1 Sam 18:1-16 The Need for Godly friendships


Begin at Prov.18:24, A man who has friends must himself be friendly

But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.


Intro: I went to the fellowship seeking to find friends & I found none!!

I went to the fellowship seeking to be a friend & I found many !! Repeat

A)It is true that if the MOTIVATION for friendship is self centered you won’t be a good friend for very long


B) This principle is stated clearly in Prov 18:24 A man who has friends must himself be friendly

1)   Hebrew text actually reads this way a man who wants friends must himself be friendly


C) The implication is clear – You want to keep your friends you are going to need to be friendly!!!!

1)   What Kind of friend are you? What kind of friendships do you have ?


D) Most people desire good strong friendships – Question is are they willing to pay the price of being a GOOD FRIEND!!!


What are some ingredients of a TRUE FRIENDSHIP ? Note 5 Characteristics 

A)though this is not a comprehensive list – sure you could add others But these are a good place to start


B) I encourage you to jot down these TRAITS & test yourself to see how many of these are in your friendships /

1)   For those who are married I believe the bible teaches – your spouse should be your best friend –


C) So How many of these TRAITS – describe your marriage friendship!!



#1 True friendship is independent of circumstances:

A)A true friend is there to celebrate w/ you in the good times / He is there to congratulate in your victories / rejoice when you are BLESSED


B) But they are also there in the BAD TIMES – You see It is one thing to have friends when everything in life is flowing /

  1) when you are in the groove / riding the crest of success


C) But a true friend is there when the storm comes / when the wind is in your face / about to knock you over – friend is there to hold your hand

1)   A friend is there to hold you up – help you get thru that time – even if it is inconvenient time for them


Prov 17:17A friend loves at all times ,And a brother is born for adversity.


Two guys were camping – Grizzly bear approaching – Tennis shoes on

"What are you doing? Do you think you can outrun that grizzly bear?" And the first guy said, "No, I don't need to. All I need to do is to outrun you!"


D) A friend is there even When faithfulness is costly. When you are under a cloud & cruelly misjudged – He is there to stand by your side


Several years back Pepper Rodgers was in the middle of a terrible season as football coach at UCLA. It  got so bad that it upset his home life. He recalls, "My dog was my only friend. I told my wife that a man needs at least two friends and she bought me another dog."


Friendship is one of the sweetest joys of life. Many might have failed beneath the bitterness of their trial had they not found a friend.-  Spurgeon


#1 True friendship is independent of circumstances  #2 A true friend has a listening ear –

A)Sometimes in a friendship you have to listen to things that are UNPLEASANT ! Frustration / Venting/ Confusion


B) Sometimes w/ my wife – I can go into PASTOR mode – well you know what the Bible says dear: Can’t I just vent ?

1)   Like wise There are times w/ Denise I just need to talk thru all the options – unload what is going on in my head – she listens


C) that is the mark of a Good friend – They listen to you – they allow you to vent – they allow you to be real -

 1) Sometimes it means listening to things that are unpleasant as your friend sorts thru thoughts & feelings


D) Sometimes it might mean hearing something about them that is hard to hear especially if it involves a confession of sin –

 1) But no matter what the situation a TRUE friend proves himself friendly by having a listening ear !!!!



#3 A true friend is one who will be honest w/ you when it is needed

A)After they have listened / after they have prayed will tell you the truth when it is needed


B) Been said that the BEST MIRROR is a good friend!!! Mirrors that make you look fatter / ……skinnier / Some too light – every flaw

1)   Others that are poorly lit – don’t show enough


C) There are people like that – some who will only tell you what you want to hear !!! Others who will point out every flaw – nothing good to say ever

A true friend is one who knows you as you are  understands where you've been accepts who you've become and still, gently invites you to grow.


D) Speaking the truth in love – help you grow into the image of Christ






#4 A True friend is ENCOURAGING – even when it is unpromising

A)A true friend is one that you can dream with !!!


B) one who when the world would tell you that it is not going to work

  1) They  come along & remind you that if God is in it anything is possible


C)When everyone else sees the glass ½ empty or broken – that friend sees the glass – ½ full & the potential to be overflowing

A true friend is one who steps in when the world steps out


#5 Most important – A true friend is one who strengthens you in the Lord – Strengthens your hands in God

Prov. 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.


A)A true friend is going to be one – who when you are w/ them – they build you up in the Lord – they point you to the Lord

1) They encourage you in Christ –


B) The time that you spend w/ them enables you to strengthened in the Lord


C) Now I think that all of us desire friendship like this / all of us want to be those type of friends to others / to our spouses

1)   But how do these type of friendships happen ? How are they BUILT Turn to 1 Sam.18   READ V.1-4


In the Friendship of Jonathan & David we have one of the greatest friendships recorded in the Bible – souls Knit together in love

A)Their friendship gives us insight into how these type of friendships are developed


B) #1 It happens quite naturally: There will be differences & there will be things that you have in common .

1)   Differences – Jonathan was the oldest son of King Saul – David the youngest Son of Jesse a farmer

C) Jonathan was more than a prince, he was the crown prince. Jonathan would, by everyone’s expectation, be the next king of Israel.

1)   Jonathan Rich & Royalty / David Poor /


D) Jonathan had servants – David was a servant: So on the surface they couldn’t have been more different –

1) but they also had some things in common & it was those things that attracted them to each other : Consider the things they had in common


1st They both loved God deeply:

A)That  is probably the highest criteria for being this type of friend


B) Before you can be a TRUE friend to someone else/ YOU must first be a TRUE friend of Jesus Christ

1)   What you are able to give in the way of support / comfort & strength in your earthly friendship is going to be determined by your heavenly one


C) You are only going to be able to give that which you are already receiving from the Lord

1)    One of the things that made Jonathan & David’s friendship great was they were both – Men who longed for God


As a believer – if your closet friends are those who are not Christians you are going to be severely lacking – nothing build up only tear down

A)That is one of the reasons the Lord exhorts us in 2 Cor 6 – to not be unequally yoked together w/ unbelievers / light & dark no fellowship


B) So the Lord says – Come out from among them & be ye separate ….

1)   2 Tim. 2:22 Flee also youthful lusts; that is the first part: FLEE



C) Flee – but then he continues  but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

1)   A key word in that verse is WITH – pursue righteousness WITH others who are pursuing righteousness

D) One of the reasons some people struggle so much w/ sinful habits is who they are hanging around with.

1)   You can in one sense be unequally yoked even when your friends are Christians / if they are involved in Carnal living –


E) It was natural for this friendship to happen because these two men were going in the SAME direction in their relationship w/ the Lord

1) So first they both had a DEEP love for God /


2nd they were both men of faith

A)Ch.14 Jonathan & His armor bearer – Ch.17 David & Goliath


B) So it was natural when David came back from killing the philistine for Jonathan to be knit to Him

1)   He had a similar heart – there probably wasn’t another guy like that in all of Israel


What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies. Aristotle


C) Tough when you feel alone in the Lord – alone in faith

1)   You believe everyone else is skeptical – Jonathan saw in David someone who was like hearted & like minded


3rd Natural thing that joined them together is they both had hatred for the Philistines / desire to see Israel free / not in bondage or oppressed

A)I think the same thing happens in hearts of two people who together have a hatred of sin / Longing to see people set free


B) There is this DESIRE TO LIVE HOLY LIFE -  they are exhorting each other in that direction{Hold each other accountable }

1)   There is a burden for lost souls – outreach minded / there is a longing to see the body of Christ grow & be built up


C) Galen – many people around us in High school were living Carnally / compromising in their walks – Common desire to Pursue Holiness

D) We were Able to keep each other in Check-

    1) Ask those difficult questions –  dating relationships etc


So first it happens naturally / David comes back and there is this bound that is developing in the heart of Jonathan

A)He was rejected by his brother Eliab in the morning – but by nightfall he had gained a friend who would stick closer than a brother


B)I think of my friendship w/ Howard – first met all I knew is that he was this tall skinny Long haired Musician guy.


C)He started coming around – when I was the youth pastor – He was coming out of this  Hyper spiritual Church – kind of weird

1)   But he was also funny in a weird type of way.


D)We didn’t really hang out or do much – He was a musician – I couldn’t sing or play – I was a jock – He couldn’t play

1)   Then in 1989 it was off to Yugo – first big trip for both of us


D) We both had a kid at home & our wives – we both went thru this home sickness thing – Started talking about Music –

1)    Both like the same type of Music – used to listen to some of the same bands – started – singing the blues –


We both had this passion for God – both wanted God to use our lives

A)Hit Subotica – God blew our minds – did what neither one of us even imagined He was going to do on that trip –


B) We have been going on trips ever sense then –

1)   It just happened kind of naturally – Love friendship an admiration/ neither one of us – were looking for a friend


C) I didn’t go on that trip thinking I hope I get to know Howard better

1)   I’m sure that he wasn’t thinking …….


2nd – A covenant is established v.3

A)Something is said or done – communicated – BLOOD BROTHERS

   Best friends – Big one tell a Guy- I love you Bro – Man


B) A pact is formed & you allow someone to have some freedom in your life that you wouldn’t necessarily allow someone else

1)   It might be something as simple as – Hey if I get out of line – you have the permission to call me on it


C) It could be something simple as saying – I want you to hold me accountable in a certain area


D) Howard Joe & I Covenant Guys falling  One rebels – the other two have the permission to beat the sin out of the one in sin

1)   Double Motivation – not just the fear of God / but the fear of those two guys


3rd thing that happens natural thing – Desire to give to each other v.4

A)There is this desire to just bless that person – share something w/ that person –


B) Giving something that speaks of you – Guy might give his girlfriend his lettermen Jacket – or Jersey to wear

     1) Jonathan is giving to David – the very things that marked him


C)Handed over  His Robe – Position – next King – didn’t care

   Handed over  His Armor – Prestige– Great warrior


D)Handed over  His Sword – Power – Ch. 13:22 The only ones who had swords were Saul & Son Jonathan in all of Israel


Jonathan lowers himself – No status / no position – not the kings son I am just your Friend – Just Brothers

 1) So there is a natural inclination to give – to share – to remove status and walls

Next every Friendship will be tested – 2 test in this Chapter

A)1st is the test of SUCCESS – 5-9


B) David’s star is beginning to rise – the women sing their songs – Saul ….

David ……… /  David’s star was beginning to rise / Jonathans fading

1)   Jonathan unlike his father –doesn’t get jealous – never a peep of an what about me attitude / what about the Philistines I have slain


C) 1 Cor. 13:4 Love doesn’t envy –


Question how do you respond when your friend gets promoted – how respond when He/ she – big raise / Blessed in some way

A)What is your reaction ? Jealous – envious – can’t look at them for a while w/out getting ill feelings – or rejoice


B) It is Natural to get Jealous – Also sign of not being secure in your own relationship w/ the Lord – Not secure in the plan God has for you.


C) I used to wrestle w/ this kind of stuff all the time- Someone I knew blessed in some way – Lord why not me – God say –Because:

1)   What is so special about them – pick them apart –


D) It was a good day when I finally came to realize – that is what God is doing w/ them – And this is what He is doing w/ me –

1)   And father Knows what is best !!!!


E) What we see in Jonathan is a willingness to take a BACK SEAT

     1) There wasn’t the competition thing that can ruin friendships / he saw the hand of the Lord on David & wanted to support his friend


1st the test of Success – 2nd the test of Loyalty – v.10-16

A)Here Jonathan finds himself in a very difficult situation – Dad is in sin in the flesh –


B) Jonathan walks this fine line of being true to his dad – but Loyal to David

C)Would have been very natural for Jonathan to turn on David & say something like -  Look at the trouble you our causing our family

1)My dad is freaking out – he is going out of his mind & it is all your fault


D)Jonathan does no such thing – instead he remains faithful to the Lord


D) He risks even his life for David - / when things finally get bad – David has to flee – it is Jonathan 1 Sam.23 comes to David when in doubt. Distress

1)   Strengthens his hands in God !!!!!


Jonathan was a loyal friend!! It happened in WWI – The battle was taking place in the Trenches – a solider watched his best friend go down

A)He laid there in the middle of "No Man's Land" the battlefield – the solider asked his superior officer – Can I go & get him


B) "You can go," said the officer, "but it's not worth it. Your friend is probably killed, and you will throw your own life away." But the man went. Somehow he managed to get to his friend, hoist him onto his shoulder, and bring him back to the trenches. The two of them tumbled in together and lay in the trench bottom. The officer looked very tenderly on the would-be rescuer, and then he said, "I told you it wouldn't be worth it. Your friend is dead and you are mortally wounded." "It was worth it, though, sir," he said. "How do you mean, 'worth it'? I tell you your friend is dead." "Yes, sir," the boy answered, "but it was worth it, because when I got to him he was still alive, and he said to me, 'Jim, I knew you'd come.'"


C) It happened here in 1994 – Lake Elementary school –News story 

Ian Gorman battling cancer – radiation lost hair

1) So he wouldn’t feel different – 13 boys in his class – shaved their heads


Back to Prov.18:24 A man who has friends must himself be friendly

But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.


Jonathan reminds us of JESUS

A)Independent for Circumstances – never leave or forsake you


B)Listening ear – No one else to talk to Jesus is always ready to listen


C) Honest when needed – Always – speaks the truth in love


D) Encouraging even when it is unpromising – ( Easy to look at ourselves & our lack of growth spiritual – get DISCOURAGED)

1)   He says – Begun a good work & I will complete it


How did Jesus become my Best friend – Quite Natural – His love won me over – He Gave

A)Stripped Himself of Glory / left the comforts of heaven / came down into my world - & took my place of Punishment


B) He made a Covenant w/ me & sealed it w/ His Blood – if I would just believe in Him as Only Savior / Only Lord / Only way –

1)   Live eternally w/ Him –


C) What a friend we have in Jesus / all our sins & grieves He bears