Friendship Part II

Last week we learned four principles of friendship as exemplified by Jonathan and David:

1. Friends put God first.
2. Nothing in the world can come between friends.
3. Friends stand up for one another.
4. Friends are honest with each other.

Saul, Jonathan's father tried again to kill David even after Jonathan convinced Saul to leave him alone. Saul's jealousy (fed by evil spirits) was too overwhelming and he began to pursue David once again. When David told Jonathan, Jonathan didn't believe him at first but agreed to prove the matter.

5. Friends Pray Together

I Samuel 20
:12 And Jonathan said unto David,
        O LORD God of Israel,
        when I have sounded my father [examine intimately] about to morrow any time,
            or the third day,
        and, behold, if there be good toward David,
        and I then send not unto thee,
        and shew it thee;
:13   The LORD do so and much more to Jonathan:
        but if it please my father to do thee evil,
        then I will shew it thee,
        and send thee away,
            that thou mayest go in peace:
            and the LORD be with thee,
            as he hath been with my father.
:14   And thou shalt not only
            while yet I live
        shew me the kindness of the LORD,
            that I die not:
:15   But also thou shalt not cut off thy kindness from my house for ever:
        no, not when the LORD hath cut off the enemies of David
            every one from the face of the earth.
:16 So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying,
            Let the LORD even require it at the hand of David's enemies.
:17 And Jonathan caused David to swear again,
    because he loved him:
    for he loved him as he loved his own soul.

Jonathan prays before God that if he doesn't tell David the truth that whatever evil was going to fall upon David it should fall upon Jonathan. Also they made a covenant between households to be true to each other. God reiterates their strong bond and love for each other again. Friends pray together.

James 5
:16 Confess your faults one to another,
    and pray one for another,
        that ye may be healed.
    The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

The word faults here means: a lapse or deviation from truth and uprightness (Online Bible Greek Lexicon). Own up to what draws you away from the Word of God and pray that you may be delivered from the consequences of disobedience. Friends pray for one another, to help one another stand strong on the Word.

6. Friends are Faithful and Loyal to one Another

Proverbs 18
:24 A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly:
    and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

    Jonathan and David said what they meant and meant what they said.

I Samuel 20
:23 And as touching the matter which thou and I have spoken of,
    behold, the LORD be between thee and me for ever.
:24 So David hid himself in the field:
    and when the new moon was come,
    the king sat him down to eat meat.

Jonathan did just as they had agreed. David didn't show up at dinner and Jonathan observed his father's reaction-which was throwing a javelin at him. I would say his dad was really angry.

:34 So Jonathan arose from the table in fierce anger,
    and did eat no meat the second day of the month:
        for he was grieved for David,
        because his father had done him shame.

I would be mad also if my father want to kill my best friend and he got so angry he threw a javelin at me. The next day Jonathan goes to the field where they had agreed for Jonathan to give him the signal. Jonathan shoots the arrows past the lad that was with him which was the sign that Saul was angry and David had to leave. What a heart break. Jonathan could have acted selfishly and devised a way to keep David around but he honored their agreement. Instead he was faithful to their agreement.

7. Friends are Emotionally Free Around one Another.

:40 And Jonathan gave his artillery unto his lad, and said unto him,
        Go, carry them to the city.
:41 And as soon as the lad was gone,
    David arose out of a place toward the south,
    and fell on his face to the ground,
    and bowed himself three times:
    and they kissed one another,
    and wept one with another,
        until David exceeded. [gadal - magnified, grew, increased = wept more, wept greatly]

Their friendship was deep and strong. So much so that it grieved them to have to go separate ways.

8. Friends are not possessive of one another.

:42 And Jonathan said to David,
        Go in peace,
        forasmuch as we have sworn both of us in the name of the LORD, saying,
            The LORD be between me and thee,
            and between my seed and thy seed for ever.
    And he [David] arose and departed:
    and Jonathan went into the city.

This must have been very hard for them to leave one another. They had tried to work it out with Saul but it was best if David left. David didn't remain and Jonathan didn't constrain him which would have jeopardized his life greatly. Instead Jonathan tells David to "Go in peace?The Lord be between me and thee?" Jonathan wishes him well and reminds him that God is with them always.

9. Friends Comfort and Encourage One Another.

From this point on Saul is on David's trail but God takes care of him and delivers him out of Saul's hand. David and Jonathan get to meet one another again. This must have been a low point for David. David is pursued by the King (who has well equipped army of the most valiant men with him) yet only 600 have aligned themselves with David. He knows that God can deliver him but being on the run constantly is wearying. David and Jonathan get to meet again in the Wilderness of Zith.

I Samuel 23
:14 And David abode in the wilderness in strong holds,
    and remained in a mountain in the wilderness of Ziph.
    And Saul sought him every day,
        but God delivered him not into his hand.
:15 And David saw that Saul was come out to seek his life:
    and David was in the wilderness of Ziph in a wood.
:16 And Jonathan
        Saul's son
    arose, and went to David into the wood,
    and strengthened his hand in God.
:17 And he said unto him,
        Fear not: for the hand of Saul my father shall not find thee;
        and thou shalt be king over Israel,
        and I shall be next unto thee;
        and that also Saul my father knoweth.
:18 And they two made a covenant before the LORD:
    and David abode in the wood,
    and Jonathan went to his house.

Jonathan, risking the wrath of his father the king, meets David and speaks the Word to him, comforting him and exhorting him. He reiterates God's promise that David will be King of Israel and affirms that Saul will not catch him. What a comfort and treasure their time together must have been. It is refreshing to the soul to be with a friend, especially in times of distress and troubles.

Proverbs 27
:9 Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart:
    so doth the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty counsel.

I Thessalonians 5
:11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together,
    and edify one another,
    even as also ye do.

This was the last time that we are told they met. David went to live in Gath, a region of the Philistines. David and his army stayed there 1 year and 4 months and Saul did not follow them (chapter 27). David and his army did make forays to outlying Philistine cities to defeat the Philistines. The Philistines came to battle against Israel again and Saul and Jonathan went to war. However, they are killed in battle.

When David learns of his friends death and Saul's he mourns exceedingly. David always reverenced Saul's life because Saul was God's anointed. Look how David considers Saul and Jonathan in his lamentation:

II Samuel 1:
17 And David lamented with this lamentation over Saul
    and over Jonathan his son:

:20 Tell it not in Gath,
    publish it not in the streets of Askelon;
        lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice,
        lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph.
:21 Ye mountains of Gilboa,
    let there be no dew,
    neither let there be rain, upon you,
    nor fields of offerings:
        for there the shield of the mighty is vilely cast away,
            the shield of Saul,
            as though he had not been anointed with oil.
:22 From the blood of the slain,
    from the fat of the mighty,
    the bow of Jonathan turned not back,
    and the sword of Saul returned not empty.
:23 Saul and Jonathan were lovely
        and pleasant
    in their lives,
    and in their death they were not divided:
    they were swifter than eagles,
    they were stronger than lions.
:24 Ye daughters of Israel,
    weep over Saul,
        who clothed you in scarlet, [royal robes]
        with other delights,
        who put on ornaments of gold upon your apparel.
:25 How are the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle!
    O Jonathan, thou wast slain in thine high places.
:26 I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan:
    very pleasant hast thou been unto me:
    thy love to me was wonderful,
        passing the love of women.
:27 How are the mighty fallen,
    and the weapons of war perished!

Look at David's heart. "Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their death they were not divided: they were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions." David held no animosity against Saul the Lord's anointed.

His love for Jonathan was evident also, he calls him brother: "I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women." David was a lover of many beautiful women yet he esteems his friendship with Jonathan above them. The love of a friend is different than the love of man and wife. What a treasure if your friend is your spouse.

Proverbs 17:17 A friend loveth at all times,
and a brother is born for adversity. [to help through adversity, not to be an adversary]

God brought Jonathan and David together to enhance each other's lives. They were there for each other to be Believers together with their hearts knit together, be committed to each other, stand up for each other, be honest before God, pray together, be faithful and loyal, rejoice and weep together, give unselfishly, and comfort and strengthen one another.

We have a friend:

Exodus 33
:11a And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face,
    as a man speaketh unto his friend.

Isaiah 41
:8 But thou, Israel,
        art my servant [God],
    Jacob whom I have chosen,
    the seed of Abraham my friend.

God can be our friend. He will always be there for you, He is committed, He stands up for you, He will always be honest, be with you in prayer, He is faithful, and loyal, He rejoices with you and weeps, He has given His son unselfishly and will comfort and strengthen you. God in Christ in us is our wonderful friend. He is also able to put before us a friend to manifest the love of God. Any time that can be spent with a Believer is precious and a time to be treasured. Any time (years, days, hours even minutes) that we can gather together in the name of the Lord to love and bless one another is to be treasured and treated as one would treat a friend. Be a friend of God, be a friend to His household.