul’s
marriage. And he did not give the girl
to him in marriage. But Saul thought,
“Now this is how I’ll get David.”
offered to give David the choice of another daughter, Michal. And he said, “I’ll give her to you
if you go
out and kill 100 Philistines.” And
told that what Saul had in mind was that the odds were so great that
not personally be able to slay 100 Philistines and survive.
1 Samuel 18:25b (the latter part of
the verse) says, “But
Saul thought to make David fall by the hands of the Philistines.” But the thing that Saul did not recognize
again was the spiritual maturity structure.
And the result was again that David was able to go
out and perform. He not only brought in
100 Philistines, he
brought the evidence back of 200 dead.
He doubled the ante. The
was that he became Saul’s son-in-law.
Saul recognized spiritual maturity in
David. What was the result?
He hated the more for it. 1
Samuel 18:28 says, “And Saul saw and knew
that the Lord was with David, and that Michal, Saul’s daughter,
loved him, and
Saul was yet the more afraid of David, and Saul became David’s
continually. Then the princes of the
Philistines went forth and it came to pass after they went forth that
behaved himself more wisely than all the servants of Saul so that his
Saul, who once could say, “I
love you David,” now became
gradually envious, suspicious, contentious, and competitive. That’s the miserable word,
“competitive.” Saul looked at
he saw that this man had qualities, he had maturity, he had gifts, he
ability, and he had the hand of blessing upon him, and he says,
“I’ve got to
compete with this guy, and I’ve got to equal him.” And competition set in, and one of the worst
mental sins you can have, I think, is competition with another believer. And the result was he started to equate and
out-do, and there was no end to this but hatred. And
the result was that the friendship broke
He went to the point, 1 Samuel 19:1
tells us, that Saul
ordered Jonathan and the servants to personally kill David—to
him. He resorted to assassins. 1 Samuel 19:1 says, “And Saul spoke to
Jonathan his son and to all his servants that they should kill
David.” Well, Jonathan didn’t
fear David, nor was he
jealous of his reputation, though he was a threat to Jonathan’s
throne. Instead, Jonathan recognized that
God’s choice. 1 Samuel 23:17 says,
he said unto him, ‘Fear not, for the hand of Saul my father shall
thee. Thou shalt be king over Israel,
and I shall be next unto thee. And that
also Saul my father knoweth.’” Now
that’s a beautiful statement.
Now this is the love between friends. Jonathan says, “David, I know that God
said that you will be king after my father, not me.
But I’ll tell you this, David, you will not
only be king, but I’ll be at your side as you’re aid.” Now that’s mental attitude love. That’s what the Scripture says,
one another,” pushing each other ahead—not muscling around
trying to prove that
you’re the equal or you’re just as good as somebody else,
or going around
sounding off that you’re as good as anybody else, within the
outside of it.
Look over in chapter 20, verse 14,
just to compare that
verse. Jonathan is saying to David,
thou shalt not only while yet I live show me the kindness of the Lord
die not: But also thou shalt not cut off
thy kindness from my house forever: no,
not when the Lord hat cut off the enemies of David every one from the
the earth. So Jonathan made a covenant
with the house of David, saying, Let the Lord even require it at the
David’s enemies.” Jonathan
says, “Not only
will you and I not come to blows; not only will you and I not come to a
conflict; but, you’ll take care of and be kind to my family after
Friendship can be marred between two
because “agape” love,
which is based on positive response to the revelation of God is
violated. Now their mutual affection was
proven on many
occasions. Jonathan told David of a plot
that Saul had on his life in 1 Samuel 19:2-3.
Jonathan finally went and he talked to his father,
and David was
restored to the court in 1 Samuel 19:4-17.
But as David’s fame increased, Saul’s
hatred returned and rose again, so
he sought again to have David killed (1 Samuel 19:8-10).
And Saul resorted to assassins.
He sent an assassin to David’s house to kill
him in his sleep. But he was warned and
his wife put a dummy in the bed and covered it up.
And when the assassin came, they said, “You
can’t see him he’s sick. You
disturb him. He’s got the flu.” The fellow looked and sure enough there
lying in the bed. But David’s off
heading for the boon docks.
We’re told that Jonathan’s
love for David, as a friend, was
as his love for himself. So Jonathan and
David met secretly after all this, and they pledged their loyalty once
each other and to care for each other’s family.
You have that beautiful passage in 1 Samuel 20:11-17. Verse 17 says, “And Jonathan caused
swear again because he loved him, for he loved him as his own
soul.” You constantly have this
declaration. Here are two men that have
souls that are compatible with each other, and there are no conflicts
them even though one is being pushed ahead of the other.
This is exactly what Ephesians 5:29 says that
we will do. “For no man has ever
his own flesh, but nurture it and cherish it even as the Lord the
David had to flee again, and the two
friends met for the
last time in the forest of Ziph. 1
Samuel 23, beginning at verse 15 says, “And David saw that Saul
was come out to
seek his life: and David was in the
wilderness of Ziph in a forest. And
Jonathan Saul’s son arose, and went to David into the forest, and
his hand in God. And he said unto him,
no: for the hand of Saul my father shall
not find thee: and thou shalt be king
over Israel, and I shall be next unto thee:
and that also my father knoweth.’
The two made a covenant before the Lord, and David
abode in the forest,
and Jonathan went to his house.” The
friends were never to see each other again.
This was the last time.
About six years later, David heard
that Jonathan and his
three sons had been killed in a battle against the Philistines. They had severed the heads and taken the
bodies and hung them on the wall until some of their friends came and
down and gave them a burial. But
mental attitude love continued even after the sorrow of seeing his
slaughtered as the result of his father’s hatred.
His love continued. He
bore no grudge. And he wrote this poem of
grief, mourning, of
all things, not only Jonathan, but mourning Saul.
You’ll find it in 2 Samuel
chapter 1 “How are the mighty
fallen in the midst of the battle. Oh,
Jonathan, thou wast slain in thine high places.
I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan. Very pleasant hast thou been unto me. Thy love to me was wonderful, passing the
love of women. How are the mighty fallen
and the weapons of war perish!” Now
can see the tears flowing in the heart if not in the eyes of David as
this eulogy to a man who had really become his friend.
Well, how did such friendship come
between these two? It begins with that
“agape” mental attitude
love. The spiritual maturity structure
enabled them to have a friendship of soul-to-soul which they would not
had they not both grown spiritually.
This is sometimes what happens: Two friends start off and they’re both
certain spiritual maturity level. And
then one begins to flake off. One begins
to get attracted off into attitudes of the world and into human
concepts—human viewpoint concepts absorbed from other Christians
disoriented. And pretty soon two who
were bound together begin to discover that they’re pulling apart
because one is
moving on in spiritual maturity and the other has gotten himself bogged
with other Christians. And what was a
beautiful friendship becomes an empty hollow thing.
John 15:12-13 says, “This is my
commandment: that you love one another as
I have loved
you. Greater love hath no man than
this: that a man lay down his life for
his friend.” The expression of a
with “agape” love will have this capacity.
He will have the loyalty not to shrink from danger,
to protect you. He’ll be one who
stands by you who will be neither
ashamed nor embarrassed by the opinions of people about you. The pushy crowd who tries to improve the
work will not dissuade him. He’ll
up and sound off to them, like Caleb and Joshua did to their ten
compatriots. It’s nice to have
people who stand around and
sound off to the pushy ones.
He gives up his own ambitions to
assure your success. He’s no
operator himself. He reaches out to the
other as soul reaches
to soul. A Christian comradery which is
based on spiritual maturity structure in the soul.
A friendship with the warm glow of Christian
fellowship will be cooled off by mental attitude sins which destroy
love because bitterness sets in. You
start rationalizing, defending yourself, and opposing your friends.
The loss of the capacity to love
toward a friend will
impoverish your life. It makes you poor
when it happens. The capacity to love,
when it’s kept within bounds of propriety between friends, may be
by the disoriented. As you know,
implications are made toward David and Jonathan. But
to those who have a spiritual maturity
insight, that kind of comradery is not misconstrued.
The human viewpoint can’t grasp this, and it
puts insulting implications upon it.
But takes all into account.
So stand with love. Fear
man. Commit yourself to God.
And don’t destroy your capacity to love
because of ignorant people around you who can’t get to first base
quality of loving. It’s nice to know
people who can love. It’s sad to
people who are beggarly when it comes to the capacity to love.
John E. Danish, 1971
to the Basic Bible Doctrine index
the Bible Questions index