2 Samuel 1:17-27 (Part 2) – Who Is The Jonathan to Your David: That Soul-Level Best Friend Guy?

Posted: May 5, 2018 in 10-2 Samuel
Tags: , , ,

2 Samuel 1:17-27 (Part 2 of 2)
David’s Song for Saul and Jonathan

We always here about gal pals and how it seems that girls and women have these deep abiding relationships, which sometimes can last a lifetime. And when the ladies talk about their best friend of many years, they talk about how much they love that other girl as if they were soulmates from the beginning of time and no one thinks a thing about it. However, you hardly ever hear guys talk in such glowing terms about their long-time best friends. Like Chandler and Joey on Friends where they realize they have been “hugging too long” and release the hug really fast. You never hear a guy talk about his best friend in terms of the same nature as when gal pals talk about each other. Girls and women will hug for minutes on end, guys won’t. Girls and women will even hold hands with each other and kiss each other on the cheek. In society, it is considered acceptable for women to express their love for their best friends in such ways because, well, women are the emotional ones of humankind. They are the ones who make our world beautiful with their flair and love for beauty. Man, could you imagine our world and how industrial drab it would be if were not for women. Thank God that he created them. Because they are so different from us men, the rules are different. They are freer to express their emotions than us men. Us men are to be tough as nails and hold our emotions in.

However, the standards of social behavior between men are so much more strict it seems that for women. What would be the social commentary if men verbalized their love for their best friend in the same way that women do? What would the commentary be if guys hugged each other a little longer than just a social hug? What would the commentary be if when taking about your best friend a guy said, “I just love him to pieces!” like girls do sometimes when speaking glowingly about their best friend. Unless you have had a best guy friend, it is hard to conceptualize in our culture that guys can be that close. Typically, we are not. Typically, our conversations are never about our deepest distresses, our darkest fears, our highs and lows of emotion. We typically bottle these emotions up because it is not considered manly or verile to share such thoughts, as women so easily do. I think sometimes we, as guys, miss out on those soul-level relationships with other guys because we won’t share our deepest heart with even the guy we say is our best friend. We will talk about football. We will talk about women. We will talk about baseball. We will talk manual labor. We will talk about exercise. We will talk about the weather. We miss out on what makes each other tick. We miss our on learning how our childhoods effect who we are today. Women do this naturally and have these soul-level friendships where tears can either be of joy or sadness shared together. Why can’t we men do that? Is it just our nature or is it socially trained? I tend to think it is a little of both. It is hard for us to share soul-level feelings because men as less in touch with their feelings and we are trained not to access them.

That’s the thing about David and Jonathan that I thought of this morning. How rare that kind of guy friendship is. There have been moments in my life that I have had friends that I would risk being transparent with, that guy friend that knows all your icky stuff and still likes you. That guy friend that even though I live in Illinois now, I know that I could pick up the phone if I was in a jam and he would be hear in less than 12 hours. He loves me that much and I love him that much. There I said it! He is my best friend, bar none. He is the dude that makes me laugh uncontrollably. He is the guy that I can tell me deepest, darkest secrets and fears. He is the Jonathan to my David. His name is Humberto Perez. I cannot wait til this summer so that maybe he and his wife, Ginger, can come up to Illinois to visit us. We don’t call each other like Ginger and Elena do. But I know that he is still my best friend. We have a relationship that was created by our mutual love and passion for Jesus Christ and I can honestly say that I love this man. I know that he loves me too. It is a soul-level relationship. We can give each other looks and know exactly what they other is thinking. We know each other’s sin weaknesses and try to stele each other against the assaults of Satan and his minions. He is the guy who, though I have not seen him in almost 3 months, is a thought in my mind daily. I wonder what Humbert is doing today. I need to call him but get busy. I need to call him but things are happening so fast at church that I have hardly had time to breathe since I got here. But I know that when I square out an hour this afternoon to talk to him that it will be like old times when we used to see each other two or three times a week. He is my bro! I would die for this man. Sure, he has things about that irk me sometimes and I am sure there are things about me that irk him sometimes. But we do love each other better than brothers. I love my brother don’t get me wrong, but our relationship is not as close as my relationship with Humbert. He’s my best friend. He is my soul-level friend. And I love him.

These kinds of friendships are rare for men. Just because of wiring and caving to social standards. That’s the kind of friendship that David and Jonathan had. They were men but their friendship was deep and abiding. The only way that I could relate to it is to think about my own friendship with Humberto Perez. That’s the soul-level kind of friendship that men rarely get to experience because, often, we won’t let our guard down to do so. That’s the friendship that David and Jonathan had. That’s deep and abiding friendship. That thick and thin friendship. That’s the always there for you kind of friendship. And to take that to suggest that somehow they were physical lovers as some revisionist theologians like to suggest is simply not supported by the preponderance of theological evidence in the rest of Scripture to the contrary and by the fact that David was married, had kids, and even lusted after other women (that got him in trouble). They were simply best friends, those unique bonds between men that are oh so rare but yet oh so powerful.

Now, let us read through this passage today (for the second of two blogs on this passage):

17 Then David composed a funeral song for Saul and Jonathan, 18 and he commanded that it be taught to the people of Judah. It is known as the Song of the Bow, and it is recorded in The Book of Jashar.[a]

Your pride and joy, O Israel, lies dead on the hills!
Oh, how the mighty heroes have fallen!
Don’t announce the news in Gath,
don’t proclaim it in the streets of Ashkelon,
or the daughters of the Philistines will rejoice
and the pagans will laugh in triumph.

O mountains of Gilboa,
let there be no dew or rain upon you,
nor fruitful fields producing offerings of grain.[b]
For there the shield of the mighty heroes was defiled;
the shield of Saul will no longer be anointed with oil.
The bow of Jonathan was powerful,
and the sword of Saul did its mighty work.
They shed the blood of their enemies
and pierced the bodies of mighty heroes.

How beloved and gracious were Saul and Jonathan!
They were together in life and in death.
They were swifter than eagles,
stronger than lions.
O women of Israel, weep for Saul,
for he dressed you in luxurious scarlet clothing,
in garments decorated with gold.

Oh, how the mighty heroes have fallen in battle!
Jonathan lies dead on the hills.
How I weep for you, my brother Jonathan!
Oh, how much I loved you!
And your love for me was deep,
deeper than the love of women!

Oh, how the mighty heroes have fallen!
Stripped of their weapons, they lie dead.

In this passage, we see deep and abiding friendship being honored. We see a beautiful song sung to David’s best friend and even honoring Jonathan’s dad. David and Jonathan were soul-level friends. They were connected by their mutual passion for God and their mutual passion for excellence. Do you want that kind of friend? That friend who will shoot straight with you when you “are full of it”. That friend who will tell you like it is when you need to hear it. That friend though two minutes later is laughing and joking around with you. That friend that will give you a hug when you need it. That friend who hurts when you hurt. That friend who would drive all night to pick you up when you are in a bad spot. That friend that would come over to your house in the middle of the night because you said you needed him there right now and he would come no questions asked. Come on, guys, let your guard down and you will find that one friend that is your best friend. It requires us to let down our guard of total self-reliance to have a soul-level friend.

It is the same with Jesus Christ. Even if we have accepted Him as our Savior and Lord, we cannot feel and understand the full measure of what Jesus Christ means to us until we let Him into every recess of our souls. He knows what is there already (He is, after all, the Creator through whom all things are made and through whom all things are known). However, for us to have an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, we have to open the doors ourselves. For us to have His help with our fears and failures and junk we have to be honest and open with Him that we need Him to fix us. We must want to be close with Him to grow in our relationship with Him. We must have honest discussions/prayers with Him about what we don’t know, where we come up short, what we fear. We have to give it all to him to get the most out of our relationship with Him. Until we do, we will be spiritual babies. We grow when we are intimate with Jesus Christ. We grow when we realize that we do not have to go it alone and that He is there with us always to the end of the age.

That is soul-level stuff. That is an intimate friendship.

Amen and Amen.


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