Let's Talk About True Companionship

by Samantha Tidball

Every week you’ll find different types of posts here on the ABS blog. Today’s post is for teachers, to encourage conversation and reflection in your Bible study group. Each “Let’s Talk About” activity can be used at any time during your meeting and lasts approximately 10-15 minutes.

Today, let's talk about...

JONATHAN AND DAVID’S BROMANCE

 

1 Samuel 18:1-5; 20:30-42

As soon as David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan’s life became bound up with David’s life, and Jonathan loved David as much as himself. From that point forward, Saul kept David in his service and wouldn’t allow him to return to his father’s household. And Jonathan and David made a covenant together because Jonathan loved David as much as himself. Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his armor, as well as his sword, his bow, and his belt. David went out and was successful in every mission Saul sent him to do. So Saul placed him in charge of the soldiers, and this pleased all the troops as well as Saul’s servants.

1 Samuel 20:30-42

30 At that, Saul got angry at Jonathan. “You son of a stubborn, rebellious woman!” he said. “Do you think I don’t know how you’ve allied yourself with Jesse’s son? Shame on you and on the mother who birthed you! 31 As long as Jesse’s son lives on this earth, neither you nor your dynasty will be secure. Now have him brought to me because he’s a dead man!”

32 But Jonathan answered his father Saul, “Why should David be executed? What has he done?”

33 At that, Saul threw his spear at Jonathan to strike him, and Jonathan realized that his father intended to kill David. 34 Jonathan got up from the table in a rage. He didn’t eat anything on the second day of the new moon because he was worried about David and because his father had humiliated him.

35 In the morning, Jonathan went out to the field for the meeting with David, and a young servant boy went with him. 36 He said to the boy, “Go quickly and retrieve the arrow that I shoot.” So the boy ran off, and he shot an arrow beyond him. 37 When the boy got to the spot where Jonathan shot the arrow, Jonathan yelled to him, “Isn’t the arrow past you?” 38 Jonathan yelled again to the boy, “Quick! Hurry up! Don’t just stand there!” So Jonathan’s servant boy gathered up the arrow and came back to his master. 39 The boy had no idea what had happened; only Jonathan and David knew. 40 Jonathan handed his weapons to the boy and told him, “Get going. Take these back to town.”

41 As soon as the boy was gone, David came out from behind the mound and fell down, face on the ground, bowing low three times. The friends kissed each other, and cried with each other, but David cried hardest. 42  Then Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace because the two of us made a solemn pledge in the Lord’s name when we said, ‘The Lord is witness between us and between our descendants forever.’” Then David got up and left, but Jonathan went back to town.

Key Passage:

And Jonathan and David made a covenant together because Jonathan loved David as much as himself. —1 Samuel 18:3

 

Commentary:

Jonathan, the son of King Saul, had a friend-crush on David after seeing him kill Goliath. Jonathan admired David for his skills and bravery and realized they shared much in common. Their relationship was so tight they even formed a covenant together. Their friendship involved deep loyalty, sacrifice, and vulnerability. In 1 Samuel 18:4 Jonathan takes off his gear that represents his power and position and he gives it to David. Jonathan risks his life by telling David of King Saul’s plan to kill David. Their friendship is genuine and authentic because they are able to be vulnerable with each other in their thoughts and emotions. They are so connected and known by one another that they truly can be themselves. The best friends are loyal, vulnerable, and willing to accept you as you are.

 

Questions to talk about:

What can we learn from a friendship like David and Jonathan’s?

When was the last time you were vulnerable with a friend?

Who is the David to your Jonathan? Or, the Jonathan to your David?

Why is it so difficult to be vulnerable with others?

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