Re:Verse reading 1 Samuel 20:1-17, 30-42 (day three)

Then they kissed each other and wept together. 

Let’s face it, it’s more fun to argue about whether Jonathan and David were gay than actually to pursue the intimate friendships that will show the love of Christ to a world that’s lost its way.  While we’re at it, though, let’s all beware the temptation to read back into the scriptures the controversy du jour.  To identify homoerotic overtones in the friendship of these men is to ignore the ancient social conventions that made room for the kind of demonstrative affection that is alien to our thinking save in sexualized settings.  They were not lovers, they were friends.  We used to know what that means.  And we can again.  But it will take work—deeper than occasional girls’ nights out, higher than gym time with the brahs.  Iron won’t sharpen itself.

Author: Bryan Richardson

Bryan Richardson is the Associate Pastor to Pastoral Ministries & College and Single Adults at FBCSA.

2 thoughts on “Smithing”

  1. Jonathan and David were not lovers but friends. I totally agreed, “They were not lovers, they were friends.” Love is intimately tied to obeying God. Jesus’ sacrificial love defines the meaning of love. He laid down his life for others. I am touched by Jesus’ love for others free of discrimination and perception.

    Jonathan’s love for David was just like Jesus’ love for His disciples and all humans. We see true friendship in their relationship. Love for friends and others in principle is not the type of love of a husband and wife but is about empathy, loving and caring friendship. Empathy is a critical ingredient in servant leadership. It is about one’s ability to put oneself in someone’s shoes. Jonathan and David’s relationship was a reflection of Jesus’ love and relationship with His disciples.

    True friendship must meet the tests of times and is about compassion, honesty and sincerity, empathy, caring and concerns for one another, and loyalty to one another in all situations, in good times and bad times. Humans’ minds should be conditioned to appreciate God’s diversity and inclusion and to appreciate positive aspects of friendship as we travel on this earth journey.

    Negative thoughts toward friendship of those with the same sex or of others are sinful. Discrimination is sinful. Give credits to those who follow Jesus’ love for humans. Examine our thoughts, our hearts and minds if we are Jesus’ followers.

    I am sure we all will find peace and joy if we surround ourselves with those who are empathetic and who can demonstrate loving and caring thoughts and hearts. The culture of love is diverse and inclusive. Let’s show love for one another just like Jesus loved us and His disciples. Jesus defines the meaning of love, not humans.

    I will conclude with this quote, “The mind is everything. What you think will become.”~ Buddda

  2. Bryan, thank you for being boldly addressing the elephant in the room that n this passage and putting the proper perspective to it. When reading this passage 20 was ears ago it never would’ve crossed my mind that this relationship between David and Jonathan was anything but that of best friends. When James and I were looking for Robert’s “Bible” name, we chose Jonathan specifically because both of us loved this story of pure, unadulterated friendship, with the hope in mind that Robert would one day find that kind of friend in another man. Reading this passage this week, for the first time the possibility it was a homosexual relationship popped into my head. It took my remembrances of one of David’s great sins, his lust for Bathsheba, that brought the right hand respective back to the picture, convicting me mightily for the way I’ve let the ideas and f today’s sick society invade even the way I read God’s Word!

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