1 Samuel 20:1-42 - The Blessing of Friendship

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Loyalty is an absolute essential in life.  No matter the relationship, loyalty is a must.  Without loyalty, a relationship crumbles:

Þ    If a husband and wife are not loyal, they face divorce and painful suffering for their children, other family members, friends, and themselves.

Þ    If a worker is not loyal to his employer, the company suffers and the employer loses his job.

Þ    If a company is not loyal to its worker, the worker loses his employment, income, and often retirement.

Þ    If a friend is not loyal, the friendship is severed and all the benefits gained from the friendship are lost.

Þ    If a teacher is not loyal to the student, the student fails to learn and to gain the knowledge he or she should gain.

Þ    If a student is not loyal to the teacher, a sense of alienation and division exists and both the teacher and student suffer.

Þ    If a politician is not loyal to the people he represents, the people suffer weak representation and often corruption in their government.

Þ    If the people are not loyal to their government, the government is weakened and either collapses or is unable to adequately carry out its functions.

A.                 Jonathans Loyalty Demanded a Willingness to Help in Times of need (v.1-13)

1.                  Honest communication (v.1-11).

a)                  David wants to know, “What have I done” (v.1-2)?

(1)                 David is now testing Jonathan’s loyalty.  In asking, “What have I done?”  David wants to know if Jonathan has come to a place of agreement with his father Saul.
(2)                 Jonathan assures him in (v.2) that he is still a loyal friend and he will protect David by warning him of Saul’s purposes.
(3)                 In (v.3) David reveals his discouragement.  He knows that Saul has attempted to kill him many times, and it seems that Saul will not quit until David is dead.  David feels that his death is inevitable.
(4)                 Causes of discouragement: Defeat (Joshua 7:7-9); Apparent Failure (1 Kings 19:2-4); Hope deferred (Prov.13:12).
(5)                 Remedy for discouragement: The Word of the Lord (1 Kings 19:9-18); Cast your burden on the Lord (Ps.55:22); Spending time with the Lord (Mark 6:31).  
(6)                 Some people don’t want to hear encouragement: The writer of Proverbs says "Being happy-go-lucky around a person whose heart is heavy is as bad as stealing his jacket in cold weather or rubbing salt in his wounds.”  (Proverbs 25:20, The Living Bible)
(7)                 Divine encouragement (Isaiah 41:13; Matthew 9:2; 14:27; 17:7; Acts 23:11; 2Cor.7:6)

b)                  Whatever you yourself desire, I will do it for you (v.4).

(1)                 Jonathan approach is to encourage David and to offer him help.  He didn’t say, “Where is your faith man, why don’t you trust in God?” 
(2)                 Jonathan knew the effect that kind words can have.

The writer of proverbs says that "A godly man gives good advice."  (Proverbs 10:21, The Living Bible)

He goes on to say that "Anxious hearts are very heavy, but a word of encouragement does wonders!" (Proverbs 12:25, The Living Bible)

Have you ever said the wrong thing at the wrong time?  "Everyone enjoys giving good advice, and how wonderful it is to be able to say the right thing at the right time!" (Proverbs 15:23, The Living Bible)

Our words should taste good, because "Kind words are like honey—enjoyable and healthful." (Proverbs 16:24, The Living Bible)

c)                  If I knew that evil was determined by my father… would I not tell you?  (v.9).

(1)                 Jonathan, with encouragement tells David to put away his doubts about Jonathan’s loyalty. 

2.                  Jonathan’s agreement to David (v.12-13).

a)                  If it pleases my father to do you evil, then I will report it to you (v.13).

(1)                 Proverbs 26:28

B.                Jonathan's loyalty demanded an unbreakable friendship and brotherly love (v.14-23).

1.                  Enduring Companionship (v.14-17).

a)                  Love never fails (1Cor.13:8).

b)                  David’s love for Jonathan did not fail (2 Samuel 9:1, 3, 7). 

(1)                 David does this because he remembered his relationship and covenant with Jonathan (1 Samuel 20:14-15).

c)                  David fulfills his promise to Jonathan (v.9-13). 

(1)                 David’s grace towards Mephibosheth is a wonderful picture of God’s grace towards us.
(a)                 It is extended for the sake of another
(b)                It is given to those who are separated both by their family history and their own actions
(c)                 Those who are separated are isolated by fears about the king which have no basis in fact
(d)                It must be received in humility
(e)                 It does more than give back what was lost
(f)                  It gives the right of access and fellowship to the king

(2)                 David also gives us an example of ministering to the outcasts and the misfits of society
(a)                 Our temptation is to only associate with those who “have it together”; but this was not the way of David, Jesus or the early church
(b)                Our love can transform the lives of others

C.                Jonathan's loyalty demanded that he conquer jealousy and envy (v.24-34).

D.                Wise Counsel (v.18-40).

1.                  Counsel that was concerned for the safety and welfare of his friend (v.21).

2.                  Counsel that would involve further loss and sacrifice to Jonathan (vv.30-31, 33).

3.                  Counsel that was not shared with others (v.39)

a)                  Proverbs 17:9; 18:8.

4.                  Counsel that was there when you needed it (1 Samuel 23:15-18; Proverbs 17:17).

E.                 Jonathan's loyalty demanded that he keep his oath, his commitment, his promises (v.35-42).

F.                 Tender Compassion (v.41-42).

1.                  Reminder of Acts 20:36-38

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