Being a Friend

Being a Friend

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 read 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 closer to the Lord.

A. Let’s look at what Jonadab did:

1. He saw Amnon, someone who considered him to be a friend, vexed, basically beside himself so Jonadab 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 have done:

1. Upon Seeing Amnon’ state, asked 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 of 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, “With a friend like that, who needs enemies!”

1. Leading you to do wrong: Matthew 18:6, Proverbs 1:10

2. Does that which God hates: Proverbs 6:12-19

a. Proud look
b. A lying tongue
c. Hands that shed innocent blood
d. A heart that deviseth wicked imaginations
e. Feet that be swift in running to mischief
f. A false witness that speaketh lies
g. Sower of discord among the brethren

3. Does not follow the way of those who “delight is in the law of the Lord.” 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

This verse stuck out to me:

A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends. Proverbs 16:28

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 4:14-15

2. The Right Kind of Friend

A. Let’s contrast this with 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 to 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 David.

Their friendship was so strong they made a 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. 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. I Samuel 23:16

The following verses all deal with their friendship in relation to the Lord: I Samuel 20:3, 12, 20, 16, 42, 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:

And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25:

2. Does that which God loves:

The way of the wicked is an abomination unto the LORD: but he loveth him that followeth after righteousness. Proverbs 15:9

He that loveth pureness of heart, for the grace of his lips the king shall be his friend. Proverbs 22:11

3. ”…his delight is in the law of the Lord.”

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish. Psalm 1

4. “Seeks after righteousness.”

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. 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 5:22-26

3. Here are some questions I’ve been asking myself:

A. What kind of friends do I have and what does that say about me?

1. Whom I choose as my friends will affect my testimony.

One of our Pastor’s favorite sayings is If you’re going to play in the devil’s sandbox, you’re going to get some of his fleas.

Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. 1 Corinthians 15:33

Whoso is partner with a thief hateth his own soul: he heareth cursing, and bewrayeth [it] not. (Proverbs 29:24 KJB)

2. The old adage: “Birds of a feather flock together.” Those who are likeminded will seek each other out and will have an impact on each other:

Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. 1 Corinthians 15:33

Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go: Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul. (Proverbs 22:24-25 KJB)

He that walketh with wise [men] shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed. (Proverbs 13:20 KJB)

B. What kind of friend am I?

1. 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 18:24

2. Then, there’s a very special kind of friend that “sticketh closer than a brother. 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 15:12-13

Do I let my friends know in word and deed that I am there for them? Am willing to be a help whether in quiet reassurance, a shoulder to cry on, or hands ready for work?

3. 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 10:24

4. 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 16:2

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 30:6

And Jonathan Saul’s son arose, and went to David into the wood, and strengthened his hand in God. 1 Samuel 23:16

5. 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: Exodus 16:7-9, 12, Numbers 14:27, 17:5, 17:10, Philippians 2:14-15, 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?

6. 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 27:5

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 5:2

Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him. 18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD. Leviticus 19:17-18 17 

What kind of friend do I want to be?

Let each one of us answer that.
Published April 12, 2007 | By Angela Trenholm
Posted in Bible, Lessons | Tagged friend, testimony | Leave a comment


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