Week 39: Monday – Indispensable Village Friends

JONATHAN: THE KINGDOM FRIEND

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“By friendship you mean the greatest love, the greatest usefulness, the most open communication, the noblest sufferings, the severest truth, the heartiest counsel, and the greatest union of minds of which brave men and women are capable.” – Jeremy Taylor

“A righteous man is cautious in friendship…” – Proverbs 12:26

“I am a friend to all who fear You, to all who follow Your precepts.” – Psalm 119:63

Guess their best friend:
1. Frodo and _____________
2. Martin Luther and _______
3. Farhan, Raju and ________
4. Buzz Lightyear and _______
5. David and ______________
(Answers below.)

In these postmodern times, there is that great longing to connect with someone, that’s why social networking has become such a hit. Even the “SELFIe” person or someone having “ME time” can’t help but let the whole world know about it. However, it is also in this age where you can have 3000 “friends” on facebook and still feel so alone and lonely because none of them know exactly what you’re going through in the deep recesses of your soul – no one knows the envy you feel towards your sister for being the favorite of the family or the rage inside because you saw your mom & dad fighting or the pain you feel because the people you thought were your friends are now spreading lies about you.

For this week’s devotionals, let’s bring back the real meaning and depth of “friendship” and pray for indispensable friends we need in our village.

One of the greatest and rarest friendships that ever existed is between the son of a king and the king’s successor. Now pause, and just think about that for a moment. Isn’t the son of the king supposed to be next in line to the throne? What makes it more dramatic is that the king wanted his son’s best friend killed because he was becoming more popular & more adored than the king. And yet, his son, Jonathan, remained loyal to his best friend. No envy, no greed, no questions. Why? Because his best friend, David, was a man after God’s own heart. And his dad, king Saul, was not.
When Jonathan and David first met, they just clicked and had an instant bond. They loved each other with much respect and honor. They made a solemn friendship pact with one another that they would protect each other and their families if things did not turn out well.

1 Samuel 20:4
“Tell me what I can do to help you,” Jonathan exclaimed.

Such was the depth of their friendship that nothing could destroy their bond – not girls, money, pride…not even the cruel king. Jonathan was willing to take the risk of going against his father and helping David escape from his father’s plans of killing David. Even Jonathan became a victim as his own father attempted to kill him by hurling a spear at him. Jonathan sacrificed his life for his best friend. David & Jonathan remained loyal to one another, even beyond Jonathan’s death. David fulfilled his promise and brought his best friend’s son, Mephibosheth, under his roof and care, and treated him as his own.

In his book, Winning with People, John Maxwell shares the unique friendship called FOXHOLE FRIENDSHIP:
“In the U.S. Marines, soldiers are taught to dig a foxhole big enough for a friend.
If you look at an infantry training manual, you’ll find that there are several kinds of foxholes. A soldier may find himself taking up a ‘hasty fighting position,’ where he is simply scrambling for cover with no time to prepare. Or if he has time, he can dig in a position for only himself. However, experts advise that a ‘one-soldier fighting position…does not have the security of a two-soldier position.’ Even better is said to be an arrangement where three people can fight together. The Army Field Manual points out its efficiency: ‘One soldier can provide security; one can do priority work; and one can rest, eat, or perform maintenance. This allows the priority of work to be completed more quickly than in a one-soldier or two-soldier position. It is more difficult for the enemy to destroy this type of position. To do so, the enemy must kill or suppress three soldiers.’”

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
9 Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. 10 If one person falls, the other can reach out and help…12two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.

There were two foxhole friends; they were soldiers together. Their officer said that when one of the soldiers was injured and could not get back to safety, his buddy went out to get him, against his officer’s orders. He returned mortally wounded, and his friend, whom he had carried back, was dead. The officer was angry. “I told you not to go. Now I’ve lost both of you. It was not worth it.” The dying man replied, “But it was sir, because when I got to him, he said, ‘Jim, I knew you’d come.’”

This is the kind of friendship we should pray for. You can only find your Jonathan if you become a Jonathan to another.

ANSWERS:
Frodo and SAMWISE GAMGEE
Martin Luther and Philipp Melancthon
Farhan, Raju and RANCHO
Buzz Lightyear and WOODY
David and JONATHAN

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