'Friends sharpen the minds of each other.' Proverbs 27:17 CEV
1 Samuel 18 has two strong friends performing an ancient covenant ritual. This was a bit like playground ‘blood brothers’, but much more serious—a promise to cover the other person’s back until death. ‘After David had finished talking with Saul, he met Jonathan, the king’s son. There was an immediate bond between them…Jonathan made a solemn pact with David, because he loved him as he loved himself. Jonathan sealed the pact by taking off his robe and giving it to David, together with his tunic, sword, bow and belt.’ (1 Samuel 18:1–4 NLT)
It’s a peculiar bit of Bible passage, isn’t it? Why would Jonathan go to those (probably fairly chilly) extremes to prove his friendship—what’s wrong with a coffee and a chat? Jonathan does something humble and costly by making a covenant with David. He’s the king’s son and heir to the throne. By handing over his tunic, sword and belt, he symbolises giving up his inheritance to David. Jonathan is dressing David to be the next king. Wow. The highest form of friendship puts others before ourselves. Do you want the best for your mate or do you secretly, even mentally, one–up them, so you have the higher status? Do you give up the things that you’ve been privileged with for your friends’ sakes? 1 Corinthians 13:4–5 NLT tells us, ‘…Love is patient and kind... not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.’ Every time you ‘covet’ something today, do a good deed for the person whose stuff you’ve wanted.
SoulFood: Gal 4-6, Matt 13:36-46, Ps 108, Prov 13:24-25
word4U2day (an adaptation of The Word for Today authored by Bob & Debby Gass) is published under licence by UCB Australia. 2015 UCB International Ltd