Summary: Jonathan’s friendship with David has always been the model of the ideal friendship for Christians. But there is an even deeper application to this description of the love Jonathan had for David. Do you know what it is?
OPEN: I sang “You’ve Got A Friend” (a song by James Taylor and made popular by Carole King - if you’d like a copy of the words with guitar chords e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org)
APPLY: Several years ago the song “You’ve Got A Friend” was extremely popular. And it was popular because it caught the very essence of what friendship was all about. Friendship is a powerful thing, and almost everyone senses that is a necessary part of their lives.
ILLUS: Years ago I attended the North American Christian Convention (a gather of our brotherhood churches) at Indianapolis. I thought it would be fun and educational. I walked into the Hoosier Dome (now the RCA Dome) and was surrounding by 1000’s of people… but I was surprising lonely. I had no one to talk to. No one to share with. No one who was “my” friend.
Friendship is a powerful need in our lives. How many of you have a friend? (almost everyone raised their hand). So you know the satisfaction of having someone you can share with and count on.
In fact, a person without friends is a person in utter poverty… even if that individual has all the wealth in the world.
ILLUS: Just recently, Hollywood released a film called “The Aviator”. Does anyone know who that movie was about? That’s right Howard Hughes. When he died, Hughes was one of the wealthiest men who ever lived - worth approximately 2.5 BILLION dollars. He owned a private fleet of jets, hotels and casinos. He had everything a man could possibly desire… except close friends or relatives who knew him and cared about him.
When asked to claim his body, his nearest relative, a distant cousin, exclaimed: “Is this Mr. Hughes?”
When he died, not a single acquaintance or relative mourned his death. The only honor he received was a moment of silence in his Las Vegas casinos. Time magazine put it this way: “Howard Hughes’ death was commemorated in Las Vegas by a minute of silence. Casinos fell silent. Housewives stood uncomfortable clutching their paper cups full of coins at the slot machines, the blackjack games paused, and at the crap tables the stickmen cradled his dice in the crook of their wooden wands. Then a pit boss looked at his watch, leaned forward and whispered: “O.K., roll the dice. He’s had his minute.” (Time, Dec. 13, 1976)
Let me repeat: People without friends are people who live in utter poverty. For most people, friendship is one of their deepest needs and desires.
Now, Scripture tells us that David was a man after God’s own heart. And Psalms 37:4 Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.
So, as you might imagine, since David was a man after God’s own heart - a man who delighted in the LORD – God supplied him with a close companion – a REAL friend. A friend named Jonathan. And this was not just any friend… this was a SON OF THE KING.
This friendship with Jonathan was so powerful and so true, that it has been practically a Biblical standard of friendship ever since.
I. At this point in our story, David is a very fortunate young man.
* Not only has he has just killed Goliath - the champion of the Philistines – and thus become the beloved hero of the people…
* David has also been the personal servant of King Saul. Before the incident with Goliath, David had already been a regular visitor to the King’s palace.
Saul had been plagued by an evil Spirit and only the singing of David could alleviate his torment. But now that David has slain the giant, Saul makes David a permanent part of his family.
* And… not only is David a favorite of the people, and of the King… but God Himself has honored David by selected him to be the next king of Israel
So David is a very fortunate young man…
But life is about to get VERY UNCOMFORTABLE for this young shepherd boy.
For example… let’s read the next few verses in this chapter - I Samuel 18: 5-11
Whatever Saul sent him to do, David did it so successfully that Saul gave him a high rank in the army. This pleased all the people, and Saul’s officers as well.
When the men were returning home after David had killed the Philistine, the women came out from all the towns of Israel to meet King Saul with singing and dancing, with joyful songs and with tambourines and lutes. As they danced, they sang: "Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands."
Saul was very angry; this refrain galled him. "They have credited David with tens of thousands," he thought, "but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?" And from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David.