"Do not just hear the Word of God and think hearing is enough. DO what it says!" James 1:22

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Lesson 22, Servants of God

1 Samuel 19-21

What does it take to be a friend?

What makes a friend is the connections we make, the events and experiences we share, the discussions we share. Eventually, if we fail to share with each other or if we do things that “break” the relationship and the friendship begins to fall apart.

Most people will agree… we have “friends” and we have “great friends.”

What does it take to be a “friend” to someone?

What does it take to be a “great friend” to someone?

David and Jonathon had a “great friendship.”  They weren’t “just friends.” In 1 Samuel 19:2, Jonathon WARNS David of King Saul’s plans to have David killed.  This means Jonathon actually went against his father’s wishes in order to warn or protect David.  Also in chapter 19, Jonathon speaks to his father on David’s behalf… in David’s defense.  So Jonathon “stood up for David” against the king –his father, when no one else would.

Chapter 20 of 1 Samuel begins with David seeking safety in Jonathon’s presence.  Jonathon is so grieved to know that his father, King Saul, has decided once again to have David killed.  Jonathon tells David in verse 4, “Whatever you want me to do, I’ll do it for you.”  Only a great friend could say that to another great friend.  People who are “just friends” would usually not have the ability to trust or the trustworthiness to give the other person.  Let’s face it, David could have followed Jonathon’s vow to do “whatever” with, “Kill your father for me.”  Great friendship trusts because great friendship is trustworthy.  Jonathon knew David was trustworthy and therefore would never ask him to do the wrong thing.

We go on to read in verse 8 of chapter 20 how David considers himself to be Jonathon’s “servant.”  David doesn’t call himself Jonathon’s “friend.”  He says, “As for you, show kindness to your servant…”  At this point in their relationship, it’s very clear they are both aware of their “great friendship.”  They both know they have been blessed with something extremely rare.  Yet David refers to himself as Jonathon’s “servant.”  The dictionary defines servant as “someone who performs work or tasks for another person.”  Great friendship SERVES others.  It does things for the other person that most people would refuse to do.  David served Jonathon in their friendship because Jonathon had already proven his willingness to serve David with his protection from the king.

There are many other instances within our lesson where David and Jonathon give us perfect examples of great friendship.  But none speak more clearly of the LOVE required by great friendship than verses 41b-42 when David and Jonathon know they will no longer see one another in a safe and “friendly” environment.  Both shed tears for one another because of the great jeopardy their great friendship puts them in.  They cry because they know David must leave.  Great friendship LOVES so deeply that it can be brought to tears.

Jesus is a great Friend. In Matthew 26:38 Jesus says, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow, even to the point of death.”  And we know in John 15:13 “greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”  At the time when Jesus DID lay down his life, Luke tells us that Jesus was “so anguished” about leaving us that He “prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground (Luke 22:44.)”  Jesus is a great Friend
But does Jesus know great friendship?  Are you a great friend to Jesus?  For Jesus?  Because of Jesus?  Will you look at your friends a bit differently now that you have seen David and Jonathon’s example of great friendship?  More importantly, will you look differently at your friendship with Jesus because you know how very rare and unique His friendship is for you?