The Lies We Tell Day 5: Being Trustworthy
One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? (Luke 16:10-12, ESV)
Only fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you. (1 Samuel 12:24, ESV)
The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy. (Psalm 111:7, ESV)
The story of David and Jonathan in the Bible is a story of friendship, love, and, ultimately, trust. Jonathan was the son of King Saul, a man who saw David as a threat to his throne and was at enmity with David. Jonathan was put in an uncomfortable position, as his friendship with David was at odds with his own father and could impede his path to the throne one day. That said, Jonathan recognized that David was the anointed of the Lord, and 1 Samuel 19:1 says that Jonathan “delighted much in David.” He delighted in David enough to go against his own father (who wanted to kill David!), protect David’s life, and give up his own chance to take the throne after Saul.
As Saul attempted to end David’s life, Jonathan was sure to keep David informed of his father’s plans. In 1 Samuel 20, Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David because “he loved him as he loved his own soul” (1 Samuel 20:17). Saul lashed out at his own son, even trying to pit Jonathan against David, telling him that his kingdom would not be established as long as David was alive. Jonathan didn’t take the bait; he went out to warn David to flee from the wrath of Saul. David evaded Saul, and eventually even spared Saul’s life, as he would not take the life of the Lord’s anointed.
The trust that David had both in the Lord and in Jonathan spared his life, and he would eventually be made king. Jonathan upheld the covenant he had between himself and the house of David, even up until his own death in battle. David outlasted both Saul and Jonathan, but he was sure to show himself as trustworthy, too, as later he brought in Mephibosheth, the crippled son of Jonathan, to sit at the king’s table and dine in his house. As a relative of Saul, David would have had the right to kill him because he could be seen as a threat to the kingdom. Instead, he showed love and took in Mephibosheth, treating him as if he were his own son. Just as Jonathan showed his trustworthiness even to his death, David showed his trustworthiness extending beyond the generation of Jonathan.
To be trustworthy is to be dependable, honest, and truthful. Jonathan showed he was trustworthy by continuing to thwart his own father’s plans to kill David. This meant going against his own family and ruining his chance to be king one day. Jonathan could have lied to David and gotten him killed to preserve his family’s kingdom, but he recognized that David was chosen by the Lord, and his love for David extended beyond his own personal success. David showed he was trustworthy because he risked his own kingdom by inviting a relative of Saul (Mephibosheth) to be part of his family after the death of Saul and Jonathan in battle. These men were always honest with each other and showed that they could be depended on when the stakes were at their highest.
What about you? How trustworthy are you? How trustworthy am I? How often are we doing our best to inspire others’ confidence in us? Think about your interactions with those at school, work, and other places in everyday life: Do you seek to be honest, or only when it’s convenient? These can be difficult questions to answer sometimes, but the Bible is very clear: We are to be trustworthy in all things, and we should continually serve the Lord faithfully. We can look to the example set by David and Jonathan, as their word was their bond and no other circumstances or opportunities would get in the way of the covenant they entered into together. I hope this study is an encouragement and a challenge to each of us to be counted as trustworthy by those we interact with, making sure that we are Christlike in all circumstances and with all people.