What you will need: A Bible or your Bible app, a notebook, pen, and highlighter. The verses highlighted below are linked so that you can easily access them during your study time.
1. Tell of one time when someone stuck around, when they could have ducked out of your problem. Or tell of a time you took the fall because the real culprit escaped. (Think funny, like you got caught holding the pack of smokes someone else dropped!)
2. Read 2 Corinthians 1:8-9, then read 2 Timothy 1:15-18. Describe Paul’s mental and physical situation. Have you ever been there? Are you in a relationship with someone who is in this type of despair? Onesiphorus was helpful in many ways. List them. How does this tie in with the main verse for this week: Proverbs 17:17.
3. Consider these verses. Some are proverbs with short, wise, and practical advice. Jot down beside each verse what we are encouraged to do / not do. Of these, which is the easiest for you? Which is the hardest:
4. Final Thought: We were encouraged to open up and pursue deeper relationships this week: To give the wise counsel our friend needs; to put others first, to set aside time, to protect and not gossip. Discuss any action steps you felt God impress upon you. Share with the group if you can; certainly, act on them as soon as possible. If you have a friend who would fit in your Life Group, start inviting them!
Long before David was king, he had a best friend named Jonathan. Jonathan was King Saul’s son. Though Saul later became afraid of David and began pursuing him, Jonathan stuck by David. Their bond is probably the greatest example of a loyal friendship we find in the Bible. Although we know a lot about David’s life, we know very little about Jonathan’s. This week, we take a deeper look at Jonathan’s life and dive into their legacy of loyalty.
5. Before Jonathan ever met David, he was a warrior and a leader in his father’s army. Read 1 Samuel 14:1, 6-15, 27-30, and 38-45. What are some of the characteristics we see in Jonathan? Why is he not better known for many of his individual successes and daring feats? What were the differences between Jonathan and his father, King Saul?
6. After 1 Samuel 14, we know much that happens in the life of David. He is anointed by the prophet Samuel to be the next king (chapter 16). He defeats Goliath, who was one of Saul’s greatest enemies and a champion in the Philistine army (chapter 17). He is brought before Saul, and then we read of David and Jonathan’s first encounter Read 1 Samuel 18:1-4. Also read 1 Samuel 20:12-15, when Jonathan makes a further, more ceremonial covenant. What does Jonathan do to show he is not threatened by David? Why isn’t he jealous of David’s presence? What does this reveal about Jonathan’s character?
7. Jonathan’s love for David is quickly put to the test. Read 1 Samuel 19:1-10 and 1 Samuel 20:1-17. What action displays Jonathan’s love for David? Why is this remembered more than his great war victories? How have you put elevating others in front of your own “kingdom”?
The rest of the book of 1 Samuel primarily focuses on David and Saul’s “relationship.” Saul can never get over the fact that the people (including his own son) love David. Saul becomes jealous and hunts David for the remainder of his life. In the end, this rage and hate caused him to become mentally unstable, paranoid, and suspicious. He makes bad decisions and the Lord allows Israel to be defeated by the Philistines. Unfortunately, Jonathan’s fate seems insignificant and almost like an afterthought!
8. Read 1 Samuel 31:1-4. Was Jonathan’s life significant? What is his legacy in your mind? What will be your legacy? Who are you elevating even above yourself out of love and loyalty? To see how David viewed Jonathan’s legacy, check out 2 Samuel 9:1-7. Did David fulfill his end of the covenant?