Theme of the Week: The Redemptive Power of Godly Friendship
Bible Verse: A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. Proverbs 17:17 ESV
Scripture Reading: Galatians 6:1-10
Proverbs 17:17 gives us a way of discerning whether our friendships are truly “brotherly.” Those who continue to offer comfort faithfully during seasons of adversity are friends in the truest, most biblical sense. William Arnot explains the power of adversity in identifying a true friend: Many will court you while you have much to give; when you need to receive, the number of your friends will be diminished, but their quality will be improved. Your misfortune, like a blast of wind upon the thrashed corn, will drive the chaff away, but the wheat will remain where it was. How very sweet sometimes is the human friendship that remains when sore adversity has sifted it!1
Those who, despite the harsh winds of adversity, faithfully remain by your side to offer comfort are true friends, for they “bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2).
Jonathan was such a friend to David. Young David, anointed by God to be King over Israel, posed a threat to the enthroned monarch, the increasingly unstable King Saul. Saul’s arrogance before God had disqualified him from reigning, yet he clung to his position, hating and fearing the favor of God resting on David. So for many years, Saul relentlessly pursued David, seeking to kill him.
On many occasions during this season, David felt he did not have a friend in the world and that his entire life was collapsing around him. But in the midst of this severe adversity, God supplied David with the friendship of Jonathan. So committed was Jonathan to David that he had pledged a friendship covenant (“And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself,” 1 Samuel 18:3), a covenant Jonathan kept despite being the son of King Saul. Jonathan could have rested in his place of royal privilege, but he chose to help David bear the burden of mortal peril. What risks Jonathan took to remain loyal to a man his own father sought to kill! What comfort that loyalty gave David in his days of distress!
In our day, biblical comfort can be both tangible and intangible. But in one way or another, such comfort always demonstrates and underscores the truth of the gospel. Having been purchased for God through the sacrifice of the Son, we are eternally secure. God has nothing but unending love for us. Whatever the circumstances, we have the reality of sins forgiven and righteousness bestowed. In this truth we find a comfort that can transcend all the trials and adversities of life.
1 William Arnot, Studies in Proverbs, Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel, 1978, 380
Taken from A Proverbs Driven Life by Anthony Selvaggio, © 2008. Used by permission of Shepherd Press, shepherdpress.com
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