14. Brotherly Love

Today, we are going to look at an Old Testament passage, which shows us the effect of a deep Godly compassion for fellow believers. We will follow these thoughts through next week in our next encounter with Jesus

Read the following passage and see what it has to tell us about love.

 2 Samuel 1:1,17-27

Photo by Alena Darmel: pexels.com


Second Samuel chapter one is a record of a song David composed upon the death of King Saul and his son Jonathan in battle. David sang a song in memory of Saul and Jonathan, and he ordered his men to teach the song to everyone in Judah (2 Samuel 1:18).

To better understand this sad song we need a bit of background.

Settled in the Promised Land, for some time the children of Israel were governed by a series of judges. However, the nations around them were ruled by kings so they in effect went out on strike demanding that a king be appointed.

Samuel, who was both priest and judge, reluctantly took the matter to the Lord in prayer. The LORD answered: Samuel, do everything they want you to do. I am really the one they have rejected as their king (1 Samuel 8:7 CEV).


Therefore, God revealed to Samuel that he was to anoint Saul son of Kish as Israel’s first king.

Initially, Saul was a godly king until, out of fear, he took upon himself the role of priest. Sometime later he disobeyed God’s instruction to “Go and attack the Amalekites! Destroy them and all their possessions ” (1 Samuel 15:3 CEV). Instead, Saul and his army let [King] Agag live, and they also spared the best sheep and cattle (Ibid. Verse 9).

Samuel informed King Saul, You refused to do what God told you, so God has decided that you can’t be king” (Ibid. Verse 23). The Lord chose David as king, although Saul remained in office for a while.


You are probably aware of the brotherly love that existed between David and Jonathan.  We read, When David came back from fighting Goliath (1 Samuel 17:57), David and Saul’s son Jonathan became best friends (1 Samuel 18:1) and David became one of Saul’s officers ( Ibid. Verse 5).

Jonathan liked David so much that they promised to always be loyal friends. As symbols of his love, Jonathan took off the robe that he was wearing and gave it to David. He also gave him his military clothes, his sword, his bow and arrows, and his belt. (1 Samuel 18:3,4 CEV).

David’s success in the battle aroused  Saul’s jealousy. After a particular battle they were welcomed back by the women singing, Saul has killed a thousand enemies; David has killed ten thousand enemies (Ibid. Verse 7)!!

From that time forward, Saul made numerous attempts to assassinate, David forcing him to go into exile. Scripture records how on two occasions David could have taken Saul’s life but his attitude was: Saul was appointed by God to be king and I have no right to dethrone him.

In light of the fact of David’s anointing as Saul’s successor, this is amazing.


Given this background, we can understand David’s sense of loss over Jonathan’s death. “Jonathan, I miss you most! I loved you like a brother. You were truly loyal to me, more faithful than a wife to her husband” (2 Samuel 1:26). But for David to include in this tribute song the words, It was easy to love Saul…(Ibid, Verse 23 CEV) to me is truly amazing.

Two important factors are revealed in this passage:

  1. It highlights the pure, brotherly love that David had for Jonathan. And no, this does not mean that theirs was a homosexual relationship, as some claim.
  2. And it displays David’s forgiving love for Saul, despite the hardships he experienced because of Saul’s jealousy.

How sincere and faithful is your love for your fellow believers?

How ready are you to forgive when others deliberately or unconsciously cause you deep heartache?


We may never know the effect our love and friendship can have on someone else’s life. Click To Tweet

Many have come into a relationship with Jesus simply because a Christian showed them friendship and love, perhaps even when they didn’t feel it was deserved.

Jesus said This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples–when they see the love you have for each other.”( John 13:35 Msg)

Because we love Jesus we ought to be examples of brotherly, forgiving, love.

Andrew Lloyd Webber summed it up in the words of a song

“Love changes everything. Love will never let you be the same.

In closing pray the following prayer, Lord what do you want me to do to demonstrate brotherly love for my fellow believers?

If you haven’t yet read the Introduction to Encounters with Jesus, please do. It will benefit you throughout this series of studies.

I Wish You

    Image by cocoparisienne from Pixabay

I Wish You…

Inevitably on the brink of another year, we traditionally wish one another a great year.

How many times since Christmas day, have you heard the words?

  • Compliments of the season;
  • Happy New Year;
  • I wish you a Prosperous New Year,

Although traditional, these formal greetings may often lack real sincerity.

So then, what do I wish you as we launch out into 2022?

A popular song states What the world needs now is love, sweet love.”

  • If you were to give a definition of ‘love’ what words would you use?

A dictionary might use words such as tenderness, attraction, cherish, value, treasure, passion, and worship.

I Wish You Love

In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul describes this gem – love – by examining its various facets. In the first three verses of 1 Corinthians 13, Paul points out that love is recognised more by what we are than by what we do:

Paul then highlights the real qualities of love:

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a NIV)

So then as you enter 2022 my wish for you is that since the Holy Spirit is the one who produces the fruits of the Spirit, which include love (Galatians 5:22), that he will grow in you all the facets of love.

Love for God

It was William Penn (1600s) an English writer and religious thinker belonging to the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), who said,

Love is indeed heaven upon earth; since heaven above would not be heaven without it; for where there is not love, there is fear; but, ‘Perfect love casteth out fear.’

Those three little words  “I love you” are the most powerful words in the world. They reveal the depth of our affection for someone. Yet, are you always sincere when you utter those words?

Similarly, it is so easy to sing wonderful words of praise and worship, which express love for God and for Jesus, but do we always really mean them?

Having presented Israel with the 10 Commandments, Moses’ encouragement to Israel was,

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” (Deuteronomy 6:5) 

  • Is Jesus perhaps asking you the same question that He asked Peter centuries ago, “Do you love me?” (John 21:17)

I wish you a greater awareness in 2022 of the extent of God’s love for you and growth in your love for Him.

Loved and Appreciated

The following quote is attributed to Victor Hugo in Les Miserables ,

“The Greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved, loved for ourselves, or rather loved in spite of ourselves.”(Sourcebook for Speakers by Eleanor Doan – page 248)

Within each of us, there is a deep desire to be loved and appreciated for who we are.

A man and a woman who had been corresponding solely by e-mail fell in love with one another.  They agreed to meet at the airport nearest to her.  Since they had never seen one another, they devised a plan that would help them to recognise each other. She was to wear a green scarf, a green hat and have a carnation pinned to her coat.

When the man got off his plane, he immediately began looking for her. Suddenly he saw a woman with a green scarf, a green hat and a carnation.  His heart fell. She was one of the plainest looking women he had ever seen in his life.  He was tempted to get back on the plane without speaking to her.

Nevertheless, he walked over to this woman, smiled and introduced himself. Immediately, the woman said: “What is this all about, anyway? I don’t know who you are.” She went on to explain:  “That woman over there gave me $5,00 to wear these things.” 

When the man looked over at the woman mentioned, he realised that she was one of the most beautiful women he had ever seen.

The man approached the woman who later explained,  “All my life men have wanted to be with me, to be my friend, because of my beauty.  They consider me beautiful.  I want someone to love me, not just for my outward appearance, but for what I am inside!”

My wish for you and for myself is that we will experience sincere love in 2022. That we will be loved for who we are and perhaps even in spite of who we are.

Give Love Away

  • God is love.
  • God loved us in spite of all our faults and flaws – enough to send His Son to die for our salvation.
  • The only acceptable response to God’s amazing love is for us to give our lives to Jesus.

In return for our commitment to Jesus, the Holy Spirit sews God’s love into our hearts

But love is not loving till you give it away. That’s what love is all about – doing things for other people so that we can bless them.

I challenge you to find someone in need of love and appreciation this week, and to do whatever you can to allow God’s love to touch that person’s life.

Love is not love until you give it away. Click To Tweet

My wish for you at the begining of a new year is what I wish for myself, that 2022 will be a year in which we learn how to be a channel through which God’s love may be passed on to those who need it most.