“And may you treat me with the faithful love of the LORD as long as I live. But if I die, treat my family with this faithful love, even when the LORD destroys all your enemies.” - 1 Samuel 20:14-15

Helping people in trouble can be challenging, uncomfortable, time-consuming, dangerous, and expensive. But it is also right and good, rewarding and God-honoring.

David had more than his share of trouble, not the least of which was his relationship with Saul. King Saul was a veritable museum of emotional diseases. Given to fits of melancholia that plunged him into murderous rages, he lived an acutely paranoid existence. Unfortunately for David, the king’s hatred and jealousy were mainly directed at him. This made for a decidedly uncomfortable experience for David, who found himself persona non grata at court and deemed it necessary to head for the wilderness in search of a little safety.

Fortunately for David, young prince Jonathan gladly helped his troubled friend. Jonathan was aware of the immense popularity of David, and no doubt he recognized a potential rival for the throne in the young charismatic hero. In fact, from a purely political point of view, having David dead would have been much more attractive for Jonathan than having David alive! When Jonathan protested that David’s reading of the situation was terribly wrong, perhaps David wondered momentarily if Jonathan secretly wanted him out of the way.

But the two young men, whose status and situations were so different, had important things in common. They both valued their strong friendship. They both took seriously their commitment to the Lord, whom they knew to be the God of “faithful love” (20:14), and they recognized that the followers of the Lord needed to treat others with this “faithful love” also (20:15). This was not just a matter of personal friendship, which was certainly very strong; it was all about treating people rightly and recognizing that the Lord himself was watching and caring.

We serve a Lord who distinguished himself by the way he helped a helpless race in deep trouble. Like Jonathan, he saw our lost condition, was moved with compassion, and made a commitment to us. Christ did not hesitate to pay the extreme sacrifice. Reaching us in our troubled state, he drew us back to himself and granted us a place in his royal family. So next time you don’t feel like helping, remember the One who helped you!

For Further Study: 1 Samuel 20:1-15

Excerpted from The One Year Devotions for Men, Copyright ©2000 by Stuart Briscoe. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.

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