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