“And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. … Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle” 1 Samuel 18:1-4 KJV
“Now it came about when he had finished speaking to Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as himself. Saul took him that day and did not let him return to his father’s house. Then Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, with his armor, including his sword and his bow and his belt.” 1Samuel 18:1-4 NASB
Jonathan loved David. He watched as the ‘youth’ descended into the valley to face the giant on his behalf. Jonathan had shown valor in chapter 14; but now, there was a foe which only David could face. As Jonathan observed the battle, out of appreciation for the man who took his place in the valley, his heart went out in love to David.
Jonathon’s own place as prince, his power, his prestige meant nothing, in light of the debt of love he owed to David. He loved him as his “own soul,” a fulfilling of the law’s command. Chapter 16 mentioned that Saul loved David. In this chapter, the nation will be marked by love for David (v16), as will Michal (20). Yet only the love of Jonathan would prove to be lasting love; the love for one whom he recognized as his Savior.
Should our love and adoration be any less?
But adoration was followed by virtual abdication. When Jonathan removed his robe and laid it at the feet of David, he owned that here was one more fit for the throne than he was. He was symbolically abdicating and denying his right to the throne and yielding it to David. The young shepherd boy was more worthy than he.
Adoration for Christ should lead to an abdication of self from the throne of our hearts and the enthronement of Christ as Lord of all. We are to sanctify “Jesus as Lord in our hearts” (1 Peter 3:15). He alone has the right to reign supreme as Lord of all.
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my heart, my life, my all.
Jonathan also placed all his instruments of warfare at the feet of David – his sword and his bow. All his skill and service was placed at David’s disposal. In picture form, he was placing his life at the disposal of David. His strength, service, and skill all belonged to another from that moment on.
Surrender and consecration must be out of love and not out of a sense of duty or obligation. We can never repay the debt we owe; we can only give Him the very best of our mind, soul, body, and strength.
1 Samuel ends with the tragic loss of Saul and his sons on Mt. Gilboa. The Philistines stripped Saul of his armor, but we do not read that they stripped Jonathan. The one who had given his robe, sword, and bow to David was not stripped; he had stripped himself. He had “lost” all for David and did not lose it to Philistines. “Whosoever shall lose his life for My sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it” (Mark 8:35).