v 16 Jonathan went to find David and encouraged him to stay strong in his faith in God. “Don’t be afraid,” Jonathan reassured him. “My father will never find you! You are going to be the king of Israel, and I will be next to you, as my father, Saul, is well aware.”
This was a wonderful, albeit brief, moment of friendship renewal and spiritual encouragement. Jonathan stuck with his father and fought battles alongside him. We finally encounter Jonathan in a battle with the Philistines where he met his end. (1 Samuel 31) ‘Now the Philistines attacked Israel, and the men of Israel fled before them. Many were slaughtered on the slopes of Mount Gilboa. The Philistines closed in on Saul and his sons, and they killed three of his sons—Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malkishua. The fighting grew very fierce around Saul, and the Philistine archers caught up with him and wounded him severely. Saul groaned to his armour bearer, “Take your sword and kill me before these pagan Philistines come to run me through and taunt and torture me.” But his armour bearer was afraid and would not do it. So Saul took his own sword and fell on it.
Father and son fell together in the same battle. The stage was then set for David to assume his God-given role as King. With what sadness this friendship seemed to finish, but David never forgot it. Read on into 2 Samuel 9 where we find King David taking care of Jonathan’s orphaned and crippled son Mephibosheth “One day David asked, “Is anyone in Saul’s family still alive—anyone to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” …. And from that time on, Mephibosheth ate regularly at David’s table, like one of the king’s own sons.
Good friendships cross even the generation boundaries!