By David J. Riggs

   A. The need for friendship among human beings is selfevident.
      1. Jesus, Himself, had those who were especially close to Him -
         Peter, James, and John - as is shown in several passages.
         Matt. 17:1; Mark 5:37; 14:33
   B. To have friends, we must be a friend. Prov. 18:24
      1. This is easier said than done. How does one go about being a
   C. One of the greatest friendships revealed in the Scriptures, is 
      that of Jonathan and David.
      1. By looking at their friendship, we can discover a few       
         secrets to good friendships.

I. HONESTY. 1 Sam. 20:1-3
   A. David was completely honest with his friend Jonathan concerning
      his troubles, even though Jonathan's father was the cause.
      1. Jonathan was just as forthright about his conviction that
         David's fear was unfounded.
   B. The strongest bonds are created by those who allow their       
      friends into innermost places of the heart - revealing the     
      hopes, dreams, and fears.
      1. A good friend is someone we can turn to for advice. Prov.
      2. A good friend keeps things confidential. Prov. 16:28; 17:9
      3. Honest counsel can strengthen the friendship. Prov. 27:17
         a. As a hard iron or steel will bring a knife to a sharper
            edge, so one's friend will make one's expression on
            one's face look better.
         b. Friendship destroys depression, and puts one in a better
            mood. makeup.
      4. One should never try to win friends:
         a. By flattery. Prov. 27:14
         b. By gifts. Prov. 19:6
         c. By money. Prov. 19:4; 14:20-21

II. MUTUAL AID. 1 Sam. 20:4-7
   A. Jonathan and David had a genuine concern for one another's
      welfare, and were willing to aid one another.
   B. Everyone needs a friend who cares enough to do whatever it
      takes to help him in time of need.
      1. Friendship is like a good plant. It requires cultivation and
         watering to make it grow.
   C. True friends will point out a sin or fault, though it might be
      painful for them to do so. Prov. 27:6; Psalm 141:5
      1. A friend will not be negative only. They will be praising   
         and encouraging, but when the time comes for rebuke, they   
         will do that as well.
   D. Friendships can be better and stronger than family ties. Prov.
      18:24b; 17:17b; 27:10b
      1. A friendship that springs from appreciation and practical
         helpfulness is likely to be more deeply seated and lasting  
         than one based upon blood relationships.
      2. A fleshly brother will object to being disturbed by         
         listening to a tale of woe concerning his brother's         
         a. The brother reasons, concerning himself, that he has
            made his life good by sound judgment and hard work
            and his brother should learn to do the same.
         b. On the other hand, a close friend will give a listening
            and sympathizing ear.

III. COMMITMENT. 1 Sam. 20:14-17
   A. Jonathan and David made a covenant with each other, promising
      fidelity for all time.
      1. They did, indeed, stay friends through thick and thin until
         they were parted by death.
   B. True friendship is unchangeable and constant. Prov. 17:17a
      1. One should never forsake his friend. Prov. 27:10
         a. Long standing friendships should not be dropped for no
            compelling reasons.
         b. One who has been a friend to the family should not be
            forgotten or neglected.
   C. True friends are valuable.
      1. We must cultivate the ties that bind our hearts in Christian

IV. LOYALTY. 1 Sam. 20:30-34
   A. Jonathan made his stand for his friend who was right and       
      against his father who was wrong.
      1. One of the greatest things in Jonathan's life was when, a   
         few years later, Saul had the army of Israel hunting David, 
         he went out into the forest to encourage David in the Lord. 
         1 Sam. 23:15-18
   B. True loyalty builds lasting friendship.
      1. A good friend will be there in time of need.
   C. One of the great sorrows of Job was that his friends had turned
      against him. Job 19:19
      1. They were miserable comforters in Job's time of need. Job
      2. Probably when his own son Absolom was trying to take over
         the kingdom by force, David wrote Psalm 69:20.
   D. Of course, one should not stand with his friend if he is wrong.
      1. However, a good friend is able to see that encouragement is
         needed, and they will be there to lend a helping hand.

V. GENUINE EMOTION. 1 Sam. 20:41
   A. When David and Jonathan realized they had to separate from each
      other, and they might never see each other again, they kissed  
      each other and wept together.
      1. David wept even more than Jonathan.
   B. Great friendships are characterized by strong feelings.
      1. We, especially men, must not be embarrassed to express our
   C. After Jonathan's death, David expressed in a Psalm the great   
      love he and Jonathan had for each other. 2 Sam. 1:25-26

   A. David and Jonathan's friendship had a spiritual dimension to   
      it. They both had strong faith in the Lord.
      1. Swearing was allowed under the Old Covenant, and the both
         swore goodness to their descendants forever.
         a. This is why David years later blessed Jonathan's son
            Mepibosheth who was lame in both of his feet. 2 Sam.
   B. To reach the highest level, true friendships must be based upon
      a mutual faith and commitment to the Lord.
      1. We sing a song which says, "Make friends of God's
      2. Indeed, we should cultivate the friendship of fellow members
         of the body of Christ.
      3. Christians are to be friendly, kind, and given to           
         hospitality. Rom. 12:13; 1 Pet. 4:9; 3 John 13-14
      4. The rush of modern living has interfered.
         a. Nowadays, everyone wants their privacy respected, but
            one's "want of privacy" should not cause him to neglect
            hospitality and friendships.
         b. Courtesy, kindness, and helpfulness will never go out of
   C. Friendship with the wrong kind of person can be harmful. Prov.
      1. Indeed, there is great danger regarding evil companionships.
         1 Cor. 15:33
      2. We should be companions of those who fear God. Psalm
   A. Jonathan and David in the most difficult trials of their lives
      discovered the secrets of a great and godly friendship.
   B. The value of our friends should lie in quality, rather than    
      1. One good friend is worth more than ten who are not so
      2. One personal friend is worth more than a hundred "fair
         weather friends."
      3. Certain types of friends can be a detriment to our          
         relationship with God.
      4. Having too many friends can conflict with our service to
   C. In closing, let us never forget the one true great friend,     
      Jesus Christ who laid down His life for us. John 15:13