I told an acquaintance about a friend. He responded, “Is he a true friend?” I replied, “He is a true friend!” There were implications in his question that set me to thinking.
Did you ever wonder why the Holy Spirit used so much space in the Bible telling us about the character of David? There are only a few lines of print telling us about most of the patriarchs. There are scores of pages in the Bible dedicated to the life of David. There must be reasons.
No doubt, one reason would have to do with the fact that he is an important forefather of the central figure, Jesus Christ. A favorite Biblical description of Christ is “The son of David.” Another would have to do with those qualities in David’s life that could cause him to be called, “A man after God’s own heart!”
The friendship between David and Jonathan, Saul’s son, became the ideal toward which other friendships could aspire. Their friendship withstood assaults by all those things that have the potential to destroy friendship.
With David out of the way, Jonathan had a clear shot at his father’s throne. With David around, it was a sure thing that Jonathan would never ascend to the throne. Yet, Jonathan’s friendship extended to the saving of David’s life.
David’s popularity obscured the attention Jonathan could get. Jonathan was a great warrior in his own right. Yet, Jonathan’s friendship never wavered. Jonathan was the son of David’s harshest enemy. Yet, David’s affection for his friend was steadfast. Jonathan and David were true friends.
Being a true friend is a character quality and the subject of Biblical teaching. Proverbs 17:17 says “A friend loveth at all times.” And 18:24 says, “A man that hath friends must show himself friendly; and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” Proverbs 27:6 declares, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.”
Abraham was called the “friend of God” in 2 Chronicles 20:7 and James 2:23. And Christ is called our friend, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.” John 15:13-14 The song says, “I’ll be a friend to Jesus!” That’s saying a mouthful if we mean a true friend!