If you have not done so before, please review the Background on the Program
As you start to review this episode, please know that YOU matter. Regardless of what you are struggling with, regardless of the depths of your sorrows and regardless of how lonely you feel, the Good News is that YOU matter. I hope the message below nourishes you in the most meaningful way to comfort you and strengthen you to keep climbing into the ring to face your battles.
Episode #7: Friendship Part 2
Today’s episode starts with a song from The Rolling Stones, Wild Horses.
Please spend a few minutes listening to any version you can find on the internet.
I hope you enjoyed that song. Wild Horses is a fitting song when talk about the bonds of friendship and the commitments we make. As the song says, “wild, wild horses couldn’t drag me away” is good reminder of the kind of commitments we make to friends. The song helps us all reconnect with the truth that friendship is built upon commitments.
As we mentioned in Part 1 (Episode #6 – Friendship) we realize the importance of friendship that was outlined in the relationship between David and Jonathan. They made a commitment in the book of 1st Samuel Chapter 20 verse 42 (1 Samuel 20:42) that our friendship is “between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants forever.”
As we look further into the ancient scriptures around the legacy of their friendship, we see that David fulfilled his commitment to Jonathan for their “descendants forever” in the book of 2nd Samuel Chapter 9 verses 1 through 12 (2 Samuel 9:1-12) (please find a version of this scripture on the internet).
The backdrop of this situation is that David and his men, after about 10 years of civil war in Israel, had finally won control of Israel and David has become King. David and his men finally defeated those who were still loyal to the legacy of the now deceased King Saul and every other band of warrior states that were looking to take control of the situation.
Just to put it all into context, what triggered the civil war is when Saul died in battle in Ziklag. When King Saul died in battle, Israel lost its leadership structure. Chaos and civil war soon followed between those still loyal to King Saul, those who supported David to be the next king, and every other warrior state in the region that seemed to want to get in on the action to dominate the Jewish people and the Promised Land.
Before continuing with the main point of this episode, it is worth noting one additional example to share about the friendship between David and Jonathan. Jonathan was able to maintain his commitment to protect David and also remain loyal to his father King Saul right up to the point of death. As we discussed in Part 1 (Episode #6 – Friendship), even with Jonathan’s pledged friendship and protection to his friend David, he also remained loyal to his father King Saul even though he knew he had grown into a jealous and poor king. In this final battle at Ziklag, Jonathan had fought to the death right at his father’s side. In the end, Jonathan fought to the death with his father in battle while he enabled David to survive and become the rightful next King of Israel. Jonathan sets a great example for all of us on how to remain loyal to our family while we also chart our own course in building closes relationships in our lives.
Now, back to the timeline. David is now the King of Israel. It was not but a few moments after the dust started to settle on a decade of civil war, bloodshed and death, David finally catches his breath with all this new power as the King of Israel. David sits upon his throne and at his first dinner after becoming King asks a question that demonstrates where his heart is and how his loyalty, commitment and friendship to Jonathan remains.
In 2 Samuel 9:1, “David asked, “Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” Basically, David asked, now that I am the mighty and powerful King of Israel, is there anyone left alive in Jonathan’s family after 10 years of bloodshed in this civil war so I can maintain my commitment to remain loyal to his “descendants forever.”
David’s servants informed him that there was one son of Jonathan who remained alive. His name was Mephibosheth and he was crippled in both legs. David calls for Mephibosheth to be brought to the palace and in a wonderful demonstration of the commitment he made to Jonathan, here is what David says when they meet in 2 Samuel 9:7:
“Don’t be afraid,” David said to him, “for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table.”
Of all the priorities racing through David’s mind as the new King of Israel, his first priority was to maintain his commitment to his friend Jonathan. He protected and cared for Jonathan’s only surviving family member, his crippled son Mephibosheth, for the rest of his life.
In Part 2 of this message of friendship we find that the story of David and Jonathan highlights the truth that friendship is built upon commitments. We build the bonds of friendship when we maintain our commitments and people can count on us to uphold those commitments. It is important in the journey of our lives that we learn to serve others in the bonds of friendship. God demonstrates his friendship and commitment to us and we need to demonstrate that friendship and commitment to others around us.
Take a moment to reflect on the following questions:
- How have I maintained my commitments to friends over the years?
- When have I done well with maintaining my commitments and when have I fallen short on those commitments?
As you continue along in your journey, please remember that we all cannot be our best in this world when we are all alone. Close friends are critical to share our joys and lessen our sorrows. If you find yourself in a dark valley today, please remember that (1) God promises and is always faithful to be our friend who sticks “closer than a brother” and we should call on Him in our time of need (2) Please reach out to a close friend to talk things through and please consider me as one of your friends today.
As you continue to reflect on the message, please take a moment to search the internet to find and listen to Vince Gill singing, Go Rest High on that Mountain.
How can I help you today? My mobile is 269-370-9275 and my email is firstname.lastname@example.org
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