• Matt Beaney

PART 12. FRIENDS GIVE STRENGTH (17/1/20)


Please ensure you’ve read ‘INTRODUCTION TO WEEK 8’ included in Monday’s blog. Link:

https://www.communitychurchputney.com/post/part-8-god-s-friendship-13-1-20

FRIENDS GIVE STRENGTH

King Saul quickly becomes suspicious, jealous and murderous toward David. David’s was amazingly successful in battle causing the people to sing his praises. Unlike Jonathan, Saul sees David as a threat. We read,

Saul was very angry; this refrain displeased him greatly. “They have credited David with tens of thousands,’ he thought, ‘but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?”And from that time on Saul kept a close eye on David.’ (1 Samuel 18:8-9)

The next day, Saul completely lost it, we read,

‘...while David was playing the lyre, as he usually did. Saul had a spear in his hand and he hurled it, saying to himself, ‘I’ll pin David to the wall.’ But David eluded him twice.” (1 Samuel 18:9-11)

Things go from bad to worse until David has to flee for his life and live as a fugitive in the desert until the death of Saul. Just when it seemed that David’s life was on the up, it came crashing down! He was being pursued by the most powerful man in his world, maybe the most powerful man in the whole world!


Jonathon risked himself to defend David: Love = Cost

What allows a Hitler, a Stalin, a bully in any situation to control things? Fear! It’s a bad state of affairs when those who are the most emotionally immature with big egos get power - Saul is exemplary!

Jonathan, however, speaks up for his friend, risking his own life. He confronts Saul,

“‘Why should he be put to death? What has he done?’ Jonathan asked his father. But Saul hurled his spear at him to kill him. Then Jonathan knew that his father intended to kill David.’ (1 Samuel 20:32-33)

Are we alert to stop gossip? Do we defend others when they are being spoken against? This is not to say that there is no place for talking about someone when they are not present, but we do so with a view to helping them. If a conversation about someone is not intended to help them, I question whether that’s a conversation worth having!


Friends give strength

Whilst David is on the run from Saul, Jonathan leaves Saul to find David and encourage him.

‘While David was at Horesh in the Desert of Ziph, he learned that Saul had come out to take his life. And Saul’s son Jonathan went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength in God. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “My father Saul will not lay a hand on you. You will be king over Israel, and I will be second to you. Even my father Saul knows this.” The two of them made a covenant before the Lord. Then Jonathan went home, but David remained at Horesh.’ (1 Samuel 23:15-18)

This is a picture of relationships in the local church - we help one-another to ‘find strength in God’. It says,

  • Jonathan... helped him find strength in God’ - We help people to see things in light of God and His word. Do focus on psychology, on worldly advice, on banter... bring your friends to Jesus.

  • 'You will be king over Israel’ - Let’s remind people of God’s promises. Help them to recall personal prophecies over their lives. Set their minds on their ultimate, eternal hope of glory with Jesus.

  • 'The two of them made a covenant before the Lord.’ - This is a reaffirmation of their loving friendship. Taking Communion (bread and wine symbolising the death of Jesus for us) is how we reaffirm our covenant. Taking this meal with friends is a powerful encouragement.

RESPONSE

Today, we continue to meditate on and memorise Matthew 22:37-39

(If you’ve not done so, please ensure you’ve read Monday’s response section where I’ve included notes and questions to help you).

Matthew 22:37-39. “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’”

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