TRUE FRIENDSHIP is indeed a PRICELESS TREASURE
March 25 Bible Reading: 1 Samuel Chapters 16-18
"Now when he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. Saul took him that day, and would not let him go home to his father's house anymore. Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan took off the robe that was on him and gave it to David, with his armor, even to his sword and his bow and his belt." (1 Sam. 18:1-4)
One of the good examples of true friendship in the Bible is found between Jonathan and David. Jonathan was the firstborn of King Saul, the crown prince of Israel and its heir apparent, who naturally would have succeeded his father as the second king of Israel if Saul had not been disobedient to God. On the other hand, David was chosen by God instead of Saul being “a man after God’s heart” (1 Sam. 13:14; 16:1, 11-13). The friendship between Jonathan and David went far beyond personal affinity and camaraderie as evident from the following words: “the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul” (18:1).
Their friendship developed suddenly (1 Sam. 18:1), and was quickly formalized through a mutual covenant when Jonathan loved David as himself (18:3) and David agreed to show kindness to Jonathan’s descendants (20:11–17). When he became king, David followed through on this promise by honoring Jonathan’s son, Mephibosheth (2 Sam. 9:1–13). For his part, Jonathan showed amazing devotion to David by thwarting the evil intentions of his father, Saul, on several occasions (1 Sam. 19:1–7; 20:18–42). Their friendship was based upon their common faith in God, and in the knowledge that God will always aid and save His people in a supernatural way as He had done for them in the past (see 1 Sam. 14:6; 17:47).
Apparently Jonathan acknowledged God’s choice of David early in the friendship. In giving David his royal robe, his armor, his sword and his bow and his belt (1 Sam. 18:4), Jonathan may have given up his authority of succession to his father’s throne to David. This may indicate his covenantal pledge to transfer to David his privileged position as heir to the throne (1 Sam. 20:31).
The book of Proverbs speak a lot regarding friends and friendship, and we get the following pearls of wisdom from this book: godly friends always give good advice (Prov. 12:26); loyal friends love through difficult times (Prov. 17:17); faithful friends are a rare treasure (Prov. 18:24); reliable friends are hard to find (Prov. 20:6); sincere friends speak the truth in love even when it hurts (Prov. 27:5-6); and counsel from a friend is pleasing (Prov. 27:9).
However, it is our Lord Jesus Christ who has given us the best definition of true friendship: "Greater love has no one than this that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business.
Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you" (John 15:13-15). Jesus Christ is the greatest example of a true friend, for He has laid down His life for us - His "friends”. Anyone can now become His friend just by repenting from sins, receiving (John 1:12) and trusting in Jesus as Savior, being born again and receiving new life in Him. This is how a true friendship can take place with God Himself!
Someone has said that if you can count your true friends on the fingers of one hand, you are blessed. A true friend is someone whom you can be yourself with, and never fear that he or she will judge you; whom you can confide in with complete trust; whom you respect and who respects you. True friendship is not based upon worthiness of people but upon likeness of minds!
The value of friends is one of the most important assets in a person’s life: their worth are not diminished by time, not devalued by inflation, not worn out by use, but like a fine wine, they improve with time. True friendship is indeed a priceless treasure!