A Friendship Worth Modeling


After David had finished talking with Saul, he met

Jonathan, the king’s son. There was an immediate

bond between them, for Jonathan loved David.

- 1 Samuel 18:1

True, solid friendship. It can be a hard thing to come by. A relationship that is built on loyalty and trust, honesty and respect; one that is safe and resilient. I don't really talk to anyone I considered a friend from before college and there are very few I talk to from my college years. That could be because our lives took different directions and we lost touch, a falling out or breach of trust, or any number of other reasons. But it feels like, to me at least, that it's hard to find that long-lasting, solid friendship, in general and especially as an adult. However, when we do find those friends, we best hold on to them because they are a gift.

David and Jonathan were very different. One was a sheep herder from the country, the other the son of the king. They were likely in their teens, maybe even early twenties, when they met for the first time. As it says in 1 Samuel, they had an immediate bond between them. Jonathan even goes as far as to take off his own robe and armor, placing them on David, as a sign of their friendship (18:4).

However, Saul, Jonathan's father, did not have the same kind of love towards David. In fact, he was jealous of David's success and that the people liked him. He was so jealous that Saul desired to kill David. Jonathan would not allow this to happen so he warns David of this many times (1 Samuel 19:2 and chapter 20).

Here in this story we see two imperfect men develop and strengthen a friendship, not allowing others to come between them. They are honest and vulnerable with one another, risking their lives for each other, and Jonathan even goes against his father Saul to stand up for what is right, which isn't always the easiest thing to do. After Jonathan helps David escape his father’s hand, the years David spent in the wilderness may have at times been spent alone physically, but he sought after the presence of God knowing His comfort is what we all need.

The next time we read of Jonathan it isn't until 2 Samuel 1 when David hears that both he and his father have died. David's first reaction is to mourn for both his friend and his adversary. David also chooses to go a step further and takes in Jonathan's crippled son, showing him kindness by providing food and shelter, even giving him back some of Saul's land. When David was in need for the safety of his life, Jonathan showed him kindness by warning him and helping him escape to safety. Even though Jonathan had passed, David honors his friend by showing kindness to his son by providing for him.

God designed mankind for the purpose of relationship. He made us to have a relationship with Him and even made both male and female for us to have relationships with each other. Loneliness was never a part of His plan. I struggle with loneliness. I have since I was a young kid, and right now, there are moments when my loneliness screams in my ears. I long for a solid friendship, one that is godly, trustworthy, honorable, respectful, and honest, and I believe that this is what everyone wants in a friend. I don't know why we go through seasons of loneliness, other than the fact we're in a broken world and seasons have purpose. But in times of loneliness we should shift our perspective from what we don't have and focus on what we do have, which is access to God and His comforting presence. I will still desire earthly friendship, and there's nothing wrong with that, but God is the only One who can fill and overflow all the voids within me, and it's vital that I seek relationship with Him daily. Growing up my mom would always say, "Be the kind of friend you would want to have," and we see that in the dynamic between David and Jonathan: each were loyal, trustworthy, honest, and compassionate towards the other. It's a friendship worth modeling.

Reflection:

1. What kind of friends are you allowing yourself to be surrounded with?

2. How can you be a good friend to others and perhaps, are there areas you need to work on with God’s help in being a better friend?

Prayer:

Father, thank You for Your companionship. Thank You for wiring me for relationships as this is a way that I can both experience You as well as be Your hands and feet here on earth towards others. When earthly relationships fail or lack, may I always be reminded that You are enough and You will remain with me forever. When I do have friendships, help me to value them by treating them in a Biblical manner, cherishing the gift that they are, Amen.

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