WHO IS A FRIEND?
Now when he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul (1 Samuel 18:1 NKJV).
The story of David and Jonathan is fascinating in many ways. Jonathan, son of King Saul, fell in love with David because of his bravery act over Goliath. As the son of the king, it could be argued that, Jonathan came from a privileged family; but David did not. Jonathan knew what peace was; but on the other hand, David had to live with hatred and anger from King Saul who was bent on killing him. Though, these two individuals chartered different trajectories of life, through divine intervention, they became the best of friends.
David came into the spot light after he had gallantly killed Goliath. This victory brought joy and peace to King Saul and all Israel. Saul, however, became jealous of David because of all the accolades showered on him. This made him hate David; and thought of killing him; a plot which was thwarted by Jonathan.
In our world today, some people would be wary of friends; because of some past unpleasant experiences they might have encountered with them. However, the friendship between David and Jonathan uniquely stands out; and do serve as a model to all of us. Here are two reasons why I make this claim:
IT WAS A GENUINE FRIENDSHIP
Prior to David’s victory over Goliath, he (David) and Jonathan were strangers to each other. David was an obscure shepherd boy just taking care of his father’s sheep; but all that changed overnight when he killed Goliath. A victory that evoked hatred and jealousy from King Saul towards him.
While King Saul wanted to get rid of David, Jonathan, the son of Saul had a natural affinity towards David. Their relationship grew to a point where Jonathan decided to help his friend David escape the evil plots of his father towards him (David).
The gravity of their friendship was captured in David’s eulogy at the death of Jonathan when he said; How I weep for you, my brother Jonathan!
Oh, how much I loved you!
And your love for me was deep,
deeper than the love of women (2 Samuel 1:26 NLT)!
IT WAS A FRIENDSHIP OF SACRIFICE
King Saul had been rejected by God because of his disobedience. God therefore sent Samuel to the house of Jesse to anoint David as the king of Israel to replace King Saul (1 Samuel 16:1-13). Immediately after his anointing, the Spirit of God came upon David from that time on.
After killing Goliath, it became obvious that, the nation of Israel gravitated towards him (David); tacitly desiring to have him as their leader. Saul intuited this, and hated David to the core.
Jonathan who even though, knew that his father Saul ‘s leadership was being undermined, decided to support David to be who and what God wanted him to be. This drew his father’s irk towards him, and rebuked him as follows; 30 “You son of a perverse and rebellious woman! Don’t I know that you have sided with the son of Jesse to your own shame and to the shame of the mother who bore you? 31 As long as the son of Jesse lives on this earth, neither you nor your kingdom will be established. Now send someone to bring him to me, for he must die!”
32 “Why should he be put to death? What has he done?” Jonathan asked his father (1 Samuel 20:30-32).
Jonathan sacrificed his own comfort and future prospect as king of Israel; by promoting his friend David who had been chosen by God to be the king. This was an act of true friendship; where a friend would support the vision of another.
We all know that the world has shrunk into one giant global village. We are at liberty to choose our real and virtual friends. The question is: “What criteria do we use to choose these friends?” Is there anything we see about them that gravitate us to them? What are their values and aspirations in life? Are their friendship genuine? Are they willing to sacrifice their vision in support of ours?
There are many criteria we need to consider in choosing our friends; knowing that, we are all humans. This calls for each one of us to be wary of who we choose as a friend. A friend who is sacrificial and selfless. A friend who will be closer than a brother or a sister. A friend who will sympathize and empathize with us through thick and thin. A friend who will mourn with us when we’re mourning; and rejoice with us when we’re rejoicing.
Yes, the Bible makes it clear that, Jesus is the only friend we can trust and place our hope and confidence in. He is the friend of the rejected and the dejected. He is the friend of sinners; because he left his glory in heaven to come to this world to die for sinful humanity.
Writing to the Romans, the Apostle Paul said; … We have a friend with God through his Son Jesus Christ (Romans 5:10).
Let’s be loyal to him in all that we say, think and do. I conclude with Joseph M. Scriven’s hymn; WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS
1. What a friend we have in Jesus,
all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
all because we do not carry
everything to God in prayer.
2. Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged;
take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful
who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
take it to the Lord in prayer.
3. Are we weak and heavy laden,
cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge;
take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In his arms he'll take and shield thee;
thou wilt find a solace there.[i]
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Check our website at www.disciplesrevalchurch.org to see our 25th Anniversary photos. There are more study materials that will help you in your Christian walk.
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You can also tune in and listen live sermons on our multicultural radio station by visiting our website at www.disciplesrevivalchurch.org; on Saturdays at 6:00pm Eastern Standard Time.
Use any of our contact links to communicate with us whether it is a prayer request or anything you want to share with us. In the meantime, let’s continue to pray for each other.
Rev. Dr. & Rev. (Mrs.) Charles & Faustina Mantey
Disciples Revival Church
30 Gordon Mackay Road
Toronto, Ontario M9N 2V6. Canada
[i] Joseph, M. Scriven. (n.d.). http://www.hymnsite.com/lyrics/umh526.sht. Retrieved on September 30, 2017.
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