Monarchy Part 4 – Spiritual Friendship

The Monarchy – Part 4 Spiritual Friendship I Sam. 20:1-42; 23:15-18 October 2, 2016


I. David’s ROAD toward the THRONE. (I Sam. 17-31)
A. From SHEPHERD to unlikely WARRIOR – (Chap. 17)
C. The SONG of the PEOPLE. (18:6-9)
D. Saul’s FEAR prompts ACTION. (18:10-20:1)
E. …Keep your ENEMIES CLOSER. (18:17ff)

After the anointing in I Samuel 13, David begins a very difficult journey toward his
coronation as King of Israel. As would be expected, King Saul fairly quickly found out
and decided he wanted David dead. As would not be expected, David develops a deep
friendship with Saul’s son, Jonathan, the biological heir to the throne. Saul seeks to end
David’s life…Jonathan seeks to get him to the throne alive.

1. God has chosen David as the new king. Why this long process of David running for
his life? What could be the purpose of that?
2. When have you forged a deep and powerful friendship with someone that you didn’t
expect? What was that experience like for you?
3. What differences stand about between Saul and Jonathan?

II. A MEETING of FRIENDS. (20:1-42)
A. A DIFFICULT subject for CONVERSATION. (v.1-3)
B. A PLAN and a COVENANT. (v.4-23)
C. Jonathan SEES the REALITY. (v.24-34)

Our text today centers around a plan formed when David asks Jonathan why Saul
wants to have him killed. Jonathan believes the best of his father, but agrees to test the
waters and let David know what he finds out. It’s a difficult realization for Jonathan, but
he forges a covenant with David and seeks to to surrender his life to God’s plan, not
Saul’s plan.

4. On a scale of 1-10 how well do you do with difficult conversations? Do you see a
need to improve there? When has a difficult conversation been good for your life?
5. Do you have a close friend with whom you can share the truth about who you are
and what is going on in your life? Why or why not?
6. What stands out to you about the friendship between David and Jonathan?

A. It HAPPENS in UNUSUAL places. (16:12-13; 18:1)
B. It ENGAGES challenging ISSUES. (20:1-2,31)
C. It involves TIME and usually DIFFICULTY. (20:41; Prov. 17:17)
D. It SEEKS the best for the OTHER. (20:4,14-17,42-43)
E. It’s SOURCE is always GOD. (23:15-18)

I want to introduce a term today…”Spiritual Friendship.” This is different than just
having a friend. It’s a friendship that roots itself so deep in your life that it is willing to go
where other friendships won’t. It asks the hard questions. It challenges. It talks about
subjects that no one else dares to touch. It can do that because it is rooted in love for
one another and love for God. We all need these kinds of friends…but they don’t
always come easy.

7. What do you see as the biggest hindrance(s) to developing spiritual friendships in
our world today?
8. What are the topics that you are the most private about? What happens when
people broach those subjects with you?
9. Love means to always seek the best for another. Based on that definition, who do
you love and who loves you?
10.Who has “helped you find strength in God”? What did that look like?

IV. Some questions for reflection:
A. With whom can I talk honestly about ALL areas of my life? Even the difficult
B. Am I willing to begin building this sort of friendship as God guides me? Even it if
takes time?
C. Will I wrestle through the initial awkwardness to see what could be, instead of
settling for shallow and easy?

“A friend is another self to whom you can speak on equal terms,
to whom you can confess your failings, to whom you can make
known your progress [or lack of it!] without blushing, one to whom
you can entrust all the secrets of your heart.” (Aelred of Rievaulx)