Make me like Jonathan!

Friend. On my Facebook account there are 474 friends listed. Many of those are more like acquaintances, people I know professionally or from a distance. Some are more than acquaintances, but not actually what I would call a real friend. Some are close to my heart, people that I know well, with whom I share a mutual love and concern. The designer of Facebook was clever when he (or was it a team?) decided to call the connections made on the site ‘friending.’ When someone requests ‘friend’ status, it is a good feeling. Why? Because having friends is a good thing.

The story of David includes a sub-plot built around a prince named Jonathan, who was the son of King Saul, the expected crown prince of Israel. God decided to replace Saul’s family with a new dynasty beginning with David, but that did not bother Jonathan. The Bible tells us that from the first David and Jonathan an ‘immediate bond’ existed. (1 Samuel 18:1) Through the years, David greatly benefited from the kindness and protection of his friend.

When the king sought David’s death, Jonathan made an impassioned defense of his friend. “Let not the king do wrong to his servant David; he has not wronged you, and what he has done has benefited you greatly. He took his life in his hands when he killed the Philistine. The Lord won a great victory for all Israel, and you saw it and were glad. Why then would you do wrong to an innocent man like David by killing him for no reason?” (1 Samuel 19:4-5, NIV) David reciprocated Jonathan’s love by promising to care for his family when he took the throne, this in a time when the custom was to kill any surviving members of a previous ruling family to protect yourself from rebels!

What kind of friend are you?
Are you altruistic, caring even when it costs?
Are you an opportunistic friend, only befriending those who can bring some benefit to you in the moment?
Are you a loyal friend who speaks up in defense of another when gossip arises?
Are you a friend for all times, equally faithful when your friend is up or down?

Solomon cynically announces what we all know, “Wealth brings many friends, but a poor man’s friend deserts him.” (Proverbs 19:4, NIV) What a contrast to the true friendship we are blessed to give and to find. A true friend “loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” (Proverbs 17:17, NIV)
Has a friend failed you?
Have a group of friends missed your expectations, not come through for you in the way you had hoped? Don’t give up on people! Don’t turn inward. It will sour your soul, make you miserable, and ultimately reduce the quality of your life. Instead, keep loving!

There’s a Jonathan for you! Finding that friend requires risk, openness, and giving friendship. And never forget the most loyal, true Friend – Jesus Christ! He knows you best and loves you most. Anchor your heart in that love. Be secure in Him and it will make you a better friend to others.

_________________

Who am I that You are mindful of me,
That You hear me,
When I call?
Is it true that You are thinking of me?
How You love me,
It’s amazing!

I am a friend of God!
I am a friend of God!
I am a friend of God!
He calls me friend.

God Almighty,
Lord of glory,
You have called me friend!

Friend Of God
© 2003 Integrity’s Praise! Music
Vertical Worship Songs
(Admin. by Integrity Music, Inc.)

Israel Houghton
Michael Gungor

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