A True Friend
A saying goes, “True friends remain your friends even when they know you well.” Thank God for your true friends.
Read 1 Samuel 20:1-17
 Then David fled from Naioth at Ramah and went to Jonathan and asked, “What have I done? What is my crime? How have I wronged your father, that he is trying to kill me?”  “Never!” Jonathan replied. “You are not going to die! Look, my father doesn’t do anything, great or small, without letting me know. Why would he hide this from me? It isn’t so!”  But David took an oath and said, “Your father knows very well that I have found favor in your eyes, and he has said to himself, ‘Jonathan must not know this or he will be grieved.’ Yet as surely as the LORD lives and as you live, there is only a step between me and death.”  Jonathan said to David, “Whatever you want me to do, I’ll do for you.”  So David said, “Look, tomorrow is the New Moon feast, and I am supposed to dine with the king; but let me go and hide in the field until the evening of the day after tomorrow.  If your father misses me at all, tell him, ‘David earnestly asked my permission to hurry to Bethlehem, his hometown, because an annual sacrifice is being made there for his whole clan.’  If he says, ‘Very well,’ then your servant is safe. But if he loses his temper, you can be sure that he is determined to harm me.  As for you, show kindness to your servant, for you have brought him into a covenant with you before the LORD. If I am guilty, then kill me yourself! Why hand me over to your father?”  “Never!” Jonathan said. “If I had the least inkling that my father was determined to harm you, wouldn’t I tell you?”  David asked, “Who will tell me if your father answers you harshly?”  “Come,” Jonathan said, “let’s go out into the field.” So they went there together.  Then Jonathan said to David, “I swear by the LORD, the God of Israel, that I will surely sound out my father by this time the day after tomorrow! If he is favorably disposed toward you, will I not send you word and let you know?  But if my father intends to harm you, may the LORD deal with Jonathan, be it ever so severely, if I do not let you know and send you away in peace. May the LORD be with you as he has been with my father.  But show me unfailing kindness like the LORD’s kindness as long as I live, so that I may not be killed,  and do not ever cut off your kindness from my family-not even when the LORD has cut off every one of David’s enemies from the face of the earth.”  So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, “May the LORD call David’s enemies to account.”  And Jonathan had David reaffirm his oath out of love for him, because he loved him as he loved himself. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat secret plan do David and Jonathan agree to?
In the midst of the story of Saul’s jealousy toward David, there comes an account of true friendship that rises above selfish human nature. David and Jonathan have already formed a close friendship by this stage (cf. 18:3), but now Jonathan is faced with a dilemma. His father, Saul, is out to kill David and he wants to remain a loyal son, yet his best friend is at grave risk. David realizes that Saul will not confide this to Jonathan (3), but David needs to know if he is ever going to be safe in the king’s presence again. They make promises to each other (12,13) and start to work out a plan, knowing that it could lead to separation. In this friendship we see an example of the love for others that Jesus was to advocate a thousand years later. “Love your neighbor as yourself,” he said (Mark 12:31). To love someone so deeply means giving up much of our own selves and being dedicated to the well-being of others. That comes with a cost, cutting across the selfishness of our own human nature and of the society in which we live.
Identify three things that your friends have sacrificed for you. Identify three things you have sacrificed for others.
Pray for your closest friends, asking God’s help so that you might mirror his love more fully toward them.