Closer Than a Brother
a story about David and Jonathan
by Barbara Wilmerton Haas
Text Version | Afrikaans
Clip art licensed from the Clip Art Gallery on DiscoveryEducation.com
Jeff finally got up the nerve to knock on the door. He was standing in front of the new neighbor's house, hoping to find one more lawn to mow so he could save enough money to go to camp this summer.
"Hi," he said energetically, as a kind looking lady opened the door. He couldn't help but notice the boy his age, getting up from the couch to see who was there. "I'm Jeff...Jeff Hilliard," he continued. "I live over there in that blue house," he said, pointing to the house across the street.
The two boys' eyes met and instantly Jeff felt like he already knew this boy. "I'd like to know if I could help by mowing your lawn for you."
The kind lady graciously accepted his offer to help.
It was not until the lawn was finished that Jeff got to meet Dan for the first time. The two boys hit it off right from the start. It was just as though they had known each other a very long time.
Have you ever made friends with someone so quickly that it felt as if you have always known him or her? That's exactly the way it happened with two boys in today's story. However, one was a king's son and the other was a shepherd boy.
After David, the shepherd boy, had killed the giant Goliath, Abner, who was King Saul's general, went and got David to bring him before the King. King Saul wanted to talk with David so he could find out what kind of family David came from. He was pretty impressed with this young lad and his amazing courage, to say the least.
King Saul looked him up and down for a few minutes, admiring the courageous young fellow. Then he said, "Tell me, son. Who is your father and where do you live?"
"My father's name is Jesse, Your Majesty. I come from the town of Bethlehem," David replied with great respect.
It was right after this talk with King Saul that David met Jonathan for the very first time. Instantly their hearts were bonded together in friendship. The feeling was so strong that before they parted, Jonathan promised to be David's blood brother.
To prove he sincerely meant what he said, Jonathan took off his robe and handed it over to David. Not only did he hand over his robe, but also his sword, his bow, and his belt. He gave David these things as proof of their promise to continue the friendship that began between them on the day David had slain the giant Goliath.
From that time on, King Saul had David stay at Jerusalem with him instead of going back to his home in Bethlehem. He became King Saul's special assistant and was always successful in every assignment the King gave him. After a while, he was put in charge of the King's army. All the soldiers and the people throughout the city loved David.
Something happened when the army returned home in great victory after the giant Goliath had been slain. All along the way, as the army marched back to Jerusalem, women came out of the villages, dancing and singing, playing their tambourines, having a great celebration.
But what was it they were singing? Did King Saul HEAR right?
"Saul has slain his thousands, and David his TEN thousands!"
Naturally, this made King Saul very angry. "What's going on?" he muttered to himself. "They're giving David credit for slaying TEN thousand. Yet they're only crediting me for slaying thousands! Before you know it, they'll be making him KING instead of ME!"
That is exactly when King Saul's heart became filled with jealousy toward David. In fact, the very next day, Saul became tormented, the Bible says, with an evil spirit. He began to carry on right in the middle of the house where everyone could see him.
This same thing had happened to King Saul in the past, so David knew exactly what to do. He went and got his harp and began playing some very soothing music. But this time, Saul, who had been standing with his sword in his hand, suddenly hurled it at David, aiming to pin his body against the wall. This happened twice, but each time David was able to escape without being harmed.
The Bible says, Saul was afraid of David because he knew God was with him. Worse yet, King Saul knew God's Presence had departed from him. Because of this, Saul sent David out of his house and removed him from being over the men of war. Instead he made him captain over a thousand. All eyes were on David as he came and went.
David acted very wisely in everything he did and the Lord was with him. When King Saul saw how well David behaved himself, it made him that much more afraid of him. All the people loved David everywhere he went.
Jonathan was shocked the day his father called him and the servants together and told them he wanted David killed. He immediately went to warn David.
"Go find a place to hide until morning. My father is right now searching for you, to kill you," Jonathan warned his best friend David. "I'll go out and stand beside my father in the field where you're hiding and feel him out to see if he's changed his mind by then. Afterwards I'll tell you everything I can find out."
Sorrowfully, David and Jonathan quickly parted before someone discovered the two of them together.
Do you think David was afraid to talk with King Saul?
What was David's father's name?
From what town did David come?
What was the name of David's new friend?
Who was this new friend?
What four things did this new friend give David?
When did King Saul become angry with David?
What did he do to show his anger?
Why was King Saul afraid of David?
When God is on your side, you have nothing to fear.
A VERSE TO LEARN
"...there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother" (Proverbs 18:24b).
Dear God, thank You for being with me. Help me
to love others as You love me, regardless of how
they treat me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
CAN YOU FIND THIS STORY IN THE BIBLE?
1 Samuel 17:57; 18:1-14; 19:3
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Last updated April 8, 2018.
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