Search Lesson 049

Key Verse

Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.
— Malachi 3:16

Keeping Friends

1 Samuel 18:1-4; 19:1-7


In the account of Jonathan and David, we have one of the most beautiful examples of friendship found in the Word of God, one that lasted until Jonathan’s death and beyond. The envy, jealousies, and competitions that can so often break up friendships had no effect on them because of the godly love that existed between them.


In this day of micro-technology, we should have no difficulty in grasping the concept that small things can be significant. We may feel that we are just one among millions on this earth, but in God’s eyes we are important, and that is the point we wish to convey throughout this quarter.

God has a plan for each of us! As we begin our Christian walk, and then continue to grow in His grace, we will want to find out what that plan is and do our best to follow it. To discover God’s plan for us, we need to communicate with Him. With that thought in mind, this quarter opens with two lessons focusing on prayer. The lessons following those deal with recognizing the call of God and fitting ourselves to be usable in His service.

We look at the importance of witnessing to others, and the vital necessity of holding on through hard places. The quarter moves on to a series of lessons on choosing and keeping friends who will not hinder our spiritual growth. The concluding thrust is the importance of staying on the alert, ready at any moment for the Lord’s coming.


1 Samuel 23:16-18; 2 Kings 2:2


  1. From a natural standpoint, what was especially unusual about the love Jonathan had for David?
  2. What was the supreme test of Jonathan’s friendship with David, and how did he retain his friendship in spite of this test? 1 Samuel 20:30-31; 23:16-17
  3. List some of the things that might come along to test a friendship. In what way would God have us react to these tests if we would keep our friendships intact?
  4. What kind of confidence did David have in the strength of his friendship with Jonathan, as Saul made attempt after attempt to take his life?
  5. What was David’s reaction to Jonathan’s death? What did he do to keep the covenant he had made with Jonathan? See 1 Samuel 20:14-17 and 2 Samuel 1:26; 9:6-10; 21:7.
  6. Several times in the Book of Proverbs, Solomon gives us instructions as to the way we should treat our friends. As Christians, what are some of the things you feel we can do to prove our love and friendship for others? See Proverbs 17:17, 18:24, and 27:10.
  7. Close friends usually enjoy the same interests, go to the same kinds of places, enjoy each other’s company, and like to talk about the same things. The prophet Malachi tells us how the Lord feels about those who channel these interests into spiritual pursuits. What has He promised those who do this? Malachi 3:16-18
  8. In 1 John 1:3,6-7, we can read of the fellowship Christians should have with another as they walk in the light of God. What is the meaning of fellowship and how can we apply it spiritually?

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