I Samuel 23:15-18 15 While David was at Horesh in the Desert of Ziph, he learned that Saul had come out to take his life. 16 And Saul’s son Jonathan went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength in God. 17 “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “My father Saul will not lay a hand on you. You will be king over Israel, and I will be second to you. Even my father Saul knows this.” 18 The two of them made a covenant before the LORD. Then Jonathan went home, but David remained at Horesh.
Jonathan is a remarkable man. What he did in 1 Samuel 23 is amazing. It was brave and it was selfless. Jonathan knew that his father was trying to kill David. He knew that going to see David was not a safe move. But he did it anyway because he was dedicated to his friend. His friend was on the run and he wanted to encourage him. I love that it says Jonathan helped David find strength in God. I imagine he reminded him of God’s promises and prayed with him. That is a good friend!
What is even more remarkable to me is that Jonathan had more to lose than just being seen with David. As the son of the king, he had rights to the throne; he was next in line to be king. But he knew that God had already anointed David, so he was willing to get out of the way. A lesser man would have fought for his place on the throne, but not Jonathan. Instead, he re-affirmed his covenant with David that he would serve in second command someday and David would be king. He would personally see to it if he had to. He was willing to give up his rights for God’s greater plan.
So often we struggle with God over what we believe is our right. We tell God, “I deserve this” or “this is my right.” While that may be true, God may have something different in mind, something greater. And there are times when God will ask us to lay down our rights. If you recall, Jesus laid down His at the cross. He asks us to do the same. You might feel like you have something coming to you. You might think you’ve got the whole thing figured out. You might have your heart so set on a direction that you are unable to see anything else. That’s when God comes along and says, “would you like to hear MY plan?” It is in that place that we come to the crossroad like Jonathan did. Will I fight for my rights or will I lay them down for God’s greater plans? I have been to that crossroad and I am so glad I chose His plan. Because His ways are higher than my ways and I have found that His ways are always the best.