Friends

126/365 days of blogging.  I am over 1/3 the way there!  Woo Hoo!

1 Samuel19:1-7  “Now Saul spoke to Jonathan his son and to all his servants, that they should kill David; but Jonathan, Saul’s son, delighted greatly in David.  So Jonathan told David, saying, “My father Saul seeks to kill you. Therefore please be on your guard until morning, and stay in a secret place and hide.  And I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where you are, and I will speak with my father about you. Then what I observe, I will tell you.”  Thus Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father, and said to him, “Let not the king sin against his servant, against David, because he has not sinned against you, and because his works have been very good toward you.  For he took his life in his hands and killed the Philistine, and the Lord brought about a great deliverance for all Israel. You saw it and rejoiced. Why then will you sin against innocent blood, to kill David without a cause?”  So Saul heeded the voice of Jonathan, and Saul swore, “As the Lord lives, he shall not be killed.”  Then Jonathan called David, and Jonathan told him all these things. So Jonathan brought David to Saul, and he was in his presence as in times past.”

God wants Christians to be “real friends” with one another.  What, then does a friend do?  There is a wonderful example of a friendship given to us in Scripture – that of David and Jonathan.  David was only a shepherd boy and Jonathan was heir to the throne, but this difference in social position didn’t seem to make any difference in social position didn’t seem to make any difference to them.  in 1 Samuel 18:1 we read: “…the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.”  

Thus we see a friend is one who loves another and love always gives.  It gives of itself and it gives of material things also.  When you come right down to the facts, this kind of love can only come from God.

So, as the scripture indicated, Jonathan s[poke to the king for his friend.  Have you spoke to the King of kings about your friends lately?  Have you pleaded their cause, so to speak, before the King whom you have placed your faith and trust in, even though they may not have?

Our Savior speaks to His Father on our behave all the time.  In the book of Hebrews it tells us that Jesus makes intercessions for God’s children.

As we go on with the story, we see friendship under trial.  This is given in 1 Samuel, chapter 20: 1-4  “Then David fled from Naioth in Ramah, and went and said to Jonathan, “What have I done? What is my iniquity, and what is my sin before your father, that he seeks my life?”  So Jonathan said to him, “By no means! You shall not die! Indeed, my father will do nothing either great or small without first telling me. And why should my father hide this thing from me? It is not so!  Then David took an oath again, and said, “Your father certainly knows that I have found favor in your eyes, and he has said, ‘Do not let Jonathan know this, lest he be grieved.’ But truly, as the Lord lives and as your soul lives, there is but a step between me and death.”  So Jonathan said to David, “Whatever you yourself desire, I will do it for you.”

Then in verses 12-17 we see the promise they made to each other:  “Then Jonathan said to David: “The Lord God of Israel is witness! When I have sounded out my father sometime tomorrow, or the third day, and indeed there is good toward David, and I do not send to you and tell you, may the Lord do so and much more to Jonathan. But if it pleases my father to do you evil, then I will report it to you and send you away, that you may go in safety. And the Lord be with you as He has been with my father.  And you shall not only show me the kindness of the Lord while I still live, that I may not die; but you shall not cut off your kindness from my house forever, no, not when the Lord has cut off every one of the enemies of David from the face of the earth.”  So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, “Let the Lord require it at the hand of David’s enemies.”  Now Jonathan again caused David to vow, because he loved him; for he loved him as he loved his own soul.”

We, too, can be kind to our friends when they are in a period of stress or trial – listen to their troublesm, and continue to love them.  They pray with them.  Ever notice how your heart is not so heavy when you have someone else praying for and with you?

In the last two verses of the chapter, as David and Jonathan parted, we read that they kissed, wept with one another and then Jonathan tells David to in peace.  Have you ever shared someone’s sorrow?  They are so appreciative of your being there for them.  Sometimes we even acquire a friend because you share a common sorrow.  Jonathan reminded David of his trust in the Lord, and that may be what God would have us do for our friends.

Another thing that a true friend does is to strengthen your hand in God.  What a blessing it is to be encouraged in our Christian walk!  There are many who will criticize, but far too few who will strengthen us in the Lord.  This is what Jonathan did for David.

Certainly Jonathan didn’t have to go out to the woods.  But this is typical of a true friend – he will go “above and beyond the call of duty.” or go out of his way to help those in need.  Are you such a friend?”  God can use a friendly act of kindness even to the salvation of a soul.

In review, then, what is our responsibility?  Matthew 10:8 tells us “…freely ye have received, freely give.”  It is more blessed to give than to receive.  Perhaps you are wondering how you can be the kind of friend that always gives – not only of money, time, and talent, but also of self.  In this realm, as in all other phases of our Christian lives, God supplies every need and Christ Himself, living in and through us, does it.  God never asks us to do anything for which He does not give us the strength to accomplish.  So lets resolve to be God’s representative, God’s kind of friend to our fellow-man, claiming the promises found in 2 Corinthians 9:6-8  “But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.  So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.  And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.”

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