Monday, May 10, 2010

Finding Strength in God

If you have never read the story of Saul, David, and Saul's son Jonathan in the Bible, you should. It is a fascinating study of human personalities, mental disorders, friendship, loyalty, betrayal and all kinds of cool stuff. It starts in I Samuel 8 and goes through the end of chapter 15.

Saul is David's father-in-law and vacillates between showering David with love, affection and gifts and trying to kill him by chucking spears at him and hunting him down with large armies. And you thought your in-law situation was bad... Jonathan is Saul's son and also David's best friend. Jonathan tries to walk the fine line between loving and supporting his father and loving and supporting his brother-in-law and best friend. Today I read the part in the story where David and his band of outcast soldiers have spent an extended period of time cave jumping to stay ahead of Saul and his huge, trained army who are coming after David. I Samuel 23:14 says "Day after day Saul searched for him, but God did not give David into his hands."

I'm sure David appreciated God's protection over his life, but fleeing from cave to cave starts to take its toll on David. Worn out and discouraged physically, mentally, and spiritually, he gets a pleasant surprise. Jonathan sneaks away from his father's army and comes to the place David is hiding. Verse 16 says, "And Saul's son Jonathan went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength in God."

I'm not sure why this jumped off the page at me, but the first thing I thought was, "Wow! Do I do that for my friends and family? When they are discouraged, weak, and vulnerable do I help them find strength in God?" And the second question I asked myself was, "Who in my life has been a Jonathan to me?" I loved going back in time and praising God for the family and friends in my life who have helped me find strength in God.

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