Thank God for Encouragers!

Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.

1 Samuel 23:16 (NIV)
And Saul’s son Jonathan went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength in God.

1 Samuel 23:16-18 (MSG)
Jonathan, Saul’s son, visited David at Horesh and encouraged him in God.
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“And Jonathan, Saul’s son, arose and went [into the woods] to David at Horesh, and encouraged him in God.” -AMPLIFIED

Thank God for the encouragers that He sends our way. Just as Moses had Aaron and Hur, to hold his arms up, when the Israelites were at war with the Amalekites; God sent David Jonathan once again.

Scripture tells us, “While David was in the wilderness of Ziph at a place called Horesh, he heard that Saul was looking for him.”(VOICE) Again!

Jonathan must have heard through the grapevine what was happening also. This dear friend of David’s must have been heart-broken to see and hear of this ridiculous position that his father had created and continued in. Here he was, graciously willing to step back and allow his best friend, David, to become the next king of Israel. He had a good attitude about God’s future plan; yet his father, the more mature one, was acting like a spoiled child.

I love the fact that Jonathan sought out David in order to strengthen and encourage him. But, it was even more than just a friend helping a friend; Jonathan strengthened and encouraged David in the Lord. That is a true friend! The Voice tells us, “Jonathan reassured David’s faith in the True God.”

Can you imagine how stressed David must have been? Every time he turned around that was another word from the scouts that Saul was hot on his trail. He was living from day-to-day worried for his life and there may have been moments when he began to second guess that prophecy that he was to be the next king of Israel. (Fear has a way of twisting things around in our minds.)

Listen to the words that Jonathan spoke to David during this point in time. “Don’t be afraid. My father Saul will not get his hands on you today or any other day. Someday you will be king over all Israel, and I will be second to you. Even my father Saul knows this.” -1 Samuel 23:17 (VOICE)

Notice how in a few short sentences Jonathan was able to encourage David.
1.) Jonathan advocates for David NOT to be afraid.
2.) Jonathan reassures David that his father’s plans will not succeed; ever.
3.) Jonathan reminds David that one day he will be king, because God said so.
4.) Jonathan re-establishes his contract with David; reminding him that when he becomes king he, Jonathan, will be right there by his side; second in command.
5.) Jonathan reminds David of the fact that Saul is well aware of God’s plans and Jonathan’s allegiance to David.

When all was said and done I am sure there were a few tears and some manly hugs. Then we are told, “Then the two of them made a sacred covenant before the Eternal One. David remained at Horesh, and Jonathan returned to his home.” -1 Samuel 23:18 (VOICE)

Jonathan’s willingness to take second place to David was a sure sign of his respect and love for David. He was willing to take a role of subordination without any signs of resentment, animosity or jealousy. Saul could have learned a few lessons from his son.

The NIV footnote for this passage informs us that this is the last recorded meeting between these two friends; Jonathan and David. How appropriate it was that this last rendezvous was specifically for the purpose of Jonathan making David stronger in his relationship with God. As Jonathan prepares to head home we see once again promises to be loyal to David and to support his rule.

“THE HIGHEST FUNCTION OF A TRUE FRIEND: It is one thing to have the power to strengthen, and another thing to use it when and where required.” -Bible Illustrator

Encouragement is one thing that we all need to work at. When given encouragement gives hope to others. It reminds us and others that there is a reason and purpose for why we are enduring the hardships of life. Encouragement reminds others that they are not facing any situation alone. It reminds us to remember God’s promises and His truths.

“Encourage each other every day—for as long as we can still say “today”—so none of you let the deceitfulness of sin harden your hearts.” -Hebrews 3:13 (VOICE)

“Therefore encourage and comfort one another and build up one another, just as you are doing.” -1 Thessalonians 5:11 (AMP)

“Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down. Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody.” -Romans 12:15-16 (MSG)

“Worry weighs us down; a cheerful word picks us up.” -Proverbs 12:25 (MSG)

Be an encourager! We all can change someone’s life for the better.

My Prayer:
Lord, help me to be an encourager to others. Your desire is that I speak life into others. Let my heart be in tune to the needs of others and your still small voice prompting me to reach out to those in needs. Let your love be in me, dear Lord. Please give me the wisdom to know what to do and say when I see others in need. Help me to take the time out of my busy life to let my light shine for you, Lord. I want to be an instrument of encouragement to others.

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