This is based on what the Lord gave me in my personal devotion time on April 11th, 2007. If you are not familiar with this story, please readÂ II Samuel 13-14 before proceeding.
What kind of friend do I want to be? Let’s look at some examples in the Word of God:
1. The Wrong Kind of Friend:
The story of Amnon, Absalom, their sister Tamar, Jonadab, and King David is a very sad one. Jonadab is not the kind of friend that will help anyone draw nigh to the Lord.
A. Let’s look at what Jonadab did:
1. He saw Amnon, someone who considered him to be a friend, vexed â basically beside himself so he asked what the problem was.
2. When he found out Amnon was lusting for Amnon’s own sister Tamar, Jonadab encouraged him to follow a sinful path that would lead him to deceive his own father, King David, and to either commit fornication with Tamar or to rape her.
B. Let’s look at what Jonadab should he have done:
1. Upon Seeing Amnon’ state, ask him what was wrong.
2. When he found out, he should have caringly yet sternly rebuked him for his sin.
Open rebuke is better than secret love. Proverbs 27:5
C. What Kind of Friend Should we be Avoiding?
If you have anyone, regardless if they are brethren, encouraging you to do any of the following, stay clear from them! This is a perfect case of the old adage âWith a friend like that, who needs enemies!â?
1. Leading you to do wrong: Matthew 18:6, Proverbs 1:10
2. Does that which God hates: Proverbs 6:12-19
Â Â Â Â a. Proud look
Â Â Â Â b. A lying tongue
Â Â Â Â c. Hands that shed innocent blood
Â Â Â Â d. A heart that deviseth wicked imaginations
Â Â Â Â Â e. Feet that be swift in runing to mischief
Â Â Â Â Â f. A false witness that speaketh lies
Â Â Â Â Â g. Sower of discord amonth the brethren
3. Does not follow the way of those who âdelight is in the law of the Lord.â? Psalm 1
4. The froward ( distorted false, crooked, perverse) person: Proverbs: 2:12, 15, 3:32, 4:24, 6:12, 8:8, 13, 10:31, 11:20, 16:28, 30, 17:20, 21:8, 22:5. Psalms 18:26, 101:4
Â This verse in particular stuck out to me:
A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends. Proverbs 16:28Â Â
5. Is determined to be a carnal believer in following the lust of the flesh: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like. Galatians 5:19-21
This list could easily be added to, but there’s enough there for anyone to get the gist of whom it would be wise to avoid.
Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away. Proverbs 4:14-15Â
2. The Right Kind of Friend
A. Let’s contrast this why the friendship between David and Jonathan, King Saul’s son, as described in I Samuel chapters 18-23.
After killing Goliath, David became a great man in Israel and became the best friend of Jonathan, King Saul’s son. However, Saul became jealous of David’s popularity and feared David would take the kingdom from him so he commanded to his servants and even to Jonathan that they should kill David. Jonathan remained faithful to David and secretly warned him of Saul’s plot and then proceeded toÂ intercede for him to his father. This worked for a time, but time and again, Saul sought David’s life, and time and again, Jonathan’s friendship remained firm as he determined to protect.
Their friendship was so strong they made aÂ covenant before the Lord in 1 Samuel 20:16-17 and re-affirmed it several other times. It also superseded earthly prestige. The Bible makes it clear that even though Jonathan was the King’s son, he knew David would be the next king of Israel and was willing to step aside and stand at David’s side as his servant.
Notice a very important sentence in I Samuel 23:16.Â It sums up everything about Jonathan and David’s friendship:
And Jonathan Saul’s son arose, and went to David into the wood, and strengthened his hand in God.Â I Samuel 23:16
The following verses all deal with their friendship in relation to the Lord:Â I Samuel 20:3, 12, 20, 16, 42,Â 23:16, 18. That is why their friendship was so strong. God first and everything else working in God’s plan.
B. What kind of friends should we be seeking?
1.Leads you to do that which is right. Hebrews 10:24
2.Does that which God loves: Proverbs 15:9, 22:11
3.â…his delight is in the law of the Lord.â? Psalm 1
4.Seeks after righteousness â there are so many verses in Psalms and Proverbs alone that I suggest doing a search, but this sums it up: The person who is striving to do learn and apply God’s Word.
5.Is determined to follow the fruit of the spirit:
“….love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance…And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.Â If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.” Galatians 5:22-26Â
3. Here’s some questions I’ve been asking myself:
1. What kind of friends do I have and what does that say about me?
A. Whom I choose as my friends will affect my testimony. One of our Pastor’s favorite sayings isâ? If you’re going to play in the devil’s sandbox, you’re going to get some of his fleas.â?
Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. 1 Corinthians 15:33
B. Or an old adage: âBirds of a feather flock together.â? I was pretty sure there is a Scriptural reference to that effect, but I couldn’t find it at this time. Those who are likeminded will seek each other out.
2. What kind of friend am I?
A. The following verse is saying that in order to have friends, I must be friendly. Am I friendly? Do I really put an effort into being friendly to church folk (my family in Christ) and other visitors.
A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24Â
B. Then, there’s a very special kind of friend that âsticketh closer than a brother.â? There’s a verse in the New Testament that goes even further than this:
This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:12-13Â
Do I let my friends know in word and deed that I am there for them? Am willing to be a help wether in quiet reassurance, a shoulder to cry on, or hands ready for work?
C. What does my behavior provoke in others? Do I inspire others to do right or wrong?
And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Hebrews 10:24Â
D. When someone comes to me with sorrows, do I like Job’s friends jump all over them, or do I give them a big hug and try to encourage them to focus on the Lord?
I have heard many such things: miserable comforters are ye all. Job 16:2Â
And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved… but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God. 1 Samuel 30:6Â
And Jonathan Saul’s son arose, and went to David into the wood, and strengthened his hand in God. 1 Samuel 23:16Â
E. When someone does an imitation of the children of Israel by murmuring and complaining, (something God hates and for which He sent judgment upon Israel â Exodus 16:7-9, 12, Numbers 14:27, 17:5, 17:10,Â Philipians 2:14-15,Â I Corinthians 10:10, Jude 1:16), do I join them in their wallowing in the mire or do I lovingly yet sharply rebuke them and help them clear their vision to see the one who controls all?
F. Or when a friend is headed into sin or is in the midst of it, do I do right by them?
Open rebuke is better than secret love. Proverbs 27:5Â
Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins. James 5:20
3.What kind of friend do I want to be?
Let each one of us answer that…..