Not Alone: Five Observations about Godly Friendships

In 1 Samuel 18 we are introduced to what many call one of the most prolific of all Bible friendships - Jonathan and David. THEIR FRIENDSHIP ILLUSTRATES: The importance of godly friendship as a Christian leader, pastor, missionary.

Jonathan and David had a common faith in God and love for God. Their faith in God and love for God knit them together as best of friends. God was the chain that held these men together.

Five Observations about Godly Friendships:

1.     Godly Friendships Require Us To Be Intentional. 1 Samuel 18:1-4.

David Smith, 30 years ago, wrote a book about the problem of friendlessness among men in America, The Friendless American MaleThe point is made that you have to be intentional. JONATHAN TAKES ACTION: (v. 1) Jonathan loved him; (v. 3) Jonathan made a covenant with David… Proverbs 18:24 it says, "A man that hath friends must show himself friendly." In his church letters the Apostle Paul used the term of endearment ''Dear friend'' no less than ten times. The Lord Jesus called his disciples, he even seems to have had an inner circle with Peter, James, and John. He would later call the disciples friends. You must view friendship not as a luxury, but as a necessity.

2.     Godly Friendships Protect Us From Being Harmed (or When We Are Under Attack). 1 Samuel 19. 1 Samuel 19:1–7 [Saul tries to kill David.]

You are not ashamed to stand by them when things get rough. You stand by them. You speak up for them.

3.     Godly Friendships Allow Us To Be Ourselves. 1 Samuel 20.

Some are rightly concerned that David may have lied here to Saul about his whereabouts. Some think David was being impatient and insecure. I think David is worried and he seems really worked up. Just look at verse 1: “Jonathan, ‘What have I done? What is my guilt? And what is my sin before your father, that he seeks my life?’” I mainly want to point out the patience and the reassurance that comes from Jonathan as a friend.

4.     Godly Friendships Strengthen Us In The Lord. 1 Samuel 23.

  • A Godly Friend’s PRESENCE Strengthens You in the Lord. [16] And Jonathan, Saul's son, rose and went to David at Horesh.

  • A Godly Friend’s PRAYERS Strengthen You in the Lord. [16] strengthened his hand in God. Not just a pep talk. We need friends who take us to God in prayer.

  • A Godly Friend’s PROTECTION Strengthens You in the Lord. [17] And he said to him, “Do not fear, for the hand of Saul my father shall not find you.

  • A Godly Friend’s PERSONAL LOYALTY Strengthens You in the Lord. [17]You shall be king over Israel, and I shall be next to you. Saul my father also knows this.

  • A Godly Friend’s PROMISE Strengthens You in the Lord. [18] And the two of them made a covenant before the LORD. David remained at Horesh, and Jonathan went home.

  • Proverbs 27:17, As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.


5.     Godly Friendships Help Us To Finish Well.

This is more of a speculation than an observation. In 2 Samuel 1. Jonathan is dead. In 2 Samuel 11, there is the Bathsheba episode after the death of Jonathan. Nathan was the prophet in David’s life, but I think he also needed a friend.


JESUS IS THE BEST JONATHAN. The picture falls short, as all pictures do, of the glorious reality. Jonathan, at the risk of his own life (1 Samuel 20:33), sought to reconcile his father to David. Christ laid down His life as ''the propitiation for our sins'' (1 John 2:2). He is our Mediator, our Advocate with the Father, and has made us sharers of His throne in glory.

YOU CAN BE A FRIEND LIKE JONATHAN. John 13:34-35, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Your brother in Jesus,