Bible Society of South Africa

Friendship as a covenant, David and Jonathan – 13 July 2021

By Ewald Schmidt

Bible text(s)

16Jonathan went to him there and encouraged him with assurances of God's protection, 17saying to him, “Don't be afraid. My father Saul won't be able to harm you. He knows very well that you are the one who will be the king of Israel and that I will be next in rank to you.” 18The two of them made a sacred promise of friendship to each other. David stayed at Horesh, and Jonathan went home.

1 Samuel 23:16-18GNBOpen in Bible reader

Good friends stand together through thick and thin. They protect one another in times of crisis. They share each other’s burdens. They laugh at the other one’s jokes, even if they have heard it numerous times already.

Friendship develops when two people find a common interest in each other. With communication and time spent together, the friendship deepens. At first, the communication is on a cliché level, with everyday topics like sport or politics, and a gentle teasing of the other’s views. With the passing of time, with a good friend, the communication deepens. It starts to operate on an emotional level, where feelings, dreams and thoughts are shared. You take the risk of sharing your deeper feelings with your friend, and it is not rejected.

There is yet another deeper level of friendship than on the emotional level, and it is rare in this world. We see it between David and Jonathan, who made a friendship covenant before the Lord. A covenant is an agreement where God is one of the parties involved. You are truly blessed if you have a friend who shares your love for God, and serve him together. Jonathan helped David to find his strength in the Lord. He encouraged David in the dark days. He understood the calling upon David’s life, and supported it even at a cost to himself. That is what true friends do – they help one another to reach God’s destiny in life. They care for one another, pray and help one another along the way.

Such a friendship takes years to develop. It takes vulnerability and trust. This friendship does not work one way. To have such a friend, demands that you be such a friend. The best marriage in life is when you can marry such a friend!

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you that you call us your friends in John 15. Thank you that you are our best example of a true friend. You had sacrificed your life to save your friends. Thank you for the friends in my life, helping me to become more like you. Bless them, Lord! And help me to be a good friend in return. Amen

Bible Society of South Africav.4.14.1
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