Iron Sharpens Iron: Life-to-Life® Mentoring in the Old Testament

Iron Sharpens Iron: Life-to-Life® Mentoring in the Old Testament

DAY 4 OF 5

Day 4: David and Jonathan

The mutual friendship between David and Jonathan offers another picture of what Life-to-Life mentoring looks like. 

King Saul was Israel’s first king, and Jonathan was his son. Despite his humble beginnings, Saul slowly began to disregard God and move to establish his dynasty. Part of that dynasty was striving to ensure that Jonathan would one day replace him as king.

Yet that was not God’s plan. Rather, God led the prophet, Samuel, to anoint the young shepherd boy David as Saul’s eventual replacement. David was a person “after God’s own heart.” Sadly, King Saul turned out to be anything but. Thus, out of pure jealousy, Saul relentlessly pursued David with the intent to kill him and pave the way for Jonathan to take the throne and succeed him as king. (See 1 Samuel 1-31.) 

Amid all the chaos, something unlikely happened: David and Jonathan became soulmates; “the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.” There was no competition, no concern that one would adversely affect the friendship; the two were committed to being there for each other no matter the cost. 

We see the call for such mutually beneficial relationships throughout the Bible. It is reflected in two proverbs in particular: “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother,” and, “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another” (Proverbs 18:24; 27:17). 

From David and Jonathan’s friendship, we learn the importance of someone who truly “has your back.” Indeed, as David’s son Solomon would write, two are indeed better than one (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12), and with God in the relationship, “a threefold cord is not quickly broken” (v. 12). 

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Iron Sharpens Iron: Life-to-Life® Mentoring in the Old Testament

Do you long to “make disciples who make disciples,” to follow Jesus’ mandate in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20)? If so, you may have found that it can be difficult to find role models for this process. Whose exam...

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