Friends Protect

I have struggled allowing myself to have a friend.  I do not trust people easily and I am an only child.  I see some people who have close friends who they can tell everything through and whom they see regularly and I have envied them.  My parents didn’t live in the pockets of any neighbours, my father in particular kept himself to himself.  So when I read of David and Jonathan’s friends in the Bible I am envious and wish that I had spent more time making friends like that.

Jonathan was loyal to the truth and to his friend.  When it was shown to Jonathan that his own father wanted to kill David, he cut with the ties of blood and stayed faithful to his friend.  David’s wife broke with her father in the same way.  When the Bible states, “There is a friend who is closer than a brother,” it is the friendship of Jonathan and David that comes to mind.

The best way to make a friend is to be a friend.  I know that I must do the following to develop a God-centered frindship:

  • Keep regular contact
  • Be open about my failings and my successes
  • Withhold judgement
  • Ask questions from a position of genuine interest
  • Talk openly about God and my genuine spiritual struggles
  • Help out in times of need
  • Look for kind acts to do for that person
  • Do things without expecting or desiring anything in return

If I do these things I will have a friend.  In recent years I have found that my friendships are becoming richer because of some of these principles.

1 Samuel 19

1 Saul told his son Jonathan and all the attendants to kill David. But Jonathan had taken a great liking to David 2 and warned him, “My father Saul is looking for a chance to kill you. Be on your guard tomorrow morning; go into hiding and stay there. 3I will go out and stand with my father in the field where you are. I’ll speak to him about you and will tell you what I find out.”

 4 Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father and said to him, “Let not the king do wrong to his servant David; he has not wronged you, and what he has done has benefited you greatly. 5He took his life in his hands when he killed the Philistine. The LORD won a great victory for all Israel, and you saw it and were glad. Why then would you do wrong to an innocent man like David by killing him for no reason?”

 6Saul listened to Jonathan and took this oath: “As surely as the LORD lives, David will not be put to death.”

 7So Jonathan called David and told him the whole conversation. He brought him to Saul, and David was with Saul as before.

 8Once more war broke out, and David went out and fought the Philistines. He struck them with such force that they fled before him.

 9 But an evil[a] spirit from the LORD came on Saul as he was sitting in his house with his spear in his hand. While David was playing the lyre, 10Saul tried to pin him to the wall with his spear, but David eluded him as Saul drove the spear into the wall. That night David made good his escape.

 11 Saul sent men to David’s house to watch it and to kill him in the morning. But Michal, David’s wife, warned him, “If you don’t run for your life tonight, tomorrow you’ll be killed.” 12 So Michal let David down through a window, and he fled and escaped. 13Then Michal took an idol and laid it on the bed, covering it with a garment and putting some goats’ hair at the head.

 14When Saul sent the men to capture David, Michal said, “He is ill.”

 15 Then Saul sent the men back to see David and told them, “Bring him up to me in his bed so that I may kill him.” 16But when the men entered, there was the idol in the bed, and at the head was some goats’ hair.

 17Saul said to Michal, “Why did you deceive me like this and send my enemy away so that he escaped?”

   Michal told him, “He said to me, ‘Let me get away. Why should I kill you?’”

 18 When David had fled and made his escape, he went to Samuel at Ramah and told him all that Saul had done to him. Then he and Samuel went to Naioth and stayed there. 19 Word came to Saul: “David is in Naioth at Ramah”; 20 so he sent men to capture him. But when they saw a group of prophets prophesying, with Samuel standing there as their leader, the Spirit of God came on Saul’s men, and they also prophesied. 21 Saul was told about it, and he sent more men, and they prophesied too. Saul sent men a third time, and they also prophesied. 22Finally, he himself left for Ramah and went to the great cistern at Seku. And he asked, “Where are Samuel and David?”

   “Over in Naioth at Ramah,” they said.

 23 So Saul went to Naioth at Ramah. But the Spirit of God came even on him, and he walked along prophesying until he came to Naioth. 24 He stripped off his garments, and he too prophesied in Samuel’s presence. He lay naked all that day and all that night. This is why people say, “Is Saul also among the prophets?”

Questions

  1. How does Saul’s desire for control come through?
  2. What personal issues do you think Saul is solving for?
  3. What do you think God is developing in David?
  4. How are loyalties with friends sometimes to take a higher role than family?
  5. How has God enabled compassionate friends to heal you in times of difficulty and stress?  How have you been a healing friend?

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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7 Responses to Friends Protect

  1. Melisa Guiles says:

    1. He doesn’t like it when things aren’t going his way. An example of this is when the soldiers are unable to kill David, Saul goes there himself to try to get the job done.
    2. He is trying to remedy the fact that David is more popular than him with the people and that God has chosen David to replace him as King. Saul wants his own family to continue to rule.
    3. I think He is developing patience and compassion in David as he is treated wrongly by Saul.
    4. I think if it is going to cause someone harm, then a friend should do everything they can to prevent that from happening.
    5. I went through a tough time last year, and my friends comforted me by listening to what I needed to say and encouraging me to continue to trust in the Lord. I have done the same things for those around me.

  2. Sokloon Dy says:

    1. Because he ceased to acknowledge God and remember why he is where he is–king of Israel.
    2. Jealousy, anger and hatred towards David.
    3. God is teaching David to trust in Him, despite the circumstances.
    4. There are those friends that stick closer to us than our family in that they share with us in our struggles in a more intimate way. Also, sometimes our family may not be following God, but our close friends from God will be.
    5. When I first got here in the US in Aug 2009 for Moody, the Lord provided me a very close friend who could relate with my struggles and culture shock a lot more than my sisters and brothers could. In the same way, I have helped her to overcome her culture shock by just being good friends to each other and spending time together.

  3. Rebecca Langer says:

    1.How does Saul’s desire for control come through?
    He cannot have someone who is better than him. He cannot stand variables that he cannot control.
    2.What personal issues do you think Saul is solving for?
    I think he has an issue with jealousy, anger, and control.
    3.What do you think God is developing in David?
    I think God is developing trust in David of himself, and perhaps resilience.
    4.How are loyalties with friends sometimes to take a higher role than family?
    There are times when I know that I need to do something for a friend, even when my parents or siblings might not approve.
    5.How has God enabled compassionate friends to heal you in times of difficulty and stress? How have you been a healing friend?
    God has gifted me with wonderful co-workers andsupervisors to really lavish grace on me when i definiitely didn’t deserve it. I have tried to be consistent inmy love, even when my friends show their faults. I remember that as Christ has shown me much grace, I am able to also show grace.

  4. Grace Yoo says:

    1. Saul’s desire for control comes through in his actions. He tries to kill David so many times because he cannot stand being perceived as less than anyone and wants to be in control of everything.

    2. I think some of the personal issues that Saul is solving for are jealousy and anger issues.

    3. God is developing in David trust.

    4. Loyalties with friends sometimes take a higher role than family when you know that you need to stick up for your friend but your family members may not agree with what you do.

    5. God has enabled compassionate friends to heal in times of difficulty when I was feeling very low but they were there to listen. I try to be a healing friend by always being there for my friends no matter what.

  5. Jessica Gentry says:

    1. Sual’s desire for control comes through as we see that he is not happy when David has things under control, and therefore he even tries to kill him, just so that he is ultimately in control.
    2. I think Saul is having to solve the personal issue of being addicted to control and power. He is also very insecure, and that seems to be why he cannot bare the thought of anyone else being liked or having success.
    3. I think God is developing a trust and courage in David as he must trust in the Lord throgh these fearful times, and have courage to still be the man of God that he is called to be, while trying to escape Saul who wants to kill him.’
    4. Loyalties with friends sometimes come above relationships with family in that we must stand beside the righteous, and so even in this case, even though Saul and Jonathon are family, Jonathon’s loyalty is with David as he knows that his dad Saul, is in the wrong, and David is innocent.
    5. God has enabled some of my very close frineds to help heal me in times of difficulty, in that they have come around me in prayer and loving support, encouraging me and building me up in Christ. I would hope that I am this kind of friend as well, I certainly try to be, but I’m sure I could work on it and become a better friend.

  6. [ED2203-01] HyeJin Lee says:

    1.How does Saul’s desire for control come through?
    Saul’s desire for control comes through Saul trying to kill David endlessly.
    2.What personal issues do you think Saul is solving for?
    Saul had been a king of the Israel for a while, but soon he was rejected by God because of his God-dishonoring deeds. I think he was aware of this fact and tried to keep his throne by killing David.
    3.What do you think God is developing in David?
    I think God is developing trust in David’s mind by allowing him several experiences of facing death.
    4.How are loyalties with friends sometimes to take a higher role than family?
    When we know that what friends are doing is righteous and innocent, and family is not right, we stick up to the friends.
    5.How has God enabled compassionate friends to heal you in times of difficulty and stress? How have you been a healing friend?
    I’m taking SLAC class this semester, and through the accountability partner meetings I do every week as an assignment, I have been healed through that meeting and my partner has affected greatly positively in my spiritual life.

  7. aaron wright says:

    1. David is better and so Saul wants to eliminate his competition
    2. jealousy over David being better
    3. trust in God and forgiveness for Saul
    4. when family goes against God’s command
    5. they point out the greatness of God and his sovereignty which pulls my perspective back to focus on the gospel

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