"Snippets" from David

Devoted Friends Can Come From Strange Places

Few things are as notorious as King Saul’s jealous hatred for David. In spite of incredible kindness and loyalty from David (see 1 Samuel 24 and 26), King Saul created occasions to attempt to kill David. Yet, from this environment of jealousy, hate, and distrust came one of David’s most loyal friends—Jonathan, son of Saul and intended heir to Saul’s throne.

Jonathan’s devotion to David as David’s loyal, trusted friend is legendary. Jonathan gave David some of his royal symbols—his royal robe and his royal weapons (1 Samuel 18:1-4). He made covenants with David (1 Samuel 18:3; 20:16, 17, 42). He interceded for David with his father, King Saul, even when it was dangerous to do so (1 Samuel 19:1-7; 20:32-34).

The fact that Jonathan and David shared a unique friendship angered King Saul in time. He justified his anger with these words to Jonathan:

Then Saul’s anger burned against Jonathan and he said to him, “You son of a perverse, rebellious woman! Do I not know that you are choosing the son of Jesse to your own shame and to the shame of your mother’s nakedness? For as long as the son of Jesse lives on the earth, neither you nor your kingdom will be established. Therefore now, send and bring him to me, for he must surely die.”
(1 Samuel 2:30, 31)

Loyal friendship is not guaranteed by family histories. Also, there is a vast difference between the person who maintains a convenient friendship and a loyal friendship.

What keys to loyal friendship exist? Among them, are these:

1. Is my friend selfish or unselfish? Does he or she know how to seek the good of others or only the good of self?
2. Does my friend love me as a person or does he or she love what I symbolize to him or her?
3. Does he or she possess a well defined sense of justice? Does his or her personal values support loyalty?
4. Is he or she a “user” of people or an “encourager” of people?
5. Does my friend see a potential in me that he or she does not see in himself or herself? If he or she sees that potential, is he or she jealous of it?
6. Would he or she seek my good to the loss of his or her advantage?

This must be added: to receive a loyal friendship, a person must extend loyal friendship. To receive a cherished friendship we must understand how to be a friend to another. A loyal friendship is never the product of selfishness! We must want to be a friend as well as have a friend.

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