The Friendship Model – David & Jonathan

The Friendship Model – David & Jonathan

Most of my life has been lived in a rural farming community where friendships run deep and long. When my husband and I sensed God was moving us to the city, we had many questions. Now looking back, my heart is overflowing with gratitude for the new friendships developed. David & Jonathan form a godly model of mutual friendship.

In the last few weeks, one of my best friends has taken flight and headed south permanently. It is an opportunity I don’t want her to miss. However, my heart is filled with a mixture of joy and sadness, longing and releasing, holding on to friendship while letting go.

Friendship is walking together through life!

Friendships are as varied as the people forming the relationship, each a unique blend of the personal and corporate individuality.

Friendship Loves

Think about your closest friend. Where did you meet? What were the surrounding circumstances? Your friendship probably didn’t begin like Jonathan’s meeting of David.

David had just finished slaying Goliath, the harassing giant. The proof was his head tucked not so neatly under David’s arm. How is that for an image?

King Saul had just called David in for a personal interview. As soon as “Dad” was done, prince Jonathan introduces himself,

“Jonathan became one in spirit with David,
and he loved him as himself.”
I Samuel 18:1

Why such an instant connection between David and Jonathan? Jonathan, too, was a proven mighty warrior. As Jonathan looked at this half boy, not quite man, full of godly audacity, he loved him.

Jonathan loved David’s faith-filled reliance on God. He loved is courage, wit, and agility. Jonathan loved David deeply and fully. There was an instant connection!

Friendship takes time to develop!

The strength of the cord within friendship is love — a love beyond self!

“Jonathan made a covenant with David
because he loved him as himself.”
1 Samuel 18:3

Friendship is Generous

There were some aspects of this friendship that may seem logical, but not all. Friendship gives generously!

Jonathan was so committed to David, he willingly surrendered everything.

Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing
and gave it to David, along with his tunic,
and even his sword, his bow and his belt.”
1 Samuel 18:4

Every symbol of sonship and royalty, Jonathan gave freely to his friend. In this one act, they became equals. Every instrument of self-advancement, self-protection, and self-preservation was yielded.

The unity of genuine friendship embodies preferring another above yourself.

Friendship Defends

Increasing unpredictable and emotionally unstable, Saul planned to kill David. Such reasoning was beyond Jonathan’s ability to comprehend. To protect David, Jonathan stepped into the dangerous gap.

“Why should he be put to death?
What has he done?” Jonathan asked his father.”
1 Samuel 20:32

Friends grow together!

Saul hurled the spear intended to kill David at his own son! Jonathan bore the brunt force of his father’s unleashed anger. His father was beyond reason!

“…They kissed each other and wept together
but David wept the most.
Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace,
for we have sworn friendship with each other
in the name of the LORD..”
1 Samuel 20:41-42

What a beautiful illustration demonstrating the sacrifice between friends.

Friendship Strengthens

For fifteen years, David was on the run from Saul’s deadly intent.

“…Day after day Saul searched for him…”
1 Samuel 23:14

How do we help a friend is in distress? You know the kind! The day after day, relentless, nagging, intruding, no-hope-in-sight kind of trial!

I love this part of the story! Saul with his hundreds of expert warriors, trackers, and interrogators could not find David, but friendship does. How far did Jonathan go to find his friend? How many caves did he search?

Friends stand together!

He ultimately went to the Desert of Ziph where David was hiding. Ziph means “melting”. Jonathan knew that his friend was in need. Perhaps faith was melting! Maybe courage was melting! The heat of the desert melts resolve, purpose, and even divine calling.

“…Saul had come out to take his life.”
I Samuel 23:15

The enemy is always out to destroy, but friendship speaks life!

Friendship Encourages

The investment of friendship yields in multiplied measure. Friendship seeks to draw others into the fullness of all God has for them.

“Jonathan went to David at Horesh
and helped him find strength in God…
My father will not lay a hand on you.
You will be king over Israel…”
1 Samuel 23:16-17

Kingship should have been Jonathan’s portion, yet he reinforced the God call on David’s life. He reminded him of Samuel’s anointing and prophecy of kingship. Jonathan helped David look beyond the cave back to the palace. Beyond the tangled present to divine future!

Each time these two meet, we read:

“The two of them made a covenant before the LORD.”
1 Samuel 23:18

Friendship endures through the seasons!

Friendship went beyond mutual satisfaction or personal gratification to life-long commitment.

Friendship Endures

You are probably familiar with the rest of the story. Saul and Jonathan died in battle. David did become king. However, David grieved the loss of his friend — a grief that would not be solaced.

“David asked, ‘Is there anyone still left
of the house of Saul
to whom I can show kindness
for Jonathan’s sake.’ ”
2 Samuel 9:1

“Yes, Mephibosheth!” was the response.

David quickly had Jonathan’s crippled son brought to him. He restored his inheritance of land and provision. David also gave Jonathan’s grown son a place at his own table. In other words, David took Mephibosheth as his own son.

Though Jonathan was no longer alive, David found a way to honour and show love to his friend. Friendship endures even into generations!

Relationship’s Key

It is the context of friendship that sustains all viable relationships. Friendship is the unbroken cord holding fast personal relationships of parent and child, peer to peer, and husband with wife. It is the bridge often spanning generations, ethnicity, status, and gender.

The greatest context of friendship ever is God reaching down to humanity.

I no longer call you servants,
because a servant does not know his master’s business.
Instead, I have called you friends,
for everything that I learned from my Father
I have made known to you
John 15:15

Don’t miss it! Jesus, the Lord of all calls us friend.

This brings me to my knees in humble disbelief and incomprehensible joy!

The covenant example of friendship between David and Jonathan is an image of the enduring friendship we have in Christ. We are as unworthy as the shepherd boy receiving the princes garments. He took the violent swing of death over our lives on the cross.

In our own desert of “melting”, Christ comes with the word of strength and encouragement, “you are My friend.”

With arms stretched wide, Jesus extends to us the profound simplicity and unparalleled favour of friendship! What a blessing to offer it back to Him in return.

Martha, Mary, or Lazarus, Which Worshipper are You?

Worshipper - The Difference Makes us Strong

I am delighted in the diversity of worship to the Lord Jesus Christ. Today I’m thinking of three siblings, Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, who all worshipped differently. Which one are you?

Martha – A Servant

There have been a few rare, but always memorable times, when I have had the pleasure of being hosted by a “Martha”.

There is variably a smorgasbord of delicacies laid out – a feast for the eyes, as well as the appetite. The table is set with the finest of linens, flowers, ambient lighting, settings immaculately placed. One hardly knows where to start or when to finish. Be assured, there is something gluten free, lactose free, and sugar free, because Marthas prepare for everything!

Banquet table

One couldn’t find a dust-bunny with a microscope! Her home gleams as much as she does with the joy of invited guests.

Every moment is a sacrificial offering of love to those she is about to serve. Only “Marthas” really know how many weeks of preparation and hours of labour has gone into the event.

Mary – A Worshipper

NOT being a Martha, the “Mary” enjoys when guest arrive unannounced! Inviting them to the garden, we search for something fresh to toss on the table. Excited chatter fills the air! A wiener roast is more my style. You certainly don’t have to look hard to find a pile of unfiled papers or layers of dust hanging around my little abode. Why?


Reading thebible, prayer, worship, or lingering a little in the silent wonder of Who He is may seem a waste of time to many, but not to a “Mary”.

I’ve put in many hours following the footsteps of my wonderful sister-servant, “Martha”. It just plain wears me out!

The place where I am rejuvenated is sitting at the feet of my Master. Time whirls by in staggering proportions, while eyes are shut and ears open. It is the place my heart aches to never leave.

Lazarus – The Friend

Friendships are amazing living organisms! They morph and twist through the seasons — changing, expanding, and deepening. Time is always short when you are with a friend.


Sometimes miles and circumstance may divide, but distance never stops friendship. The moment one reconnects, it is like you have never been apart.

Friendship is never idle waste:
silence is golden,
sharing is deep,
caring is sincere.

Siblings Together

I look at my family and wonder how children from the same genetic pool could be so different; that difference creates both a sense of awe and friction.

  • Martha” has always made the right choices, done the right thing, lived socially acceptable, loved by all, appreciated immeasurably.
  • Mary” stumbled and fell more times than one could count, despised, rejected, misunderstood, and repeatedly mistreated.
  • Lazarus“, always dependable, strong, and silent, choosing the background, the easy path, the safe distance, patiently waiting for his turn.

I’m sure Martha was thrilled when Mary was released from her former life and could become more like her. Mary who had been forgiven much, could do nothing but love with abandon the One who lifted her from the dust. Lazarus watched his extremely different sisters and was thankful to stay out of the fray!

Worshipping One Saviour

It is no wonder our worship is so unique. Each of us has been loved, received, and accepted like no other! Individually loved immeasurably more than any could have imagined.

As I look at these three biblical siblings, I gaze with wonder on the uniqueness;

Some worshipping Jesus through endless service,
others with radical praise,
while still others silently sit –
whispering that Name, “Jesus.”

God never attempts to conform us to “cookie-cutter” worship. Yet we struggle! Why does our “Martha” heart cry, “Lord, make “Mary” like me?”

Perhaps the best worship is to rest in the purity of our identity: some serving, some adoring, others sitting beside Him peacefully. Each loving honestlytouching His heart fully and completely.

Martha, Mary or Lazarus? Which worshiper are you?


Here’s another post to read!

Top 4 Hindrances to Authentic Relationships