Not Alone: The Importance of 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.

1 Samuel 18:1–4 As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. And Saul took him that day and would not let him return to his father's house. Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, and his armor, and even his sword and his bow and his belt. (ESV)

1.     A Godly friendship is a gift of God because of the grace of God.

A few observations: Jonathan’s name means “Jehovah has given” or “God is gracious”. 1 Samuel 18:1, “the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David,” notice it is in the PASSIVE VOICE. I have heard it said that having friends requires us to be a friend. But, I do want to note that a godly friend is a gift of God by His grace. Thank you Lord for godly friends!

2.     Not all friendships are created equal.

Verse 3 tells us Jonathan made a COVENANT with David. We struggle understanding the significance of covenant. Adrian Rogers said that this covenant friendship was 10,000 times stronger than the contemporary concept of calling someone a friend. Today we have Facebook friends and Twitter followers. Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible defines covenant relationship as: “not merely a mutual acquaintance but a commitment to responsibility and action. A key word in Scripture to describe that commitment is ‘faithfulness,’ acted out in a context of abiding friendship.”

Chuck Swindoll says that there are four classifications of friendships.

  • Acquaintances which are people you have infrequent contact with in life, shallow interaction, and most things are superficial in the relationship.
  • Casual friends which you have a little more contact with, you have common interests and are able to ask questions to about their life.
  • Close friends in which you can share life goals and have the freedom of asking personal questions.
  • Intimate friends with which you have regular contact, a deep commitment to developing one another, the freedom to criticize, encourage, and embrace.

3.     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. A lot of life seems to be about competition for us. Jonathan and David were not about competition. They were all about commitment to God and to one another.

4.     Pray for God to bless you with this type of Godly Friendship.

YOU NEED A FRIEND LIKE JONATHAN.

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.”

Next week: Five Lessons from the Friendship of Jonathan and David.

Your brother in Jesus,

BRIAN AUTRY