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  • Gwen Diaz

Three Arrows

April 8 - Nº 98 1 Samuel 20

David knew that Saul was still plotting to kill him. “What have I done wrong?” he asked Jonathan. “Why is he trying to kill me?” But Jonathan disagreed. “The king doesn’t want to kill you,” he said. “If he did, I would know about it. He doesn’t hide anything from me.” David shook his head, “He won’t tell you because he knows we are best friends.” Jonathan replied, “Whatever you want me to do, I will do it for you.” David had thought it through. “Tomorrow is the start of a big three-day banquet. The king has invited me, but I am not planning to go. If he notices that I am not there, I want you to tell him that you gave me permission to go to Bethlehem to be with my family for an important sacrifice. If he is okay with that, then we will know that everything is all right and he doesn’t hate me. But if he gets angry, then it will be clear to both of us that he is planning to kill me. And . . . if you find that I’m guilty of something that is causing him to hate me, then just come and kill me yourself. Don’t hand me over to him.” “That will never happen,” Jonathan insisted. “I will find out exactly how my father feels about you. If you’re right, I will help you escape.” They pledged their allegiance to each other forever—regardless of what happened next. Jonathan told David to hide next to the big rock in the field where they were talking. The next day when Jonathan found out how his father felt about David, he would come out to the field and shoot three arrows toward the rock. Then he would send his servant to get them. “If I yell to him that they are on this side of the rock,” Jonathan said, “then you will know that it is safe to come back to the palace. But if I yell to the servant that they are beyond it on the other side, then you must run for your life!” Saul noticed that David was not at the banquet, but he didn’t say anything until the second night. When they sat down, he asked Jonathan, “Where is Jesse’s son? Why isn’t he here?” “Oh, I gave him permission to go home for an annual sacrifice,” Jonathan replied. Saul grew irate! He yelled at his son, “Why are you taking his side? Don’t you realize that as long as he is alive, you will never be the king! You are a shame to our family. Now go and get him so that I can kill him!” Jonathan tried to reason with his father, but Saul was so angry, he hurled his spear at his own son trying to kill him! Early the next morning, Jonathan went to the field with his servant. He shot three arrows beyond the rock. As his servant ran to find them, Jonathan yelled, “They are on the other side of the rock. You need to hurry! Go quickly and don’t stop!” When the servant returned with the arrows, Jonathan sent him back to town. David crawled out of his hiding place and bowed to Jonathan. They cried and hugged each other. “You must go, but we must never forget our pledge to each other,” Jonathan sobbed. Although they only saw each other one time after that, their friendship never ended.


Do you have a friend who is willing to go through anything with you? Are you the kind of friend who will commit yourself to someone in this way? True friends, like David and Jonathan, are loyal; they trust each other and help each other no matter how difficult things become; they risk their lives for each other.

Proverbs 17:17; Proverbs 18:24; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; John 15:12-13



April 8 - Three Arrows
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