Introduction: The Bible tells us about many people who had very close friends. Jesus spent much of his time especially with Peter, James, and John. We are also told that Jesus enjoyed a special closeness with Lazarus and his sisters Mary and Martha. We are to be friendly with all people, but it is good to have friends that are especially close to us. The book of 1 Samuel tells of one such special friendship between David and his friend Jonathan. Jonathan was the son of King Saul. This makes his friendship with David all that more special.
Read 1 Samuel 18:1-4
Devotional: The Bible tells us that Jonathan loved David as himself. That is exactly how Jesus says we should treat everyone. When friends love one another as themselves, that means they are happy for each other when things go well. They also are sad for one another when things do not go well. They can trust each other, and they take care of each other. It also means that they are not jealous of one another. Because Jonathan was the son of the king, he could have been jealous of the fact that David had been selected by God to be the next king of Israel. Instead he was happy for David and even gave him his special robe, armor, sword, and bow.
Read 1 Samuel 19:1-2
Unfortunately, King Saul did not feel the same way about David as his son Jonathan did. In fact, there were times when Saul tried to kill David! But there was always someone looking out for him - his friend Jonathan. Even though Saul was his father, Jonathan knew that Saul was wrong to be jealous of David and to want him dead. The Bible tells us in 1 Samuel 20 that Jonathan made a special plan so that David could run away from Saul. While Jonathan and David must have been very sad that they might not see one another again, they knew their friendship would never end.
Read 1 Samuel 20:41-42
DISCUSSION: Who are some special friends in your life? What are some ways that you can help take care of them? How should you feel when things go well for them? How can you be like Jonathan for your friends?
Prayer: Thank God for the friends he has given you. Ask Him to help you be a friend who loves others as yourself.