Isolation is a word that we are familiar with today. The world we live in tends to put us on the defensive and we isolate ourselves, either with others in the camp or we isolate with our own feelings and thoughts, fearful of exposing who I am or what I believe. This is not something new in the world in which we live. In the 1600s our forefathers came to the coasts of our land seeking freedom but found freedom does not come with a thought or the stroke of a pen. The divisive days of the founding of our nation, the days of the Civil War, and in all the development of who we are today, have been birthed through times of trouble.

We need friends, real friends who will sit and listen to us, while I am fearful of being rejected or isolated. The dictator of Italy during the days of World War 11 was Mussolini and a friend of Adolf Hitler. In the last days of his life, before he was hunted down and hung upside down, he said, “through my life, I have never had a friend”. How do we find a friend? When I find a friend, do I dare to open my heart and bare my soul, without fear of being rejected?
My Bible is open to I Samuel 18, where I find two people who developed a lasting friendship. David had just killed the archenemy of Israel, Goliath and he is meeting with the King of Israel, Saul. Saul has a son, whose name is Jonathan, and a friendship is developed between these two unlikely men. “The soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David…Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as he loved himself, and Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, with his armor, including his sword, his bow, and his belt”.

One of the greatest obstacles to friendship is the fear of being rejected. Jonathan was willing to accept David as he was and in return, he gave to David what he had. Author Richard Exley writes, “when Jonathan disrobed, he made himself transparent to David. It was his way of saying that he had nothing to hide. A friendship built on anything else is just a sham, pretending to be something other than who we are. C.S. Lewis said, “eros will have naked bodies but friendships will have naked personalities. When we share our deepest selves with a friend, we are giving him weapons he can use to destroy us; it is the ultimate act of trust”. There are people whom you thought you could trust, but when they see you in a place of vulnerability, they have no problem thrusting their swords into your belly. What do I do? I isolate myself and refuse to trust anyone, at times, even God. It is an awful thing to be rejected and to feel forsaken. This happens in all levels of our culture today, in our workplace, right down to our homes. It is a tragic thing for two people who feel the pains of rejection while sleeping in the same bed.

There is another interesting facet of this story between these two men.  Jonathan’s father, Saul, wanted David destroyed. The story is told in 1 Samuel 19. David had become a threat to Saul and his leadership. In Saul’s eyes, David must be destroyed. Jonathan is standing before his father, listening to this tirade of bitterness and anger against his friend. It becomes so intense that David is fearful of even being in Saul’s presence. Jonathan and David’s friendship creates a division between father and son. Whose side should Johnathan take? He takes the side of his friend, and this infuriates his father. “Then Saul’s anger burned against Jonathan and said to him, you son of a perverse and rebellious woman! Do I not know that you are choosing the son of Jesse [David] to your own shame and the shame of your mother’s nakedness? For as long as the son of Jesse lives on the earth neither you nor your kingdom can be established. Therefore, send and bring him to me for he must surely die”. [Samuel 20” 30-31]

What is Jonathan to do? Shall he obey his father, or should he be faithful to his friend? The anger of Saul reaches a climax as he throws a spear at his own son in an attempt to kill him.

This is a good time to test a friendship. How easy it would have been for Jonathan to join his father and assassinate the character of his friend. It could be me, sitting around a table of people and an issue comes up that regards my friend. It would be so easy to join the assassination talk, but how about the character of my friend? If you have ever been the victim of character assassination, I need not describe the emotions that bubble up from deep within. There is a mixture of anger, shame, rejection, and a feeling of desperation. Who can I trust? Who can I talk to that really understands me?  These are deep emotional issues that can haunt me for the rest of my life. This is especially true if the issues come from my home, my parents, or my siblings.

Is there ever a time that I should let a friend go, to fly on their own? How do I keep from allowing my friend to become emotionally attached to me to the point that I become the source of their stability? This happened to Jonathan and David. The day came when they fell in each other’s arms “and Jonathan said to David, go in safety as we have sworn to each other in the name of the Lord, saying, the Lord will be between me and you and between my descendants and your descendants forever. Then they departed and Jonathan went into the city”. 1 Samuel; 41-42] Jonathan knew that God had a plan for David, and he must let him go and commit him to the care and safety of God. That is a tough thing to do.
One of the things a true friend will do is to help me find myself and what God is doing in my life. A friend will help me find my compass and my setting, so now I can walk a straight path. The toughest place to do this is with our children. In order for a parent to help their child find their compass, the parent has had to find their own compass. There are so many homes that are adrift, and the result is the children that come out of that home have no foundation on which to build their lives, It is so tragic.
This is not the end of David and Jonathan. The story goes into chapter 23. Saul is out to kill David. He has his army with him and Jonathan. In the middle of the night, Jonathan clandestinely leaves his father encampment to find David. “and Jonathan encouraged David in the Lord, then said to him, do not be afraid…you will be king over Israel…so the two of them made a covenant before the Lord”. Jonathan gave David all he had to give, so David could be who God wanted him to be.  That is a true friend.

What an example of Jesus, who would like to be your friend. “Who, though He was rich, He became poor, so that we through His poverty might become rich”.

Share This post

New to Whitefish Assembly?

You can attend in-person or online! Plan your experience today!

New to Whitefish Assembly?

You can attend in-person or online!

Plan Your Experience

Plan Your Experience Form

Hi there! Can I get your contact information?

Want to pre-register any children?

What date would you like to schedule your visit?

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Sunday Online & in-person Gatherings at 10:30 Am

Growing together through relationships with God and each other