TEXT: 1 Samuel 18:1-4; 19:1-7; 20:11-23, 35-42
- supplemental scriptures
The students will be able to explain that David and Jonathan were true friends because they loved each other in good times as well as bad.
- memory verse
A friend loveth at all times. — Proverbs 17:17
- bible lesson outline
Introduction: Bring to class a number of pictures cut from magazines showing friends doing a variety of things together. Ask your students to define what they think a friend is. Do friends have to be the same age? Same nationality? Same background? Tell them that the Bible story for today is a beautiful example of a friendship in which the two people were very different.
- Prince Jonathan recognized that the Spirit of the Lord was in David and became his true friend, even though David's background was very humble.
- King Saul became jealous of David and wanted him killed, but Jonathan interceded for his friend and Saul promised not to kill him.
- Saul's jealousy persisted, and Jonathan let David know that Saul was still determined to kill him.
- David and Jonathan made a friendship pact before the Lord that was to endure forever.
Climax: Jonathan loved David as a dear friend even though he knew that David would one day be king instead of him.
Conclusion: True loving friendship is much deeper than just a surface relationship.
Response: The students will be able to describe the friendship of David and Jonathan, and will be able to explain that real friendship is more than just being nice to someone for personal advantage.
- background information
David talked to Saul at length after the defeat of Goliath. Most likely he spoke about how his faith in God was the reason for his courage. As Jonathan, a man of kindred spirit, listened, he was attracted to David in such a way that the Scripture says "the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David" (1 Samuel 18:1). The two made a covenant that day and Jonathan sealed that covenant by giving David his robe, his weapons, and his belt (girdle). Jonathan's gift to David was a great honor. Most of Israel's soldiers had only crude implements but Jonathan's weapons were the very best. The belt was a folded woolen cloth tied around the waist and often used to hold a man's sword. The robe was an important part of a man's wardrobe and was certainly better than any the simple shepherd boy had ever owned. This may have also indicated Jonathan's recognition that David was to be the next king in his stead.
Although his father was an extremely jealous man, Jonathan showed no trace of jealousy, but willingly accepted David's appointment by God to the throne. Neither personal ambition nor family quarrels could separate these two friends. These were not "fair-weather friends." They stood true to each other though tested by many trials and troubles. Most importantly, however, their friendship was based upon a mutual, deep, and abiding faith in the God of Israel as evidenced by Jonathan's words in 1 Samuel 14:6,12 and David's words in 1 Samuel 17:37,46.
- in-class activities
- Cut out a friendship van for each child in your class (see Patterns). Have the children color the van and then fold along broken lines. (Be sure you have cut around bottom half of the tires and the slit on the top of the van.) Paste the A flaps together and the B flaps together. Bend, but do not crease, the front of the van down and paste to the B flap. Do the same to the back of the van and paste to the A flap. Carefully open the slits at the bottom of each wheel, folding flaps to close the bottom of the van and paste together the areas marked C. Have them fill in the name of a friend on the key sign and put it in the slit on top of the van. Allow them time to tell about the friend they chose. Then they may give the van to their friend.
- Talk with your class about how we treat our friends. We don't say bad things about them, we help them when they need our help, and we give them nice surprises, such as a card. Give each child a piece of paper and have him make a card for one of his friends. On it could be written, "Thank you for being my friend," or "I'm so glad that you are my friend." Pass out crayons, stickers, and other such items with which the cards could be decorated.
- Prepare a paper bag coat for each student to decorate (see Patterns). Use this when you talk about Jonathan sharing his coat and other things with David.
- Give each child a set of the finger puppets representing David and Jonathan (see Patterns). These could also be glued on Popsicle sticks for the children to hold as you relate the story.
- Make two hearts from felt. Decorate one with fancy trim to represent Jonathan's heart. The other should be the same size, but very plain and simple. Sew one side of a Velcro strip to each heart, so the two hearts can be joined. Explain that the Bible tells us David's and Jonathan's hearts were joined together, they were that good friends.
Special Instructions for Unit 26: Prepare the "David and Jonathan" place mat for your students.
- Why does God want us to have good friends?
- Why do you suppose David and Jonathan were such good friends?
- What types of persons are bad for us to have as friends? Should we be friends with just anyone?
- How should we choose our friends?
- What are some things that make a good friendship?
- What does it mean to be loyal? Explain how Jonathan was loyal to David and David was loyal to Jonathan.
- Talk about some ways that you can be a better friend.
- Tell about a time your friend has helped you.
- pre-school suggestions
- Act out a story using finger puppets (see Patterns) or dolls. Have the characters playing nicely and then have them start arguing, not wanting to share, etc. Talk about how important it is to treat our friends well if we want to keep them as friends.
- Talk about what a friend is. Show pictures of children doing things together—playing, eating, sleeping, etc. Explain that Jesus puts special love in our hearts for our friends.
- Use a series of stick puppets or pictures to show the contrast between David and Jonathan (see Patterns). On one side put David's simple shepherd's robe, on the other, Jonathan's princely attire. Continue through series, showing the tent and a palace, a sling and a fancy sword and bow, a simple hat and a crown, simple food and food on fancy dishes. Bring out that though Jonathan had much more than David, David was not jealous. And Jonathan was happy to share with his friend.
- review ideas
Look over the children in your department and set up a chain of friendship. For example: Johnny and Billy are friends, Billy and Nancy are cousins and good friends, Nancy and Jill go to school together and play together, Jill and her brother Tommy are good friends, Tommy likes Paul who is in his Sunday school class. Sunday school class is a good place to make friends. Talk about how much fun it is to have friends and ways to make and keep friends. Give each child a tag which states, "Join the David and Jonathan Club! We like friends!" (see Patterns).
Think of some of the ways other teachers in your department have been friends to you. Make a large heart of construction paper for each kind deed or evidence of friendship you will talk about, and briefly write this on the heart. Start your review by telling the assembled group that you are going to introduce them to some of your friends. Call the teachers forward one at a time. Present each one in turn with a paper heart and talk about how they showed themselves as friends.
Fill six balloons with helium and tie a string on each. On the first one draw a happy face. (My friend likes me when I'm happy.) Then draw a crying face. (My friend tries to comfort me when I'm sad.) Continue on with a lonely face, a scared face, a hurt face (Band-Aid on cheek), and a wondering face. As you present each balloon, talk about how a true friend will react to each mood. Hand each balloon to a different person in the audience as you talk. At the end, call all the people holding balloons up and tell your group that these are all your friends. As you go through the different moods, be sure to bring in how Jonathan and David were friends in these times too.