Summary: A look at an example of the friendship between David and Jonathan.
We talked last week a little bit about music and how powerful a medium it is so I thought that we would start out today with a little bit of a game...we’re going to be talking today about friendship and loyalty so let me ask you a question...name some songs where friendship is a theme. Think of them in your head...let me give you just a few of the ones I came up with...Friends by Michael W. Smith, "With a Little Help from my Friends" by The Beatles...What a Friend We Have in Jesus...and of course, the theme song from Barney...you know, when you have a two year old you are exposed to so much culture! Did I miss any? Anybody come up with something else?
Then there is TV and movies...what about the friends we see there? The Three Stooges...Andy and Barney...except this one isn’t a big purple dinosaur...and of course, the Lone Ranger and Tonto. I can still remember watching those two when I was a boy...but since I have grown up I have come to wonder...how could he be the "Lone Ranger" if he always had Tonto with him? That, friends, is one of the most important questions in life that may never be answered. Since we are talking about the Lone Ranger and his Indian friend let me share this story with you that a friend of mine emailed me this week.
The Lone Ranger and Tonto went camping in the desert. After they got their tent all set up, both men fell sound asleep.
Some hours later, Tonto wakes the Lone Ranger and says, "Kemo Sabe’, look toward sky, what you see?"
The Lone Ranger replies, "I see millions of stars."
"What that tell you?" asked Tonto.
The Lone Ranger ponders for a minute then says, "Astronomically speaking, it tells me there are millions of Galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, it tells me that Saturn is in Leo. Time wise, it appears to be approximately a quarter past three in the morning. Theologically, the Lord is all-powerful and we are small and insignificant. Meteorologically, it seems we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. What does it tell you, Tonto?"
"You dumber than a post....... it tells me someone steal tent."
Ok, that had absolutely nothing to do with the topic of friendship per se...but I thought it was pretty funny. We have started today by looking at a few secular examples of friendship...the songs and the other examples from entertainment mediums illustrate that friendship is a valuable thing to us. Why do you think that solitary confinement in a prison setting is reserved for those that are the worst offenders...not only is it to insure the safety of other people in the prison system but it has a huge psychological factor. You see, as human beings...we are made for relationship...relationship with God and with others. It is a very rare person indeed who can go off by himself and live...most of us need others around us.
And for most of us it isn’t enough to just have people around us...we need friends...close friends.... those we can confide in....those that will share our problems and will listen to us...we need people who will be loyal to us no matter what. But how can we tell the difference?
Let me give you one way...it’s a saying that is in the back of my mom and sister’s restaurant..."A friend will come bail you out of jai...but a true friend will be sitting beside you saying "Man, that was fun!" That is one way you can tell if you have a true friend or not...but for those of us who have a natural aversion to incarceration.... we need another way to tell. So, let’s turn to the Bible to try to find some answers.
There are several examples of friendship in the Bible...some not good like Job’s buddies that show up during his time of need...and then the one we are going to look at today as we wrap up our series on David. You see, David had one true friend...Jonathan, prince of Israel and the son of King Saul...the man who was trying to kill him.
Much has been made today about David and Jonathan’s relationship...in fact some cynics have suggested that the two were so close that their relationship just had to be more than "just friends" if you catch my drift...and I think that is sad. What these cynics are overlooking is the wide chasm between the culture of David’s time and the culture today. We can go back to even the time of the apostle Paul...four times he instructs the recipients of his letters to greet each other with a holy kiss. Now, granted Paul was speaking to more of a Greco-Roman culture when he gave these instructions...but even with that...the culture in ancient Israel was much closer and much more intimate than the one we currently have. I have asked us to join hands in prayer before...now, let me ask you...were you just a little uncomfortable doing that with others that you are not married or related to? Most people if they are honest would admit that they are a little uncomfortable doing that...I know that occasionally I am. But, closeness like this was not a big deal to David and his culture. So the suggestion that the he and Jonathan are romantically involved is ludicrous...just a malicious attack on the part of those who want to discredit the Bible. However, they were very close friends.... the type that would be sitting beside each other in jail talking about how much fun they had. Let’s take a look at an example of their friendship.