Who Delights in You?

Read this passage

Saul Tries to Kill David

19 And Saul spoke to Jonathan his son and to all his servants, that they should kill David. But Jonathan, Saul’s son, delighted much in David. 2 And Jonathan told David, “Saul my father seeks to kill you. Therefore be on your guard in the morning. Stay in a secret place and hide yourself. 3 And I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where you are, and I will speak to my father about you. And if I learn anything I will tell you.” 4 And Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father and said to him, “Let not the king sin against his servant David, because he has not sinned against you, and because his deeds have brought good to you. 5 For he took his life in his hand and he struck down the Philistine, and the Lord worked a great salvation for all Israel. You saw it, and rejoiced. Why then will you sin against innocent blood by killing David without cause?” 6 And Saul listened to the voice of Jonathan. Saul swore, “As the Lord lives, he shall not be put to death.” 7 And Jonathan called David, and Jonathan reported to him all these things. And Jonathan brought David to Saul, and he was in his presence as before.

Have you ever had someone plot to kill you? I have. A client was an emotional-control freak. He was extremely self-centered and demanded everyone do things his way or else. Long story short, something he demanded I design didn’t turn out the way he liked. He had unrealistic expectations and despite me strongly recommending otherwise, he insisted on his way. 

His anger led to him telling me he was going to hire a hitman to “come by my office and take me down”. My boss sloughed it off to a client flapping his gums. I should have called the cops. For the next few weeks, I kept a wary eye, especially when I saw strange cars slowly driving up to our office. Obviously, he didn’t kill me, but I had no advocate in this crisis. That client stiffed my company for thousands of dollars.  We ate the loss because the court and attorney costs would have been more than the loss we suffered. Later, this client used another architect for his next project. A reliable source told me this client didn’t realize how good of an architect I was until he tried someone else. That incident was over twenty years ago. I have never done work for him or for any of his other businesses since. 

Saul Threatens David’s Life

In David’s case, you wondered if Saul was bipolar. One minute calm and wise. The next, he was a tormented soul throwing a spear at David, his son-in-law. Saul gathered his servants and put a hit on David; that they should kill him. “But Jonathan, Saul’s son, delighted much in David.”  Why is delight so important? In this case, Jonathan was not only Saul’s son but David’s brother-in-law. Jonathan had a voice with his dad, Saul, and risked coming to him on behalf of David. Jonathan pled for David; to spare his life. 

Saul relented and called off his death threats on David, so he came out of hiding. Jonathan brought David into King Saul’s presence and things were as they were before; inferring a level of civility and peace.

Who Delights in You?

Who will go to bat for you when life is hard? Who will help you when you are in a really bad spot; whether that is because someone did harm to you or you did stupid by your own choices?  Who believes in you? Who champions you?  Who speaks authentic words of affirmation? They will not enable you or cause you to sin, but they will advocate for you, as Jonathan did for David.

To delight is to have someone have keen enjoyment and satisfaction for you. When David killed Goliath, he brought Goliath’s head to King Saul as proof the Philistines had been defeated. Jonathan saw David (somewhere between 15-19 years old) standing there before Saul. Jonathan made a covenant with him. This covenant had both diplomatic and political components, along with a brotherly affinity. The Bible says that Jonathan loved David.  This is not some homosexual tryst. It is a favor for each other that was ultimately rooted in faith in God.

Longing for Delight

Delight is elusive for most of us men. We trudge through life trying to do right, only at times to fail and find no one there who will stand with us, to believe in us. I recall a recent conversation with a young man in his early twenties. We were talking about this issue of delight. Tears filled his eyes. “No one delights in me and my soul longs for such delight.” Oh, how my heart goes out to this young man. I recall my own warrior years longing for such delight and not getting it. 

A significant part of our manhood journey is to find those who delight in us; speaking Christ into our souls. Interestingly enough, as you delight in another brother in Christ, the delight often becomes reciprocal.

Warrior On!

David Riffel is the Founder and Executive Director of Having gone through his warrior years (18-30) essentially without a mentor, God has placed in him a heart for warriors, to come alongside them in various ways as they figure out life. David’s newly released book, Mentoring Warriors: Coming Alongside Young Men 18-30, outlines principles for mentoring and gives advice for warriors in six key areas of life: self-management, life skills, education/career, relationships, faith, and identity.

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