Do You Have a Friend Like Jonathan?

We Need One Another to Survive

Audio Transcript

In 1 Samuel 23, David’s life is in the balance. The people of the town of Kelah have betrayed him. The prophet tells him, “They’re going to betray you,” so he escapes and leaves Keilah. At the end of the chapter, the Ziphites treacherously tell Saul quietly where David is, Saul comes after him, David finds out, and he escapes by the skin of his teeth.

I’ve tried to imagine the pressure of doing ministry like that. Pressure, stress, tension, discouragement. You want to say, “Is it worth it to be the Lord’s anointed?” You will say that. Is it worth it to be a Christian? Is it worth it to be a pastor?

How are you going to survive in those moments? How did David survive? Well, I think the chapter is arranged this way — between the betrayal and the treachery, right in the middle here is verse 16: “Jonathan, Saul’s son, rose and went to David at Horesh, and strengthened his hand in God.” Have you got a friend like that? Be that for each other. Be that for each other.

We can’t survive without God’s mercy horizontally mediated to us. “Exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today’ . . . lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God” (Hebrews 3:12–13). I’m serious. It’s a glorious calling.

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