The pages from 1 Samuel that serve as our text for today’s lesson offer some valuable insights into a deep friendship. David and Jonathan serve as a model for friendship. These few pages of Scripture tell the story of their friendship in the midst of the troubled relationship between David and Saul. Somehow, Jonathan was able to rise about his father’s anger and live as David’s closest friend.
As we read the narrative material in this passage, I would just point out some principles for true friendship that are lived out in the relationship between David and Jonathan.
Love – Any true friendship is marked by love. These two men loved each other (1 Samuel 18:1-4).
Unity in Spirit – David and Jonathan entered into a covenantal relationship as depicted in 1 Samuel 18:1-4. We don’t know fully what that meant – but they were unified in their spirits with one another.
Tangible expressions of friendship – Jonathan gave David his robe, tunic, sword, bow and belt (1 Samuel 18:4).
Loyalty – Both David and Jonathan demonstrated their loyalty to each other. Jonathan would defend David in conversation with Saul (1 Samuel 19:4-5).
Protection – These men tried to protect each other. When Saul decided to kill David, Jonathan took practical steps to save David’s life (1 Samuel 20).
Confidence – In 1 Samuel 20 we read of how these two men confided in each other. They had confidence in the friendship. They trusted each other. They believed in each other.
In the Name of the Lord – David and Jonathan were Godly in their life with each other. Their friendship was “in the name of the LORD” (1 Samuel 20:42). They were both followers of Yahweh and their bond was strengthened through their common commitment to God.