A man who has friends must himself be friendly, - Proverbs 18:24a (NKJV)
How many of you have friends? Well, one of Randy’s friends is a boy named Harold Peterson. Now you may have already met him and if you have you may already know what kind of trouble he can create such as the day Randy asked him to help him with a puppet play for a lesson on friendship.
It all started when Randy went to call Harold on stage to help him. From somewhere out of sight he heard a loud woof, woof followed by Harold yelling for someone or should I say something called Muffy to come back. It was than that Randy realized he should have asked someone else to help him with his lesson.
After zipping back and forth across the stage several times, it sounded like Harold finally got Muffy under control but than a cat’s meow was heard and away they went again. “Is that your dog, Harold?” Randy called out as Harold went running by again. “Yes.” Harold replied and than came a terrible crash.
Soon Harold came staggering back to the stage complaining about his aching head. “What happened?” Randy asked. And with a big moan, Harold told Randy that Muffy went over the fence, while he went into the fence. “I thought a dog was suppose to be a man’s best friend.” Harold said as he finished telling Randy about his dog walking experience.
“What on earth are you doing with a St. Bernard?” Randy asked. “Trying to catch him.” Harold replied with another moan. “But he’s twice your size.” Randy noted. “I know.” Harold replied, “Mom and Dad said I could have one, and he looked so cute. How was I to know he would get so big.”
“Why did you get a dog anyway?” Randy asked and Harold started telling him how lonely it was only having one friend and how Muffy was suppose to be a friend that was always there for him. “Unfortunately,” Harold continued, “all he’s been is trouble.” “That sounds like someone I know,” Randy added, “always causing trouble. In fact I heard he put a frog in Mindy’s school box last week.
Upon hearing those words, Harold took off after Muffy again and this time it wasn’t a fence he ran into but a swimming pool. All Randy could do was stand there and shake his head. “When will he ever learn,” he mumbled. “If you want to have friends you need to be friendly just like it says in Proverbs 18:24.”
When you read through the Bible you come across many friendships like that of Ruth and Naomi or Elijah and Elisha but what many believe to be the greatest friendship in the Bible is that of David and Jonathan.
The story of David and Jonathan can be found in the book of 1 Samuel starting in Chapter 18, just after David had defeated Goliath in battle. It is here we read these words:
1 Samuel 18:1-4 - After David had finished talking with Saul, he met Jonathan, the king’s son. There was an immediate bond of love between them, and they became the best of friends. From that day on Saul kept David with him and wouldn’t let him return home. And Jonathan made a solemn pact with David, because he loved him as he loved himself. Jonathan sealed the pact by taking off his robe and giving it to David, together with his tunic, sword, bow, and belt. (NLT)
More than once we read where their friendship was put to the test
- 1 Samuel 19:1-7 - Saul now urged his servants and his son Jonathan to assassinate David. But Jonathan, because of his close friendship with David, told him what his father was planning. “Tomorrow morning,” he warned him, “you must find a hiding place out in the fields. I’ll ask my father to go out there with me, and I’ll talk to him about you. Then I’ll tell you everything I can find out.” The next morning Jonathan spoke with his father about David, saying many good things about him. “The king must not sin against his servant David,” Jonathan said. “He’s never done anything to harm you. He has always helped you in any way he could. Have you forgotten about the time he risked his life to kill the Philistine giant and how the Lord brought a great victory to all Israel as a result? You were certainly happy about it then. Why should you murder an innocent man like David? There is no reason for it at all!” So Saul listened to Jonathan and vowed, “As surely as the Lord lives, David will not be killed.” Afterward Jonathan called David and told him what had happened. Then he brought David to Saul, and David served in the court as before. (NLT)
- 1 Samuel 20:1-9,42 - David now fled from Naioth in Ramah and found Jonathan. “What have I done?” he exclaimed. “What is my crime? How have I offended your father that he is so determined to kill me?” “That’s not true!” Jonathan protested. “You’re not going to die. He always tells me everything he’s going to do, even the little things. I know my father wouldn’t hide something like this from me. It just isn’t so!” Then David took an oath before Jonathan and said, “Your father knows perfectly well about our friendship, so he has said to himself, ‘I won’t tell Jonathan—why should I hurt him?’ But I swear to you that I am only a step away from death! I swear it by the Lord and by your own soul!” “Tell me what I can do to help you,” Jonathan exclaimed. David replied, “Tomorrow we celebrate the new moon festival. I’ve always eaten with the king on this occasion, but tomorrow I’ll hide in the field and stay there until the evening of the third day. If your father asks where I am, tell him I asked permission to go home to Bethlehem for an annual family sacrifice. If he says, ‘Fine!’ you will know all is well. But if he is angry and loses his temper, you will know he is determined to kill me. Show me this loyalty as my sworn friend—for we made a solemn pact before the Lord—or kill me yourself if I have sinned against your father. But please don’t betray me to him!” “Never!” Jonathan exclaimed. “You know that if I had the slightest notion my father was planning to kill you, I would tell you at once.” .... At last Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, for we have sworn loyalty to each other in the Lord’s name. The Lord is the witness of a bond between us and our children forever.” Then David left, and Jonathan returned to the town.(NLT)
In time they would briefly meet again and when they did we find that their friendship had not diminished.
When you look at the friendship of David and Jonathan there are several things we can learn. Here are three of them:
- A good friend is willing to give of one's self - 1 Samuel 18:3,4
- A good friend speaks well of you - 1 Samuel 19:4
- A good friend departs in peace - 1 Samuel 20:42
Here's Something to Ponder
- What do like about how your friends treat you?
- How do you treat your friends?