3 Great Examples of Friendship in the Bible
Written by Jenn Arman | August 25, 2013
Hey girls! In honor of PI Friendship week, I’d like to talk about a few friendships in the Bible. Often we read our Bibles focusing on the actions and attitudes of a single person and forget to notice the bonds of friendship that hold people together. So let’s look at a few friendships in the Bible and just what made them great!
- David and Jonathan.
If ever there was an example of dedicated friendship, it was between these guys. David had been recognized and anointed by Samuel as the next king of Israel, and Jonathan was the son of Saul, the current king of Israel. This is what the Bible says about the day that David and Jonathan met:
After David had finished talking with Saul, he met Jonathan, the king’s son. There was an immediate bond between them, for Jonathan loved David. From that day on Saul kept David with him and wouldn’t let him return home. And Jonathan made a solemn pact with David, because he loved him as he loved himself (1 Samuel 18:1-3, NLT).
That solemn pact between David and Jonathan included Jonathan giving David the robe from his back, his tunic, his sword, bow and belt. Jonathan showed his friendship to David by giving David all he had, including his weapons! Later when David first flees from Saul’s wrath, he tells Jonathan about his fears that Saul wants him dead. It is Jonathan who turns against his father, confirming David’s suspicions of Saul’s intentions and allowing him to escape. Jonathan valued David’s friendship more than his position as heir to the throne of Israel.
- Job’s friends.
I know that when I read Job, I don’t always feel like Job’s friends (Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar) are as supportive as they could be, but sometimes our friends just don’t know what to say. Have you ever encountered a difficult situation in your life and even your best friend didn’t know what to say to make you feel better? I think that’s the situation Job’s friends found themselves in. Job lost everything – his wealth, children and health; as a friend, how do you even begin to help your hurting friend deal with a situation like that?
Job’s friends knew exactly how to begin,
When three of Job’s friends heard of the tragedy he had suffered, they got together and traveled from their homes to comfort and console him. When they saw Job from a distance, they scarcely recognized him. Wailing loudly, they tore their robes and threw dust into the air over their heads to show their grief. Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and nights. No one said a word to Job, for they saw that his suffering was too great for words (Job 2:11-13, NLT).
When there were no words that could ease Job’s suffering, his friends joined him in his grief and were just silent. The best friends understand that sometimes their presence is more important than their words.
- Elijah and Elisha.
Elijah had a rough job, he made a lot of powerful people angry and he wasn’t really a favorite of the kings of Israel. Elijah called down fire from heaven and killed two captains of the king’s guard and 100 soldiers. He battled the prophets of Baal and won. He prayed that it wouldn’t rain in Israel, and it didn’t–for three years. People were always trying to kill Elijah; they didn’t like being confronted by prophets of God.
To help him carry on his work, God found Elijah a friend and successor, Elisha. Elisha was a loyal and dedicated friend. In 2 Kings 2, God calls Elijah to Bethel to take him to heaven. Elisha was about to lose his friend and mentor; he would be all on his own. When Elijah told Elisha to stay, while he went on to Bethel, Elisha said,
“As surely as the Lord lives and you yourself live, I will never leave you!” (2 Kings 2:2, NLT).
Elisha knew that God was going to take Elijah from him at Bethel, but in spite of the sadness he would feel, Elisha refused to leave Elijah’s side.
Dedication, loyalty, love, comfort and sacrifice are some of the qualities that made these friendships great, and they’re some of the same things that make our relationship with Jesus amazing.
Girls, what qualities make your BFF amazing?
Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other (Romans 12:10).
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