The Gift of Friends

The Bible reveals to us not only how to connect with God, but also how to have loving relationships with one another. We all experience times of heaviness that life brings our way, but blessed is the person who knows how to cultivate friendships with others. When I think of friendships in the Bible, my mind goes first to Jonathan and David in the Old Testament. As you recall, Jonathan was the son of Saul, the first king of Israel. Saul squandered his opportunity to lead through his pride and deceit. As a result of Saul’s rejection, the prophet Samuel anointed David as the next king while Saul was still holding on to power. For over a decade, David had to run for his life because of Saul’s insane jealousy. But, David had a special friend in Jonathan! The Bible says, “Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself…and Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself” (1 Samuel 18:1b, 3a). Jonathan’s friendship with David was remarkable, considering that Jonathan, Saul’s son, was next in line to become king. Yet, he set his own agenda aside and helped David because Jonathan knew David was God’s choice to be the next king. From their relationship, the Bible reveals special insights into the nature of true friendship. Friendships are built on trust and shared experiences. When Jonathan and David made a covenant, they were committing themselves to a sacred promise—to protect one another and to be there for each other. Jonathan vowed to help David, no matter the cost and in spite of his insane father. By his love and actions, Jonathan reveals the spirit of the Savior to come, Jesus Christ, the descendant of King David. Jesus loved us—even while we were His enemies—and sacrificed everything so that we might experience God’s will. His selfless love enables us to be reconciled to God the Father—both now and eternally! Jonathan, the friend of David, becomes a mirror, reflecting Jesus, the Friend of sinners. May the Lord be your closest friend and bless you with special friends like Jonathan to journey through life with you.

Pastor Mark Boucher