If you want to know someone who deserved to be in the inner circle, and an example of a strong relationship, one of the best models in the Bible is David and Jonathan. Jonathan was the son of David’s enemy, King Saul. Saul was out to kill David because he was jealous of him and knew that he would replace him on the throne of Israel. Saul’s son, Jonathan, knew this and was such a loyal friend of David, that he alerted David of the danger and saved his life when he found out that his father, Saul, wanted to kill David. 1 Samuel 20:4 says, “Jonathan said to David, “Whatever you want me to do, I’ll do for you.”
The remainder of the story is in 1 Samuel chapter 20. “So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, “May the Lord call David’s enemies to account.” And Jonathan had David reaffirm his oath out of love for him, because he loved him as he loved himself.” (verses 16-17)
Jonathan devised a plan to warn David on whether he could come to King Saul’s table or whether Saul would kill him. In verse 18-22, he outlines a signal to warn David. Then Jonathan said to David, “Tomorrow is the New Moon feast. You will be missed, because your seat will be empty. The day after tomorrow, toward evening, go to the place where you hid when this trouble began, and wait by the stone Ezel. I will shoot three arrows to the side of it, as though I were shooting at a target. Then I will send a boy and say, ‘Go, find the arrows.’ If I say to him, ‘Look, the arrows are on this side of you; bring them here,’ then come, because, as surely as the Lord lives, you are safe; there is no danger. But if I say to the boy, ‘Look, the arrows are beyond you,’ then you must go, because the Lord has sent you away.”
Jonathan risked his life for David. Saul’s anger flared up at Jonathan and he said to him, “You son of a perverse and rebellious woman! Don’t I know that you have sided with the son of Jesse to your own shame and to the shame of the mother who bore you? As long as the son of Jesse lives on this earth, neither you nor your kingdom will be established. Now send someone to bring him to me, for he must die!” “Why should he be put to death? What has he done?” Jonathan asked his father. But Saul hurled his spear at him to kill him. Then Jonathan knew that his father intended to kill David.” (verses 30-33).
Jonathan knew that he would be next in line for the throne if David was killed. He could have easily betrayed David and secured the throne of Israel for himself. But, Jonathan’s love and loyalty for his friend David was evident by his selfless act of saving David’s life. Jonathan was willing to risk his own life for his friend David, even though by doing so Jonathan would sacrifice his chance to rule Israel. David’s friendship was more important than the throne of Israel to Jonathan.
So, Jonathan sent a messenger boy to shoot arrows for the signal that it was not safe for David to return to King Saul’s presence for he would surely be killed. “After the boy had gone, David got up from the south side of the stone and bowed down before Jonathan three times, with his face to the ground. Then they kissed each other and wept together—but David wept the most. Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship with each other in the name of the Lord, saying, ‘The Lord is witness between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants forever.’” Then David left, and Jonathan went back to the town.” (verses 41-42).
That is the person that you want in your inner circle.
1. Is Jonathan being disloyal to his father, Saul? Why or why not?
2. Describe your best friend? How do you decide to be someone’s friend? Would you consider yourself a good friend?
3. In your inner circle, have you experienced a David-Jonathan loyal relationship?
4. Who in your life is traveling alongside you? Who are you intentionally traveling with? Do they know how important they are in your life?
5. Pray and ask God to help you choose a Jonathan in your life and at the same time look for ways to be a Jonathan in someone else’s life.