Devotion on Envy Part 2/5 – Interpersonal Level

Here is part 2 of the devotion on Envy.


WHEN ENVY DOES NOT EXIST

Jonathon was a peer of David and the rightful heir to Saul’s throne. If Saul was fearful that David will take over his kingdom, Jonathon should have more to fear since this concerned his future. Saul killed a thousand, at least according to the women’s singing, but Jonathon only had a battle to boast about which was recorded in 1 Sam 14, killing 20 and leading Israel to victory. Jonathon was not known as a mighty warrior although he was in battle with Saul. None sang about Jonathan. He was in the shadow of the kingdom; even with his “courageous hero” moment in 1 Sam 14, he received no warrior accolade. Instead, he was nearly put to death because he ate honey, ignorant of the oath Saul made for the Israelites to fast. The Israelites acknowledged his deliverance of the nation and saved him.

Despite these circumstances, Jonathon was David’s covenantal brother. David described the relationship as “more wonderful than that of women” (2 Sam 1:26). This was mutual as it was recorded many times that Jonathan “loved him (David) as himself” (1 Sam 18:1, 3; 20:17). In 1 Sam 18:4, it records that “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.” This act demonstrated that he was ready to give up his position as the crown prince to David. The sword that Jonathan carried is precious as it was recorded in 1 Sam 13:22 that Saul and Jonathan were the only ones who had swords in Israel. Although the Israelites would have obtained more swords from the Philistines from battle victories, but this sword represented Jonathan’s power and authority as crown prince. Jonathan acknowledged God’s calling and anointing upon David and submitted to God and David. This was a complete contrast to Saul’s response to David. Jonathan remained loyal to David, but remained filial as the son of Saul, battling alongside his father. It must be heart breaking for Jonathan to see his father bounty hunting for David and he never failed to defend David before Saul. When Jonathan knew that he could not stop Saul from killing David, a touching parting of ways was recorded.

After the boy had gone, David got up from the south side of the stone and bowed down before Jonathan three times, with his face to the ground. Then they kissed each other and wept together—but David wept the most. Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship with each other in the name of the Lord, saying, ‘The Lord is witness between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants forever.’” Then David left, and Jonathan went back to the town.” 1 Sam 20:41-42

The relationship between David and Jonathan is an example where there is an absence of envy. In the absence of envy, we see a deep relationship despite circumstances being perfect breeding ground for envy and suspicion. It started and was held by a genuine agape love they had for each other.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” 1 Cor 13:4

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