Matters of Faith: The Bond of a Covenant!

20161113_JLRussellBy Rev. J. Loren Russell, BA, MDiv.

1 Samuel‬ ‭20:17 (CEV)‬‬‬‬
“Jonathan thought as much of David as he did of himself, so he asked David to promise once more that he would be a loyal friend.”

At the beginning of the year 2017, I invite you to read the story of a friendship between David and Jonathan. It’s one of the most beautiful love stories ever recorded. Two men formed a bond of friendship that was stronger than the blood relation between Jonathan and his Dad. ‬‬‬

David went to his friend to ask why his father was trying to kill him. Jonathan couldn’t believe it and wanted proof. In the process of discovery, these two men made a covenant with each other. A covenant is much more than a promise; it is like a written contract. David and Jonathan covenanted that they would love each other from generation to generation. Jonathan said, “Then if I’m still alive, please be as kind to me as the Lord has been. But if I’m dead, be kind to my family.” (Samuel 20:14-15).

In the relationship between David and Jonathan, you find a bond that is intrinsically bound together like the weave you find in fabric. If you separate the weave, you ruin the entire cloth. David and Jonathan had a bond of friendship that made them one with each other. Whatever effected one, effected the other. They were ‘friends’ in the truest sense of the word.

When I think of this kind of friendship, I am reminded of something Jesus said in John 15:13-15, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends.” A covenant friend will sacrifice their life for the benefit of their friend.

This weekend, we celebrate the birth of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who had a covenant bond with the African American community to get them out of their dark night of oppression and the horrors of segregation. His method was to raise the consciousness of all Americans so that the words, “all men are created equal” rang true for everyone. If it cost him his life, that would be the price of his covenant. In a speech called The Other America, Dr. King said “we must come to see that in this pluralistic, interrelated society we are all tied together in a single garment of destiny, caught in an inescapable network of mutuality.”

The night before his assassination, he illustrated his commitment to his covenant when he told a group of people in Memphis, Tenn., “I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight, that we as a people will get to the Promise Land.” His covenant put his life on the line until he finally lost it.
The bond of a covenant is more than a promise. A covenant binds people together for the good of each other or the good of the masses.

Be Blessed!

Rev. J. Loren Russell is an associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx, President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial & Strategic Consulting, and hosts “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Soul 1 Radio, Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 PM here or by phone at 626-226-1448. Be sure to friend “Matters of Faith” on Facebook, Twitter @jlorenr, and email us at

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