The Gift of Friendship (2 Samuel 1:25–26) - Radical

The Gift of Friendship (2 Samuel 1:25–26)

Jonathan lies slain on your high places. I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan; very pleasant have you been to me. Your love to me was extraordinary, surpassing the love of women.
-2 Samuel 1:25–26

This lament in 2 Samuel chapter 1 demonstrates the depth of the friendship that David and Jonathan experienced with each other, as David is now lamenting over Jonathan’s death, and he says, “I’m distressed for you, my brother; very pleasant have you been to me. Your love to me was extraordinary.”

God, we pause today to thank you for the gift of friendship.

You think about the way 1 Samuel described the love and friendship that David and Jonathan experienced, they loved one another as their own souls. And here’s a picture in the Bible of friendship that transcends family. David and Jonathan obviously in different families, and in families that because of Saul’s antipathy toward David, their families were against each other, and yet there was a bond between them that was deeper than family. The way that David even right here says, “You were my brother, Jonathan, and your love to me was extraordinary.”

The way this friendship played out and their commitment to each other, and they’re protecting each other and they’re looking out for each other. As I read this, I just think about the need we all have for friendships that are like family, that are close and that are marked by extraordinary love for one another, the kind of love that cares for someone else like your own soul. So I just want to lead us to pray for friendships like this in our lives and for us to be friends like this, for God to provide friends for us like this that we might experience the pleasantness, to use the word here from verse 26, of friendship according to God’s good design in this world, specifically and all the more so between brothers and sisters in Christ.

God, we pause today to thank you for the gift of friendship. God, even as I say that, I don’t know every single person who’s listening to this and the specific experiences they have had, God, for good friends that come to our mind right now. God, we thank you, we praise you for good friends whose love to us and our love for them, whose love to us has been extraordinary. For the pleasantness that is found in close friendship, God, we praise you for friendships like that, we pray for friendships like that. And I pray for that in my life, I pray for that in the lives of my children and my wife’s life, God, and people around me, God, that the members of the church that I’m in would experience this depth of friendship. God, I pray this for every single person who’s listening to this right now, that you would provide good, pleasant, extraordinary friendships, and as we pray for this in our lives, God, we pray that you’d help us to be these kinds of friends to others.

God, as I’ve read 1 Samuel and even now reading 2 Samuel chapter 1, I just confess times when I have not been the friend that I should have been and desire to be. God, please help me to be a good friend. Help us to be good friends, pleasant friends with extraordinary love for others, especially, oh God, in the body of Christ. We pray that as brothers and sisters in Christ, as your sons and daughters, that you help us to love one another well. We pray that in each of our churches, you would help us to care for each other like family. And God, even as we pray this in the body of Christ, we pray for those who don’t know Christ. God, we pray that you would help us to love people around us who are without Christ right now by laying our lives down for them, that you would help us to faithfully share the gospel with them, that they might know supernatural, eternal friendship, that the bonds of even death cannot break.

God, we praise you for friendship and we pray for these kinds of friendships in each of our lives. In Jesus’ name, amen.

View the 2021 McLean Bible Church Reading Plan.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

Less than 1% of all money given to missions goes to unreached people and places.*

That means that the people with the most urgent spiritual and physical needs on the planet are receiving the least amount of support. Let's change that!