Loyalty is one of life’s most costly qualities; it is the most selfless part of love. To be loyal, you cannot live only for yourself.  Loyal people not only stand by their commitments, they are willing to suffer for them.  Jonathan is a shining example of loyalty.  Sometimes he was forced to deal with conflicting loyalties: to his father, Saul, and to his friend David.  His solution to that conflict teaches us both how to be loyal and what must guide loyalty.  In Jonathan, truth always guided loyalty.

Jonathan realised that the source of truth was God, who demanded his ultimate loyalty. It was his relationship with God that gave Jonathan the ability to deal effectively with the complicated situations in his life.  He was loyal to Saul because Saul was his father and the king.  He was loyal to David because David was his friend.  His loyalty to God guided him through the conflicting demands of his human relationships.

The conflicting demands of our relationships challenge us as well. If we attempt to settle these conflicts only at the human level, we will be constantly dealing with a sense of betrayal.  But if we communicate to our friends that our ultimate loyalty is to God and his truth, many of our choices will be much clearer.  The truth in his word, the Bible, will bring light to our decisions.  Do those closest to you know who has your greatest loyalty?

Strengths and accomplishments:

  • Brave, loyal, and a natural leader
  • The closest friend David ever had
  • Did not put his personal well-being before those he loved
  • Depended on God

Lessons from his life:

  • Loyalty is one of the strongest parts of courage
  • An allegiance to God puts all other relationships into perspective
  • Great friendships are costly

Vital statistics:

  • Occupation: Military leader
  • Relatives: Father: Saul. Mother: Ahinoam.  Brothers: Abinadab and Malki-Shua.  Sisters: Merab and Michal.  Son: Mephibosheth

Key verse: “I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother; you were very dear to me.  Your love for me was wonderful, more wonderful than that of women” (2 Samuel 1:26).

His story is told in 1 Samuel 13 – 31. His is also mentioned in 2 Samuel 9.


©KingsWay 1973.

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