Good morning my friends,
The friendship of Jonathan and David is an interesting study on character and the bonds of friendship. Here were two young men who could have been great rivals. Jonathan was a warrior long before David arrived on the scene, having already put an entire army to flight. David was a brass young man with the nerve to challenge and stand against a mighty warrior, and win.
Jonathan was the son of the king, thus a prince and heir to the throne. He had proven himself to be a staunch worshiper of the one true God and a great defender of the nation of Israel. With only his sword barer at his back he had put an entire army to flight. He appeared to be a well educated young man. He was a man of his word, a man of conviction, a man of faith and a true friend.
David was a passionate young man. He loved the LORD God and had complete trust in him. He was a staunch defender of Israel. He was not a prince but he rouse through the ranks and soon became a popular commander. He does appear to have been rash and as a shepherd he would not have received a great education. He did not appear as refined as some and his character certainly seemed to be lacking in areas. Could you imagine Jonathan lying to a priest or pretending to be insane to save his own skin? Just because it is recorded in the Word does not mean it is something that is approved of God.
Of the two young men Jonathan would have made the better king. However, God's choices are not made based upon the same things that our choices are made. In fact the Word tells us that God purposely chooses to use the foolish things of the world:
Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. (1 Corinthians 1:26-29)
The only advantage that David had over Jonathan was that David had the only thing that mattered; the anointing of God. Jonathan recognized this and it again speaks well of his character. He did not grow jealous of David. Here was this young, brass shepherd boy who would take his place as king and they became the best of friends. Everything Jonathan did spoke highly of his noble character. Not so with David but David had been chosen of God for the task of leading God's people.
David was sincere in his love and devotion to God, however his character would need to be refined and developed. There is nothing like losing everything, being on the run and hiding out in the desert to develop character. Just as God had sent Israel out into the desert to develop its maturity as a nation so God did with David. Just because God chooses the foolish things does not mean he will leave them that way. There is a refining process and it is rarely gentle.
These two make a fine character study and there is much to learn from them both. However, the greatest lesson is that it is God and God only who makes the decisions concerning whom he will place where to do his work. It is not something that is merited but simply God's choice. We need to stop judging God's choices based on our own understanding and allow his work to flow as it is meant to be. If we did we may find a lot more foolish things bringing God the glory he deserves.