Following Saul’s continuing search and attempts of murder, Jonathan makes a pact with David. This is not only a political alliance between the two main candidates for the throne – it is also a genuine allegiance between close friends. Jonathan is committed to his friend. He warns David of his father’s plots and makes up an excuse for David’s absence from Saul’s banquet. Jonathan’s friendship with David represents light, selflessness, relinquishing honor and power, inner connection, forming deep relationships, and building bridges in times of persecution and destruction.
Jonathan could have let his potential rival die and himself become the next king of Israel. Instead, he stays loyal to the forces of unity which inevitably prevail over the forces of selfishness and darkness. When David doesn’t attend the royal dinner, Saul realizes that Jonathan is protecting his friend. Saul bursts out in anger at his son and accuses him of complicity and treason. He curses and insults Jonathan, and even goes as far as claiming that David will be the one to inherit the throne if they don’t kill him first. The evil forces that are driving Saul clash against the forces of good that are driving Jonathan.
“So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, Let the LORD even require it at the hand of David’s enemies. And Jonathan caused David to swear again, because he loved him: for he loved him as he loved his own soul” (1 Samuel 20:16-17)
“Then Saul’s anger was kindled against Jonathan, and he said unto him, Thou son of the perverse rebellious woman, do not I know that thou hast chosen the son of Jesse to thine own confusion, and unto the confusion of thy mother’s nakedness? For as long as the son of Jesse liveth upon the ground, thou shalt not be established, nor thy kingdom” (1 Samuel 20:30-31)
Loyalty requires self-respect and the humility necessary to put others above ourselves.