v 1 After David had finished talking with Saul, he met Jonathan, the king’s son. There was an immediate bond between them, for Jonathan loved David.
Here is the first God-quality we discover about friendship – love. Not the namby-pamby emotional ‘love at first sight’ kind of thing, (with sex trundling along close behind), running hot sometimes and cold at others; but God-love, constant, loyal, trusting, forgiving, always seeking the good of the person loved. We find just that kind of love in the story of the friendship between David and Jonathan. That little phrase ‘an immediate bond’ characterises their relationship; it is a relationship potentially fraught with difficulties of all kinds, and yet we see it lasting for the benefit of them both.
Jonathan had a massive reputation in Israel as a warrior and general.
You can read some of his exploits in 1 Samuel 14, and his confidence in God for the battles. ‘Jonathan said to his armour bearer. “Perhaps the Lord will help us, for nothing can hinder the Lord. He can win a battle whether he has many warriors or only a few!” ‘(1 Sam 14:6) He and David shared this trust in the Lord – their friendship had a base in their common confidence in God.
This commitment to loving and following God’s way makes an excellent base for a lasting friendship. Compare this with Saul’s ‘love’ – so called – for both Jonathan and David. What friendship-love would try to kill a person, and yet that is what Saul attempted with both Jonathan (1 Samuel 20:33) and David (1 Samuel 19:10).