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BOND OF FRIENDSHIP

Monday, 3 September 2018

1 Samuel 20 : 1-42

"If I am still alive, will you not show me the lovingkindness of the Lord, that I may not die? You shall not cut off your lovingkindness from my house forever" 1 Samuel 20:14-15

We all know what it is like to have someone that we trust to talk to during hard times or share the joys of life.  Here we see the amazing friendship between David and Jonathan, even though they come from different walks of life. The Bible, too, points to this need.  God desires for us to have friendships in our life with a biblical foundation, ones that are grounded in God’s faithfulness and love.


The qualities of a good friend can be stated as 1) desiring what is best for the other 2) Compassion and empathy; 3) Honesty and truth 4) Mutual understanding; 5) Trusts in one another; 6) Express feelings/thoughts without fear of being judged.  But these can be found in non-Christian friendships also. So what more qualities should we Christians possess? 


The Spirit of Oneness
Jonathan meets David for the first time in 1 Sam 18:1-4, ‘Jonathan became one in spirit with David,’ (NIV) ‘the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David’ (ESV).  The knitting together of souls is a consistent image in the Bible to describe friendships - the friend who is as your own soul (Deut 13:6).  Jonathan and David have become close friends, bonded at the core of their being. So the first aspect we see of biblical friendship is being one in spirit (having a common spirit; in our case, the Holy Spirit) 2 Cor. 6:14.


Covenant Keeper
We learn that Jonathan and David had made a covenant between themselves with the Lord as their witness (Vs 8, 23 & 42).  Our covenant keeping God has kept the whole earth by His word because He is faithful to every covenant that He has spoken.


Sincere Love for the Other
Loving the other person as you would yourself.  The conditions of David and Jonathan’s covenant are based on Jonathan’s love for David.  Only if you love others as yourself can you keep a covenant. Jesus summarised the commandments as “Love the Lord your God … and Love your neighbour” (Matt 22:39). This is exactly what Jonathan was doing when he formed the covenant saying he loved him as he loved himself (Vs 17). 


Confidence to Speak/Seek the Truth
In verse 1, David asks his friend Jonathan what he has done to cause Saul to want to kill him. He had the confidence to share with Jonathan that he believed his father was trying to kill him.  He was not afraid to make his friend aware of the intentions of his father. He had the confidence that his friend would give ear to his woes.


Standing for the Truth
After Jonathan explains the story David told him to tell, Saul becomes violent (Vs 30), yet Jonathan continues standing up for his friend knowing very well that the promise upon David’s head could cause him to lose his kingdom.  But this did not deter him from doing the right thing.  John 15:13 says, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” 


Complete Trust
When Saul’s intentions of harming David were established, he was able to trust Jonathan completely with regard to his escape plan.  We should be people whom others can trust through our actions towards them.


Unfailing Kindness
Jonathan makes David promise to show the same loyalty and kindness not only to him, but also to his children. Typically a rival royal would kill all the potential heirs to the throne.  Jonathan knowing David asked him to show him and his posterity the Lord’s unfailing kindness.  Remembering the unfailing kindness of God towards them enabled them to keep the promises to each other.  It’s not their own strength but its God’s faithfulness and kindness shown to each of them, and the outflow of that enabled them to show the same kindness to each other. 

Think On: "Let those be thy choicest companions who have made Christ their chief companion." - Thomas Brooks

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