Doug Nason speaks about the example of Jonathan and David in 1 Samuel
“Friends can be the audible echoes of what God says . . . the visible signs of where God is.”
Director of Chapel Doug Nason offered this insight in his sermon at an all-seminary chapel service held Wednesday, October 7, at Fuller’s Pasadena campus. Based on scripture passages describing David and Jonathan’s friendship in 1 Samuel 18, 20, and 23, Nason’s message, “The Friend Who Strengthens Our Hand in God,” was part of a service that centered on faithful friendship.
“What’s the difference between a Facebook friend and a faithful friend?” asked Nason. For Jonathan and David, it meant establishing a covenant—an intentional commitment—from the beginning of their relationship, and sustaining that covenant even at great personal cost. We can look to the example of Jonathan when he made a life-threatening trip to find David, hunted by Saul, in the wilderness: “When my friend is afraid I am going to go to him,” said Nason, “no matter the danger, no matter the cost.”
Faithful friends are not only committed to each other, “they are committed to something beyond the other,” Nason stressed. For us as for Jonathan and David, that “other” is our faith. “For our friends, we stand in the place of God,” Nason said, and we illumine God’s presence and work in our friend’s life—just as Jonathan, in 1 Samuel 23:16, “strengthened [David’s] hand in God.”
“Who has been your Jonathan—strengthening your hand in God? Thank God for them!” Nason exhorted. “Who is your David in the wilderness—needing you to strengthen their hand in God? Pray for them; encourage them; help them!”
“May you have a gift in your life like Jonathan,” he concluded, “and may you be a Jonathan to someone in the wilderness.”