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[Originally posted May 6, 2008]

The Singles group at Hope Bible Church met Tuesday night and compiled this quick study on the Model of Genuine Friendship patterned after the relationship between David and Jonathan. Before poring over the relevant texts in 1 Samuel and 2 Samuel — a number of cultural obstacles to intimate friendships were identified:

– Everyone is so busy — living in our rat race society; difficult to take the time to build friendships;

– Distance creates a problem — just look around the room and you see those who came from Balt City, from Silver Spring, from White Marsh, etc.

– We live in such an independent society; people don’t admit to their need of support and encouragement from others;

– People are reluctant to be vulnerable and let others get close to them;

– Movement away from the extended family and any sense of community

– There is potential pain involved in investing in a close relationship that might lead to heartache down the road;


  • 1 Samuel 18:1-5 – Establishment of the close bonds of friendship

  • Affinity of soul — “the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David“

  • Brotherly love — “and Jonathan loved him as himself“

  • Jonathan took great delight in David’s good fortune

  • Jonathan put David’s needs before his own — giving him his armor and sword; demonstrating sacrificial love

  • 1 Samuel 19:1-7 – Jonathan helps to protect David

  • Willing to risk other relationships – even with his family — to keep the friendship

  • Strong concern to protect his friend; willing to put his own life in danger

  • 1 Samuel 20:1-31 — Covenant relationship between David and Jonathan

  • Importance of maintaining open communications

  • Willingness to trust friends with intimate details of your life

  • You can call on your friend at any time day or night and you don’t feel bad;

  • Willingness to share freely

  • The relationship and the commitment involved is very intentional on both sides;

  • Your word is your bond

  • A servant relationship; each looking out for the other’s best interests

  • True, genuine, deep love relationship

  • Owning up to your own responsibility and being accountable to the other person

  • Zealous for the protection of the other party – Jonathan willing to protect David and David wiling to accept that;

  • Jonathan choosing friendship over blood ties with family

  • Reliability in establishing plans and carrying them out

  • Idea of sacrifice – Jonathan assuming shame before Saul and his family; especially in that culture = giving up his social life by loving David

  • Jonathan valued friendship with David over his rights to the throne

  • Jonathan never jealous over David’s favor in eyes of both God and the King

  • 2 Samuel 1:17-27 — David’s Grief and Eulogy for Jonathan at his death

  • They should have been rivals because of the nature of who they were

  • Loved one another to death

  • Praised Jonathan for how close and pleasant they were in both life and death

  • Compared strength of their bonds to strength of lions

  • Remembered the gifts they gave to one another – gold, apparel — costly items

  • Suffering real grief for Jonathan being gone

  • Your love for me more wonderful than love of a woman; very strong relationship

  • Pain of loss very severe


  • Encourage one another to serve the Lord effectively

  • Provide companionship and partnership

  • Someone to share your life with — both in the good times and in the struggles

  • Sharpen one another; challenge one another; point out blind spots