5 Inspiring Lessons From the Friendship of David and Jonathan

Written by: Heroes Bible Trivia

They say friends are family we choose for ourselves. This is even found in the Bible. Proverbs 18:24 (NIV) says, “…there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

Admit it or not, the marvel of friendship is truly amazing! We don’t consciously choose friends. Often, it is time, circumstance, and God’s leadings that choose us. We even come to a point when we don’t know when friends came to be. It just happens!

A Biblical Friendship

The story of David and Jonathan gives us a perfect example of how closely knit friendships can be. 

In this article, we will discover 5 golden lessons to learn from the friendship between David and Jonathan.

1. Friends are people we love with our own souls

We understand that it is a biblical command to love our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12:31, NKJV). And whenever there’s love, commandments do not become a burden to bear, instead a delight to abide!

The Bible says that “Jonathan loved David with his own soul” (1 Samuel 18:1,3, NKJV). Of course, this is not the kind of love you’ll have for the opposite sex, but more like a brotherly affection.

Jonathan loved David so much. In him, he saw a best friend and a future king of Israel. He didn’t see David as a competition to the throne. Instead, he accepted that he was the anointed future king of Israel—a title Jonathan never coveted from David!

2. Friends believe in “what’s mine is yours”

There is a universal law among friends that is: what’s mine is yours! When Saul took David into his home, Jonathan made a covenant with him because he loved him as his own soul. He stripped his robe, armor, sword, bow, and belt and gave it to David (1 Samuel 18:1-3, NKJV). 

This act showed how Jonathan was devoted to David. You may agree that there’s beauty in sharing. Not just in sharing one’s resources, but rather one’s feelings, desires, and values. Because when we share, we give a part of ourselves to others.

When we share with our friends, our bonds become stronger. We feel accepted because we finally found people who accept us even after we have taken off our masks. When we share our hearts and minds with our friends, we stop being lost strangers in a foreign land. We feel at home.

Read: Connection is Key in Friendships that you Value

3. Loyalty is key!

They say that some friendships only bloom for a season, but there are also ones that stick with you for a lifetime. 

Jonathan was loyal to David even up to the point of death. The prince was there for him through difficult times. He didn’t desire harm to fall on his friend. And so, when Saul – his father – was trying to kill him, he didn’t make David’s whereabouts known to him to protect his friend.

In 1 Samuel 20:14-17, Jonathan made a covenant with David. In verse 15, Jonathan asked David to make a promise with him, “but you shall not cut off your kindness from my house forever”. 

David was true to his word. After Jonathan and Saul passed away, David remained loyal to his friend by extending kindness to Jonathan’s son, Mephibosheth!

4. The love triangle in friendship

The love of God binds true friendships. Their relationship was a covenantal relationship that surpasses the love of women (2 Samuel 1:26, NKJV).

Jonathan and David’s love of God is their common denominator. 

Then Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, since we have both sworn in the name of the LORD, saying, ‘May the LORD be between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants, forever.’” So he arose and departed, and Jonathan went into the city (1 Samuel 20:42, NKJV).

If we love God supremely above ourselves, loving others comes easy. Our vertical relationship with God often determines our horizontal relationship with others. 

5. Friends – the family we choose for ourselves!

When we become friends with somebody, we allow them to enter our hearts and thoughts. They share our burdens, joys, and hopes, too!  And sometimes, we become part of their family too!

It’s so inspiring to note that when Jonathan passed away, David still extended favor to the family members of his friend. 2 Samuel 9 narrates how David sought for any remaining member of the household of Saul that he may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake (verse 1).

And when he finally met Jonathan’s son, Mephibosheth, he gave him Saul’s land and the opportunity to eat at the king’s table as long as he lived (verse 7). 

What great love!

Our Takeaway

As long as we live, we will run into people who may either bless us or we should be a blessing upon. The Bible says, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor.  If they fall, one will lift up his companion.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9,10, NKJV).

If you have a friend, thank God for the friendship, appreciate it, and never let it go! 

Indeed, Jonathan and David’s friendship attests that “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity” (Proverbs 17:17, NKJV).

Do you have that kind of friend? Feel free to share this with him or her now!

Related article: Teenage Bible Characters | God Can Use You Too

Author’s Bio

Heroes is a Bible trivia game released by the Hope Channel. It is a sequel to the game, Heroes, which was released in 2013. The latest game version is on 3D graphics and animation, enhanced with unique features and more challenging Bible questions. It comes in four languages: English, Portuguese, Spanish, and French. The game is available on both iOS and Android.


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