1 Samuel 18:1-4
After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself. 2 From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return home to his family. 3 And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. 4 Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt.
As David entered into a submissive relationship with Saul, and eventually a relationship with the king that would become confrontational and oppositional, God knew that David would need a close friend – enter Saul’s son Jonathan.
A close friend in life can make all the difference when going through challenging times. Close friends are there for you when you’re hurting. They have a way of lifting you up and keeping you going forward through their words and actions of encouragement. Close friends can celebrate with you, they can even celebrate YOU without getting jealous or bitter. Close friends are willing to give and sacrifice for you.
Jonathan became just such a friend to David. He was the kind of friend that literally gave the shirt off his back. To David he gave his robe and tunic, his sword, bow and belt. While nice gifts, they went far deeper in nature. By giving his robe, Jonathan was giving away his identity as prince. He was sharing that now with David. His robe identified him as the prince of Israel, and now David would carry that identity. The sword and bow were a sign of strength and by handing them over to David, Jonathan was committing all his strength towards David’s protection. Finally, he gives him his belt. This is far more than an instrument to hold up clothing. A warrior’s belt was often used to show the accomplishments of a soldier. Jonathan was declaring that David would have many great victories ahead.
Close friends make all the difference! We have such a friend in our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. He has shared his identity with us as we have been clothed in Christ. His protection surrounds us as Jesus committed to saving us from the very power of sin and death. And finally, we are given the belt of righteousness of God (Isaiah 11:5). Close friends make all the difference and Jesus is the closest friend we can have.