"Now when Saul saw David going out against the Philistine, he said to Abner the commander of the army, 'Abner, whose son is this young man?' And Abner said, 'By your life, O king, I do not know.' The king said, 'You inquire whose son the youth is,' So when David returned from killing the Philistine, Abner took him and brought him before Saul with the Philistine's head in his hand. Saul said to him, 'Whose son are you, young man?' And David answered, 'I am the son of your servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.'" (I Samuel 17:5-58)
"Now it came about when he had finished speaking to Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as himself. Saul took him that day and did not let him return to his father's house. Then Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him, and gave it to David, with his armor, including his sword and his bow and his belt (girdle)." (I Samuel 18:1-4)
Don't you just love this? The king whose kingdom was just saved by this pip-squeak up-start, scratched his beard and ask his five star general, "Who is this kid?" "I don't know, sir." "Find out." "Yes, sir!" "So, who are you young man?" "I'm a nobody, son of Jesse of Bethlehem." And Jonathan fell in love with this guy, BFF.
Because of the complete route of the enemy beginning with Goliath, everybody had to be a little giddy with this overwhelming victory. Jonathan was so moved by the young man standing before them that he took off his royal princely robe, his armor, his sword, bow, and belt or girdle which held it all together and gave them to this fresh-faced, ruddy, big eyed kid. This was huge! Jonathan made an unbreakable covenant, a pledge, a merging of fortunes with David.
Such began a lifelong journey of two best friends. There's strength in the grip of two hands intertwined in a handshake or gripping on to one another as in rescuing one from falling off a cliff.
Have you ever had a friend like that. We've been blessed, even though we have moved from state to state, town to town, church to church, to have known such friends who though no longer close in proximity, are close in our hearts. Someone said, "a friend is one who multiples joys divides grief, and whose honesty is inviolable (pure, not violated)."
Jack Hyles said the giving of the robe symbolized one's stature, his rank. Jonathan was in essence giving his throne to David. As in the prodigal son, the father said, "Bring a robe and put it on him." That meant he was restored to his former standing. When a Jewish boy became an adult, they had what they called a presentation of that boy at the berma or judgment seat. "This is my son. Today he inherits my social standing. Today, he becomes not 'a minor but a major.' That's what adoption means in the Bible.
He said that the giving of the garments was tantamount of giving up his military uniform. When he gave up his sword, it was his defense, a surrender of sorts. Remember in I Samuel 13:22, at that time only two swords were in the kingdom, Jonathan and Saul's. The bow he bestowed upon David was his prized possession. And finally, his belt or girdle held it all together.
Jack Hyles says that "the robe is his hope, the garment his honor, the sword is his defense, his bow is his prized possession, and the girdle, his all." This is symbolic of what happens when we surrender to the Lordship of Christ. We give up our throne. Our hope is in Him. All honor is due Him. We surrender our defense and trust Him for our protection. Our most cherished possessions we lay at his feet. The girdle is our all. Scripture clearly tells us Jesus will sit on the throne of David. Jesus has killed His Goliath, sin, and conquered death. The stone He used was rolled away from the empty tomb.
Jonathan was no weak-sauce, a term our sons-in-law like to use. He was to be the next king. But just like when Jonathan said, "Perhaps the Lord will work for us, for the Lord is not restrained to save by many or by few," (I Samuel 13:6) David's war cry was, "You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted." (I Samuel 17:45) They were two peas in a pod. Both had won victories for their people by overwhelming odds, victories bigger than they were, only a God-thing. No wonder their souls were knit together, womb mates as in Psalm 139 "knit together in my mother's womb;" twins by another mother. These two were knit together within the heart of God.