Highs & Lows
– When you first start dating someone special, but then he chooses the wrong restaurant.
– When you first get married… but then have your first big fight.
– When you first have children… but then come the diapers, the crying, and middle of night feedings. a
– When you purchase a home… but then comes the maintenance and repairs with their cost.
– When you return from vacation and find a tree limb through roof or flooded basement…
– When you experience joy of youth camp or a mission trip… but then return home with challenges of family dynamics and work struggles.
– When you first experience salvation and growing in faith… but then others criticize or condemn.
– You see, after many high experiences of life come the lows.
Today’s message reminds us that in the middle of life struggles we need to lean on God’s faithfulness and the friendship of others.
EXAMINE 1Samuel 18-20 Escaping Foolishness By Being A Friend
David had experienced the highs of 1Samuel 17
– Measure of David’s faith in God. David trusted in God and his faith grew that the Lord was with him.
o Likewise, we too must be able to see that our faith is not stagnant, that we are constantly learning new insights into Scripture and spiritual growth; and that our faith in the Lord is increasing.
o David’s phrase “For the battle is the Lord’s” is a great reminder for the measure of our faith.
– Milestone of David conquering Goliath. David achieved a monumental task that no one else was willing to even attempt. This was one of many milestones in David’s life that proved his strength physically and spiritually.
o Likewise, there will be milestones of life for us to celebrate. When we remember these past milestones they become foundations for us to build our life and make decisions for the future.
- My first sermon at Bayside led to more sermons & teaching opportunities
- My first funeral was my grandmother’s and reminds me how much compassion is needed for people in their grief.
- My first mission trip was to inner city Philadelphia… others were Canada, Appalachia WV, Nicaragua have all been defining for my faith and ministry.
– Movement of Israel advancing its nation’s army. David’s defeat of Goliath led to his nation defending itself against the Philistines and other nations, and eventually establishing a united kingdom.
Yet, immediately following 1Samuel 17 are chapters that describe some of David’s most trying moments. You see, after David killed Goliath he did not just jump on the throne as king of Israel and a great military fighter. Instead, David endured a deep and dark valley.
God gives friends even in the midst of fools (18:1-16)
– David served Saul, even though Saul was making ungodly and prideful choices. David respected God’s Sovereign control of leaders; God is in charge of who is in charge.
– Jonathan and David became strong friends.
– Saul grew jealous over David’s character and conquests. The Spirit of the Lord left Saul but was with David, which made Saul bitter. Likewise, David received the accolade of the people which grew Saul’s jealousy.
o Saul’s anger was really at God… all anger starts vertically before horizontally.
o Saul’s sin was a scary, slippery slope… all sin starts small and snowballs if unchecked with accountability and repentance.
o Saul is an example for us to learn contentment, humility, and a heart for God or we will wander far away from God.
– Saul sought to kill David no less than 12x (18:11 – 2x; 18:25; 19:1; 19:10; 19:11; 19:20; 20:31; 22:23; 23:8-14; 24:2; 26:2).
What can we learn from Jonathan and David’s friendship?
David & Jonathan’s friendship
– ENDEARING: Jonathan was knit to the soul of David (18:1)
o Connections: God provides friends. à Ask God for this in your life, and in life of your children.
- Friendship is intimacy (into-me-see)
- Friendship is God’s way of incarnating His love to us
- “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” Proverbs 17:17
- “Two are better than one because they have good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, and has not another to lift him up.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
o Commonality for faith: à We must be careful to whom our souls are knit.
- “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? 2Corinthians 6:14-16
- “Bad company ruins good morals.” 1Corinthians 15:33
– UNSELFISH: Jonathan loved David as his own soul (18:1, 3; 20:17)
o “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3-4
– LOYAL: Jonathan made a covenant with David (18:3)
o Contract vs Covenant
- Limited vs Life-long
- Conditional based on mutual benefit (as my needs are met so I will meet yours; but when my needs go unmet then I leave) vs Unconditioned agreement (faithful, loyal)
- Contracts: Cable, Cell, Electric bills
- Covenant: Marriage vows “I take you to be my spouse, to have and to hold, to love and to cherish, for rich or poor, for better or worse, in sickness and in health, till death do us part.”
- “Liking” is consumer mentality for their needs vs “Loving” is other-centered.
– GENEROUS: Jonathan generously gave his royal clothing to David. Jonathan’s sacrificial giving was a symbol of his love for David, but also for God – since God anointed David as the coming king. (18:4)
o Sacrifice… giving…
o “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13
o Proverbs 3:27 “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.”
– EDIFYING: David went out and was successful wherever Saul sent him (18:5). Jonathan set David to be successful but Saul was angry and jealous – “eyed David” (18:9).
o Complement and seek the good and bring out the best in the other
o “Let love be genuine… Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” Romans 12:9-10
– PROTECTIVE: Saul instructs Jonathan to kill David but Jonathan protects David by warning him of danger. (19:1-2)
o Counsel & warn
– DEFENDER: Jonathan defends David to Saul (19:3-7). He “spoke well” of David, and pointed out David’s deeds.
o Defend, protect… not gossip, stab in back, or passive friends.
o David could have attempted to defend himself before Saul but he knew the battle was the Lord’s. Proverbs 27:2 “Let another praise you and not your own mouth; a stranger and not your own lips.”
1Samuel 20:1-17, 30-42
– EDIFYING: Jonathan continued to mediate the relationship between his father Saul and David. Jonathan hoped there would be reconciliation and peace but when there wasn’t stood on the side of righteousness.
o We should always seek to be peacemakers.
o When we cannot create peace, we are not to be passive but stand with conviction for what is right.
o 1Samuel 23:15-18 “David saw that Saul had come out to seek his life. David was in the wilderness of Ziph at Horesh. And Jonathan, Saul’s son, rose and went to David at Horesh, and strengthened his hand in God. And he said to him, ‘Do not fear, for the hand of Saul my father shall not find you. You shall be king over Israel, and I shall be next to you. Saul my father also knows this.’ And the two of them made a covenant before the Lord. David remained at Horesh and Jonathan went home.”
v Friendship is for discipleship. If you are not using your relationships to draw people closer to Jesus and making disciples, then you are misusing your relationships.
o Your friendship is not the answer to people’s problems; Jesus is in the gospel!
o As Jonathan, we are called to strengthen others in God. And likewise, our friends are called to strengthen us in God.
v Saul points us to Jesus.
o Saul unwilling to give up position and power, but Jesus did, making himself nothing, left the throne of Heaven and palace of glory to suffer and die for us.
v Jonathan’s life points us to Jesus.
o Jonathan was a friend and likewise Jesus is a friend like no other, who gave not just His clothing but His life.
v David points us to Jesus
o David was threatened but committed no sin, resting in God’s sovereignty. Likewise, Jesus trusted in God’s will to fight his battles.
– Salvation with Jesus
o Trusting God to fight battles
– Faith in specific area:
o Standing for right
o Being a friend
o Seeking a friend
o Discipleship relationships… church fellowship