Other comments on this day's readings can be found here.
Reading 1 - 1Sa 18:1-4
"After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became
one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself. From that day Saul kept
David with him and did not let him return to his father's house. And Jonathan
made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. 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" (1Sa 18:1-4).
"The admiration which all the nation felt for David because of
his exploit against Goliath was shared by Jonathan, and this quickly ripened
into the warm friendship which has now been proverbial for millennia. There was
in Jonathan none of the corrosive jealousy which was to be the bane and ruin of
his father. Clearly, he loved David, not only because of bravery in face of
danger (for he himself was every bit as brave), but because in creasing
acquaintance led him to appreciate the fine qualities of David's character more
"Yet even this does not fully explain such an eternal selfless
friendship, for all true friendships are forged by influences and personal
characteristics past defining. Somehow, in ways utterly inexplicable,
personalities blend and a bond is fashioned to last forever.
"This friendship of Jonathan for David was surely the most
selfless thing in all the Old Testament. In positive self-giving, David
contributed relatively little to their fine partnership. But from the very
beginning Jonathan lost himself completely in a consuming eagerness to further
his friend's well-being in every possible way.
"Saul was at first eager to have the brave upstanding young
fellow as an officer in his army (1Sa 14:52), and Jonathan quickly saw David's
need of suitable equipment and accoutrements of war (which were not easily come
by: 1Sa 13:19-22), so without any concern for himself he forthwith insisted that
David have the best of his own. Nothing could be too good for this stalwart son
of Bethlehem who was now his friend and a rising star in Israel" (Harry
Whittaker, "Samuel, Saul, and David" 86,87).
Reading 2 - Isa 62:12
"They will be called the Holy People, the Redeemed of the
LORD; and you will be called Sought After, the City No Longer Deserted" (Isa
"The surpassing grace of God is seen very clearly in that we
were not only sought, but sought out... We were mingled with the mire: we were
as when some precious piece of gold falls into the sewer, and men gather out and
carefully inspect a mass of abominable filth, and continue to stir and rake, and
search among the heap until the treasure is found. Or, to use another figure, we
were lost in a labyrinth; we wandered hither and thither, and when mercy came
after us with the gospel, it did not find us at the first coming, it had to
search for us and seek us out; for we as lost sheep were so desperately lost,
and had wandered into such a strange country, that it did not seem possible that
even the Good Shepherd should track our devious roamings... No gloom could hide
us, no filthiness could conceal us, we were found and brought home... Strange
and marvellous are the ways which God used in their case to find His own.
Blessed be His name, He never relinquishes the search until the chosen are
sought out effectually" (CH Spurgeon).
Reading 3 - Mat 7:5,24
"You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and
then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye" (Mat
"Those things that one cannot improve in himself or in others,
he ought to endure patiently, until God arranges things otherwise. Nevertheless
when you have such impediments, you ought to pray that God would help you, and
that you may bear them kindly.
"Endeavor to be patient in bearing with the defects of others,
whatever they are; for you also have many failings which must be borne by
others. If you cannot make yourself be as you would like to be, how can you
expect to have another person be to your liking in every way? We desire to have
others perfect, and yet we do not correct our own faults. We would allow others
to be severely corrected, and will not be corrected ourselves. We will have
others kept under by strict laws, but in no case do we want to be restrained.
And so it appears that we seldom weigh our neighbor in the same balance with
ourselves" (Thomas a' Kempis).
"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts
them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock" (Mat
"Success is simply a matter of pleasing God: happiness is
simply a matter of God manifesting His pleasure in our hearts. All else is
illusion and delusion: all else is vanity, and -- finally -- sorrow and death.
Life can be all deep, quiet, trustful pleasure, even in its pain. Life can be
all empty tragedy and failure, even with its glitter and 'success.' Don't build
anything on anything but solid rock. If there is no eternal foundation beneath
it, then the better we build and the harder we labor, the greater the ultimate
loss and remorse. God is the Rock: the only Rock. Build everything you do on
Him. It will then stand firm to all eternity" (GV Growcott).
"The 'house' we are building is the temple of God. It must be
built with a strong foundation to withstand winds and storms of trials,
persecution and judgment. But it must also be a place of holiness,
righteousness, and truth; for God will dwell in no other" (EW Banta).