If David had been a Facebook user, I wonder how many friends he would have had. Reading through the books of Samuel, Chronicles, and Psalms, there are records of many difficult times in his life. There were times he didn’t have a lot of friends. He was oftentimes counted as the enemy for many. Even some of his family were critical of his zeal.
24 A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24
Popularity depends on many factors, many of which have to to with with fitting into the culture and holding popular views. In order to have many friends, a person has to be friendly in a non-offensive way. The ‘friend’ talked about in the second part of Proverbs 18:24 is a rare find. This friend is a person who stays with someone through thick or thin. David had such a relationship with Jonathan, Saul’s son.
A good friend is a friend by their own choice. Jonathan chose to be a friend of David. He was loyal, truthful and risked his life to help David against his enemies. Jonathan’s father, Saul was after David and Jonathan helped him several times to evade his father’s attacks.
True friendship like that of Jonathan and David is a rare blessing. It is one that should be treasured, respected and fully appreciated. It is more than just having something in common or being useful to someone. We often develop connections in jobs, neighborhoods, school, religious groups, coffee shops, business, bars and any place where people gather together. They may be lasting relationships or short-term.
Friendship with things of the world are very short-term. The current fad fades away. Connections based on worldly philosophies, ideologies and usefulness fritter out. We make many mistakes in this life, the world is not an easy place. True friends encourage us to be overcomers; not resigners and bellyachers. We will be known by our victories.
4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh (from the Greek word ‘nike’) the world: and this is the victory (nike) that overcometh (nike) the world, even our faith .5 Who is he that overcometh (nike) the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? I John 5:3-5
Jonathan helped David lace up his ‘nike’. In one sense Jonathan’s life foreshadows the life of Christ. David was defined by his victories because God was his friend despite David’s faults and imperfections. Jonathan was a true friend to help him. Jonathan warned David about his father. There is a man who is a friend, Jesus, that encourages us about his father.
15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. John 15:15
Jesus Christ has torn down the enmity between God and man through his own life when he walked the earth and now as he exists at the right hand service of God. He is collecting the friends of God together as God’s church.
We too can be defined by our victories not our mistakes as we look to the author and finisher of our wholeness, completeness and peace, Jesus Christ, the son of God (Hebrews 2:2). He is our ‘nike’ or victory in living this life!