The Gift of Friends


“So king Solomon was king over all Israel. And these were the princes which he had; Azariah the son of Zadok the priest. Elihoreph and Ahiah, the sons of Shisha, scribes; Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud, the recorder. And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the officers: and Zabud the son of Nathan was principal officer, and the king’s friend: And Ahishar was over the household: and Adoniram the son of Abda was over the tribute” (I Kings 4:1-6).

“And Saul said to him, Whose son art thou, thou young man? And David answered, I am the son of thy servant Jesse the Bethlehemite” (I Samuel 17:58).

In chapter seventeen we have the defiance of the Philistine giant Goliath and the miraculous slaying of him by little David. David has just exhibited his friendship and value to all of Israel. He has just risked his own life and brought victory to his people. The little shepherd boy David with a simply slingshot has felled the big enemy of Israel Goliath.

“And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul” (I Samuel 18:1).

God rewards David with Jonathan’s friendship. Jonathan was a great general, heir to the throne, and tremendous character.

In I Samuel chapter seventeen with the last portion being the victory over Goliath we then are joined with chapter eighteen and verse one with the soul of Jonathan being knitted with David.


Friendship is a reward from God. I can almost hear someone say, “That lucky David!” Oh no, “worky” David! David earned that friend because David was a friend to his country and to his God. As a result he demonstrated that friendship by taking on the giant Goliath and winning.

If God ever gives you, as a gift, a real friend it will be a reward from God and it will be the best thing that will ever happen to you; a part from your salvation.

Take note that God gave David, as a reward, for laying his life on the line for his country and his God a friend in the very next verse of the next chapter.

“And Saul took him that day, and would let him go no more home to his father’s house. Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul.” (I Samuel 18:2-3).

This is a one sided in the sense that it was Jonathan who loved David as his own soul. It never says that about David toward Jonathan. One may be a friend to any one whom he or she chooses but it is not automatically reciprocal.


“And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle” (I Samuel 18:4).

In chapters thirteen, fourteen, and fifteen you will find some great battles that Jonathan fought. He was a great man of character. He was next in line for the throne because King Saul was his father. When Jonathan stripped himself of his robe he was saying to David you be the king.


In I Samuel chapter one, we find a terrible battle and both Jonathan and King Saul are killed. David’s friend is dead! David wanted another friend for he had tasted the joy of having a friend. Here is what David did he made the word “friend” into family title. He actually made the word “friend” into an official title. He created a position in the government called “friend”. Like we have Secretary of State, Secretary of Labor, or Attorney General David did the same thing only the office he conceived was named “friend.”

David was attempting to choose a friend or make a friend. Someone says to you, “Have you made any friends at work?” You do not make friends! “Boy, she sure makes friends easily!” No sir, no one can MAKE a friend! Having charisma and personality does not make friendship. Real friends come as a gift or reward from God.

How did David gain Jonathan’s friendship? It was not by attempting to win Jonathan’s friendship! David never said, “I believe I’ll kill that giant so God will give me a friend!” David was lost in a cause and a friendship was the furthest thing from his mind. After he lost himself in a task for God then God gave him a friend.

How about doing something for your God. Work at building a Sunday school class, a Sunday school bus route, or be a good soul winner for your God. How about being a godly mother, father, son, or daughter. How about being a godly worker on the job and give it your best for your Lord. Whatever you do for God do it to the best of your ability. Only then when you have lost yourself in a cause for your God will you suddenly find you have a friend from God.

If you are serving God with the idea of gaining a friend it will never happen! The people who have been blessed with real friends have spent their lives being friends, first to God and second to those who cross their paths, while they are being a friend to God.

“So Hushai David’s friend came into the city, and Absalom came into Jerusalem” (II Samuel 15:37).

God had given David a friend and his name was Jonathan who was the son of King Saul. Jonathan was the oldest son and he was to be the next king. David had done a great work for God in the slaying of Goliath. Thus God rewarded David with Jonathan’s friendship. Was David looking for a friend? No! Did David want a friend? No!


David’s friend Jonathan dies and David loses his friend. David wanted another friend but David should have gone out and won another victory for his God. Why didn’t David become wrapped up in the will of God as before and lose himself in a cause that was greater than himself?

So, David hires himself a friend. David gave him an official title of “friend” and placed him on the payroll. Hey, David quit thinking about yourself. Too many people are feeling sorry for themselves and need to quit thinking so much about themselves and how they are so mistreated!

“Here we go again getting stepped on! We always seem to get the short end of the stick.” With an attitude like that no wonder some people have no real friends because they cannot be a friend when living in selfishness!

In I Samuel 15:37, Hushai is hired by David to the position of “friend” and thus the word has changed meanings. It has gone from God’s choice to David’s choice. It has changed from a gift from God to a purchase by David.

“And Absalom, and all the people the men of Israel, came to Jerusalem, and Ahithophel with him. And it came to pass, when Hushai the Archite, David’s friend, was come unto Absalom, that Hushai said unto Absalom, God save the king, God save the king. And Absalom said to Hushai, Is this thy kindness to thy friend? why wentest thou not with thy friend? And Hushai said unto Absalom, Nay; but whom the LORD, and this people, and all the men of Israel, choose, his will I be, and with him will I abide” (II Samuel 16:15-18).

How did David gain Jonathan as a friend? The truth is he forgot himself and lived in total unawareness of self in his battle with Goliath. One of the great secrets to success is total unawareness of self.

“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it” (Mark 8:35).

When one lives for others and for God, while forgetting themselves, then and only then will God reward with friendships.

“And Azariah the son of Nathan was over the officers: and Zabud the son of Nathan was principal officer, and the king’s friend:” (I Kings 4:5).

The title “friend” has become the principal title in the kingdom. Solomon is now the king and he also has a hired “friend.” When you have only friends who treat you right you have hired friends! You treat them right and they pay you back by treating you right! How about considering being a friend to someone who treats you wrong?

The first two National Teen Conventions that Longview Baptist Temple hosted were marvelous. I came out with two guns blazing. No humor, no glamorous sermons, just Hellfire damnation preaching! I screamed, hollered, and called them everything I could think of and the teens loved it!

This doesn’t make sense! Why was it such a success? Because I simply lost myself and I totally gave myself to those teens! Vain people who have no cause always criticize people who are lost in a cause! Dr. Bob Jones Sr. used to say often, “Happiness it stumbled upon in the pathway of duty!”

Little David became angry at Goliath’s threatenings against his country and his God. David lost himself in a cause and slew Goliath and then God gave David a friend as a reward.