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The V-Formation of Friendship

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
July 25, 2021 6:00 am

The V-Formation of Friendship

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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July 25, 2021 6:00 am

In this message from 1 Samuel, Pastor Bryan looks at one of the most iconic friendships in the entire Bible. King David and Prince Jonathan were two of the most accomplished people in their nation. What set them apart, though, was not their military achievement, but their committed, transparent, sacrificial friendship. Through these two men, we learn about true friendship, fake friendship, and the greatest friend God could ever give us.

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Good morning Summit family good to be with you if you got your Bibles please meet me in first Samuel chapter 18 is always good.

Send Chris every time I'm with Chris.

I want to call him Leonardo DiCaprio for some reason we've we've joked about that. We joked about that before I would take a break this this morning from our series is that we been going to book Daniel and take a break from that is just amazing me all of the things that the Bible touches on and one of the things that it touches on is friendship.

And this morning I want to give you a biblical gospel saturated vision of what friendship looks like and then I want to show you how we see all of these things in Jesus Christ. For Samuel chapter 18 pick me up in verse one.

The narrator rights as soon as he had finished speaking to Saul is referring to David the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul Saul verse two took him that day and would not let him return to his father's house.

Then Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and David to David and his armor, and even his sword and his bow and Isabel David went out and was successful wherever Saul send him so that Saul said him over the men of war, and this was good in the sight of all the people and also in the sight of Saul's servants.

We pray for you one more time got I think you just with the scope of Scripture just Lord God of all the things you want us to know that you had eternally codified in your word. I pray Lord God in this culture in which we are in here in America in the west Lord God that daily tells us to find meaning inside of us that calls us to live in isolation to to be an autonomous individual Lord God, I pray that you would you would give us a countercultural vision of what real authentic community and friendship looks like. I pray that in Lord God that he would be with me Lord God.

This is not about me. This is about you. These people don't need to hear from a middle-aged man they need to hear from eternal God in the midst of all this, Lord God, I pray that Jesus would be made much we need to see Jesus and I'm deceiving thinking that phrase that great Brooklyn creature of the 20th century, Gardner Taylor.

He had ensconced right there on the podium. Whenever a guest preacher would comment, they would see the words we would see Jesus I pray that we would see him today so that in Lord got.

I pray all these things in Christ's name. I ask a men and fall of every year Canadian geese take off for warmer climate. When they do so they don't they don't do it alone. They don't go is a collection of isolated individuals. They always flied together and they fly in something that we would call a V formation not cited have extensively studied Canadian geese in this whole idea of a V formation, and they have concluded that there are at least two advantages of flying in this V formation.

One is, except the lead goose every other goose in this V formation your flying behind another goose and not on your flying behind that goes with your flying slightly above it so that you're able to draft off of the energy, effort and exertions of the goose in front of you at that it allows you here it is to conserve energy. Not only that scientists say that this V formation not only logic to conserve energy. And it also allows the geese to stay in close contact and communication with one another. In fact, scientists have actually learned that when a goose countertops out of the V formation disadvantaged did way too tired and don't go to the ground to rest, recover and recuperate. Beltsville never go by themselves. Another goose will leave that same V formation in a company that goes on the ground and will wait for them until they have the strength needed to take to the skies again and when they do that they won't do it, just the two of them built built build link up with another V formation. Geese have a lot to teach us about the journey of life.

Geese are smart enough to realize you can't get to your desired destination on your own you and I need others talk about friendship. Maybe some of you in the room you treat friendship as as an elective to the curriculum of life, but the vision that the Bible gives us is that friendship is not an elective in his core curriculum frequently right now, who's your V formation that is Gordon McDonald talks about in his wonderful book, a resilient life.

A highly commended to who's your happy few of those individuals that you're drafting off of that. You're living in close contact in community without not now we all know the African proverb don't way if you want to go fast alone would not go far, go together. Who's your V formation asking you, your family I understand that to family and friends are not always synonymous. In fact, I love what one writer says one writer says home is that place where they gotta let you in our our our family is who we are responsible for. We don't choose family we do choose friends talking about family if sure there are some cases where there is overlap. Where does feel like that sibling really is a deeper sense of the term. Your friend, that's not all the time. True more times than not, it's not true I'm not talking about your family, nor my talk about your acquaintances, but many of you in here get God bless you, your extrovert that's not my testimony, introverted love languages words of affirmation, which pretty much means tell me how great I am and leave your extrovert you like my youngest son me my youngest son's favorite phrases, my boy every time he sees my boy that's that's my boy sleepovers work. Jaden is him and 700 of his closest friends in the nonmember living in New York City. True story David about 10 years old we be on the subway. Men, on the other side of town and kids will hop on the subway and they'll look at Jaden Jay Black was up what you talking about. That's my boy. Some of you, you've never met a stranger.

You're always around people but that doesn't mean they are your friend that John Tyson says a good way to distinguish between acquaintances and friends is the idea of the presence of conflict. If there's never any conflict and you're not having to experience it or if you're not working through it.

Those are your friends.

We call that networking so not talk that way around. I'm not talking that your family.

I'm not talking about those you cannot hover at the low altitude of niceness with Hoosier happy few Hoosier V formation not not not not listen to this message is not about me trying to convince you that you should have friends and I'm I'm just going to go out on a limb and say that is a innate desire that all of us have. I don't have time to fully Lord is with you, but a part of what it means to be in the Yamato day means that we have a longing deep abiding of friendship, community with others as Gilbert Biles Vicki and says, in his classic book community 101 we have a longing to be no that's part of what it means. In fact, that in the opening two chapters of the book of Genesis before sin entered the world we see God creating something and slapping hi-fi with the Holy Spirit is like that's good he creates up mouse@five Majeed is that's good. One timepiece he high-fived himself and he said that he just good that's very good in the middle of all the creation he looks at Adam leaving home from work one day going by himself watching Nelson had entered to the world. He says that's not good what's not good. Being alone is not so what is he did what he knew. He creates it even gives my helpmate in this just isn't about marriage.

It's about friendship in all this is before the fall. So our longing for deep abiding human friendship and relationship is not afraid of the fall is what what it means to be made in the image of God. In fact, show me anyone who says I don't need people I don't want to be around people, but people are too much of a headache.

I'll show you someone who's not speaking out of Yamato day but out of the brokenness of Santa because proverb says he who isolates himself is sodomy to convince you that were image bearers. We long for that statement. I do need to convince you of you did nothing else I say you will miss the Sunday school lesson were having today. There's a statement ready is ready to convince you of what this text is going to show us it's a major theme throughout Scripture not also it to you is that you and I will never fully occupy all that God has for us by ourselves when we give it to you again.

You and I will never fully occupy all that God has for us by ourselves night I noticed a man who said that's good to say that's good right there. Why, because it cuts against the grain of how were being culturally formed and discipled in America is the land of the individual every single day were giving a vision in which the ultimate in life is the unencumbered self.

The ultimate aim in life is be by yourself do-it-yourself. In fact, have you noticed a trend that the more money people make the farther apart they get from each other. It's kind of hard tree. It's our vision and what happens when we want to live into the unencumbered. So here's what happened. What we don't look upward for meeting we don't look outward for meeting we look inward for meeting.

In fact, one Supreme Court Justice said it this way. Some years ago he wrote in a brief at the heart of liberty is the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning to get enough individuals kind of looking inward for meaning living into this vision of the unencumbered self and what then happens you and I live in a hyper individualized society, New York Times writer David Brooks sees is my one of my favorite writers is an atheist until his 50s recently has become a follower of Jesus, David Brooks says it in his stunning book. The second mountain he writes look at it with me.

Our society suffers from a crisis of connection a crisis of solidarity.

We live in a culture of hyper- individualism. There's always a tension between self and society between the individual in the group over the past 60 years we have swung too far toward the self. The only way out.

Brooks says, is to rebalance to build a culture that steers people toward relation community, and commitment. The things we most deeply earn for it undermine with our hyper individualistic way of life. Listen, you know my story I moved here a little over a year ago with my family from the bay area and while the Bay Area and Raleigh are incredibly different. There are some points of continuity when the things I'm picking up Beth and the triangles like the bay area. A lot of you are very accomplished individual.

You graduated with degrees many of you, you build the business you constructed the career you're knocking it out of the park things seem to be going well on the accomplishment trajectory. And yet, here's my fear for many of you may be you've traded relationship for accomplishment by just being honest and just kind of sit on the sofa with you up at my last name is Moritz on the sun. Acropolis very accomplished individual. It's a shadow that is always over my life, I'll just kind of hope. This is a safe place.

Keep this between us to let it get out there, but I want you to understand when I wrote my first book, and they kindly send me that that galley copy in advance you the first thing I did, I took that book grabbed my dad's first book off the shelf, looked at the publishing date of his first book to determine how old he was compared with how old I am, so I know that whole accomplishment thing just go go go go go you checkboxes, checkboxes, checkboxes, and one day you look around and you dislike me-I've achieved some things I've accomplished a lot but I traded relationship for accomplishment may be that some of you highly accomplished people.

I want you to hear me. The vision here vortex isn't either or will get David and Jonathan, and let's just call it what it is they both are highly accomplished individuals their stellar leaders and yet these highly accomplished individuals in leaders form one of the greatest friendships in world history. One of the things they're going to teach us is that you and I again will never fully occupy all that God has for us by ourselves every single day. The Christian vision of friendship says we are going to have to go to war with autonomy that's come to our text architects ultimately is not about tips to have great friends. That's too low vision.

We must see our text through the lens of the providence of God. What is the providence of God. I love how Tony Evans defined it. About 20 of them says the providence of God is the hand of God in the glove of time. It is a God who is actively at work in our lives and I need you to hear this. One of the lessons of our text is one of the ways God is actively at work in your life in my life is the lives of other people that he gives us along the way. So in order to understand this, we can go back to chapter 16 16 David was anointed king son of Jesse Samuel comes to the house.

The other brothers are paraded first and Sam like it's gotta be that one more note to me that when Lord no fabulous is let man man looks on the outside.

I look at the hearts. Finally, David is paraded and he's the one he's anointed, Succeeded around age 13.

The next chapter.

Chapter 17 is run ages 14 to 15 somewhere in there and in any courageous confidence.

Here we see David what we have in chapter 17 of the example of representative warfare where one individual represents one people going against another individual represents another person. David represents the people of God taking on Goliath represents the felicity and in one of the most astounding upsets of all time.

Israel wins all. If I had more time I'd show you greater David and a greater military battle were on the cross, Jesus became our representative and he took on the Goliath of Satan and through the death of Jesus, the enemies of God were defeated once and for all. Now chapter 18 if we fret fast forward a little bit to see David. It starts out on the mountaintop victory. But later on in chapter 18 he's going to enter into the valley of despair salt going to take him into his his house us all filled with envy and jealousy is going to try to kill take David overtly three times and kind of upset more the subtle sense of three other times he's constantly going to come after David. Things reach a crescendo in chapter 20. At the lowest point of David's life. Jonathan says look.

My dad has a vendetta on you and David will then spend the next 15 years of his life as a fugitive here is David on the mountaintop of success. In chapter 18 about to go into a dark valley for 15 years in the providence of God. God is saying David the only way you're going to survive is I've got to gift you with the friendship going to see you through the Christ. The lesson is clear. David will not fully occupy all that God has for him without the friendship of Jonathan (we see this throughout Scripture don't really where is Joseph without the friendship of the baker in the cupbearer have their friendship. He still in jail doesn't end up in the lineage of Jesus without the friendship of Boaz where Peter, James and John without the friendship of Jesus there still fishermen settling for a life that is less than what God ordained when Saul, who would later become Paul first gets a note of the Christian leaders will fall with him and what gets them is the friendship of Barnabas all the isolated individual is trying to cut off the fingers of the providence of God. We need people what is friendship look like what exactly does friendship look like. Our text gives us a stunning forensic into authentic biblical gospel saturated friendship verse three we look at it with me. Here's David. If you track with the universe. 17. In chapter 17 David is called into a closed-door meeting with with Saul and Jonathan in here is David. I love it in the chapter 17 tells us he still holding the head of Goliath. Unreal.

So here he is holding.

Goliath said blood dripping to the ground in verse three it says. Then Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as his own soul, covenant, simply speaking is a binding agreement in the Scriptures. Oftentimes, not only between two parties, but one of those parties will be of a higher status with another party. That civil lowers.

We see this all throughout the Scriptures as the Abraham a covenant God, the higher status enters into a binding agreement with Abraham we see in the Mosaic covenant with God of the higher status incident ends up making a binding agreement with the people of God of the lower status and receipt of the new covenant. All of us have been recipients of a binding agreement between Jesus who is the higher status, and we, his people who are blowers. The idea of covenant simply is the idea of commitment. Yet whenever we see covenants in the Bible. There's blood in Genesis 17. When God makes a covenant with Abraham.

He kills animals on the Mosaic covenant you're constantly going in and out of the tabernacle offering sacrifices. There's blood counted our covenant with God, get ratified, although it was the blood of the spotless lamb, the writer of Hebrews says who made a perfect sacrifice for us, once and for all.

So where's the blood in our text. The text says that Jonathan made a covenant with David this text is in Hebrew.

The Hebrew word for made is the word cut.

Here's Jonathan. Just meeting David is one of higher status. David is of the lower status and Jonathan cuts himself.

There's blood trickling off of his hand enters into binding agreement with David, what are we saying here.

True friendship is predicated on commitment is not predicated on performance is predicated on commitment, not contract. Commitment to be honest with you some and I've been studying this text, all week as we been preparing our times that are on the word here is just a stunning portrayal friendship between David and Jonathan, and yet there's a verse in our text that sticks out like a sore phone verse two all of a sudden talking about David and Jonathan Saul somehow works his way into the narrative.

It says, and Saul took him that day and whatnot let him return to his father's house is interesting if you understand Saul relationship with Davisville with fear and jealousy and envy. It's very contractual is very performance oriented with the narrator is doing is comparing and contrasting two different paradigms for friendship look at it with me here the paradigms Saul's take Jonathan's give Saul's have hidden agendas. Jonathan's are transparent. Saul's or selfish.

Jonathan's sacrificial, Saul's killed Jonathan's protect Saul seek to destroy destiny.

Jonathan's want to fulfill destiny soldier contractual Jonathan's covenantal you take inventory of the people in your life who were the Saul's were the Jonathan's skill set furthers you take inventory of how you frame others, are you more Saul, Jonathan, do you treat people on a performance ethic. I tell you Summit this cancel culture in which we live. It should be the church of Jesus Christ, who is leading the way, giving the world a vision of what true friendship looks like. But sadly enough, that's just not happening. I mean if if my only five when saved.

My only my only window into how Christians treat each other with Twitter.

I never get sick when we speak to each, the way we cancel each other. My fear is that the body of Christ is more Saul and Jonathan, what happens when we are in this committed relationship with one another when we are just kinda modeling listen man with where we ride or die I'm I'm with you on the mountaintops of victories that I'm with you in the valley of despair and defeat what what happens when we when we just don't have this quid pro quo ethic or transactional performance laced ethic towards friendship. What did happen as well.

Of course now there's safety. And when their safety.

Don't miss it. Their strengths receive this in our text verse one says as soon speaking of David as he had finished speaking, Saul the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. That phrase was knit simply means to tie the same Hebrew word was used of a narrative in the book of Genesis were a woman named Kmart was giving birth to twins and she's in labor, giving birth to twins. One of the twin sticks his hand out of the womb.

The midwife takes a scarlet piece of string and ties it around that infinite that infants hand in that word for tie is the same word in our text for knit.

It simply means to connect what's being connected the soul, the essence, the deepest level and places of a person's life. In this instance it's this instantaneous connection we've all been there have you been to if you had kids you felt this obviously for us as fathers when our wives got pregnant, they felt this connection way before we did. Oftentimes, for us it doesn't really happen until those little tax write offs come into the world and we hold them for the first time our member as a dad of 3 to 4; Hilda held my boys Mike that there was his instinct was knit connection or maybe if you're married, the one you're with now our member again. Seeing Gloria at church for.

For me it was an instant connection from her not so much but I've kind of felt this in all seriousness, some of you may be the one that you're with now the first time you met them there was just this instant connection and maybe you talked all night. Others of us have friends and we know this, we might go weeks without speaking to a friend and then all of a sudden we speak to them after prolonged period of time. This is like we talked to them yesterday. There's this deep connection is the point where there soul level connection. Don't miss this. Here's the stuff of friendship when there soul level connection there soul level communication.

I want to show you a couple of instances of this in the friendship of David and Jonathan we see it in first Samuel chapter 20 Jonathan has been lobbying hard for David and Saul is just relentless. In fact, Saul actually tries to kill Jonathan for sticking up for David and Jonathan got a break the news to us to David that that he's gonna go on the run and look at first Samuel 20 with me. It says in his soon as the boy had gone.

David rose from both sides. The stone heap and fell on his face to the ground and about three times and they kiss one another and wept with one another.

David weeping the most. You see the transparency or David finds out that Jonathan is dead and second Samuel one composes a song where he reflects on their friendship says this Jonathan lies slain on your high places. David writes I am distressed for you. My brother Jonathan. Very pleasant. Have you been to me.

Your love to me was extraordinary, surpassing the love of women.

Some progressive or liberal theologians totally missed the point. They read this verse and and they questioned the sexuality of these individuals in their mind.

There's no paradigm for men speaking like this. We see here is transparency, gospel, saturated God glorifying transparency will you talk to like who in your life did you get past the SportsCenter talk to go to the doctor and you're hurting one of the things the doctors going to say in so many words as we got to get some transparency or the x-ray. The MRI the CT scan.

They think I have transferred if it will relate to you well Juliet healing. There's gotta be transparency who sees the MRI of your marriage who sees the CT scan of your eating disorder who catches a glimpse of the x-ray of that secret sin you been nurturing all my friend Dr. Larry process as we heard in isolation, but we heal in community Hoosier happy few, I hope the Lord gives me a prolonged period of time with you guys and over the course of my time with you guys. There will be something you'll find me returning to over and over again because I think it's one the help. Most helpful tools I could ever give you when we talk about building marriages, friendship relationships, community simply what we call the communication pyramid and put that on the screen for you. Talk about communication pyramid. In essence, by the way it's popularized by an individual popularize not not made up popularized by an individual who went to the universe of North Caroline Chapel Hill. I have no dog in that fight. But there's five levels of communication and were starting at the most surface and going to the deepest so helpful for you, really gauging the quality of your friendships and relationships the most surface levels, clichéd good morning good morning how are you you smoking but you really haven't said anything of substance level to level III. All were over.

Most guys hang out at SportsCenter talk it's fact sharing what you know in its opinion sharing what you think. Once again, how many points that Jan is have you think is going to win the championship. Next year's levels to level III levels for level V are the deepest levels of community really helps you to gauge again the quality of your marriage or relationship your friendship level IV is a motive in sharing how I feel. Level V is transparency it sharing who I am, parenthetically, by the way, here's what you should know II really think the disconnect between communities of color. No white brothers and sisters in a racially traumatic event happens is communities of color because they tend to be more communal immediately go level for this is how we feel. For many of our white brothers and sisters hang out at level II going wait a minute. We don't know the facts. Nice what you understand my let my wife comes to me level for I've had to learn the hard way over 22 years of marriage is not conducive to a healthy marriage for me to hang out at lawyer land level II phone experience if I will experience oneness with my wife let me first stop and feel what the Bible calls agree with those who grieve and then we can get to level II ego level for level V with who you just go listen, I'm not trying theological eyes across my theological tease but I'm mad. David and Jonathan have a substantive friendship because there's transparency was the homeowner's women's commitment when there's covenant when I know you're your ride or die with me.

It's not about my performance, but when you're with me on the mountaintop with their safety and safety breeds transparency and when were transparent. Now we are positioned to sacrifice for one another in verse four. And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was all them and gave it to David in his armor and even his sword and his bow at his belt is unbelievable. It's interesting reading commentators here.

They man it's blowing their minds again. Jonathan, the son of Saul called the King makes Jonathan the Prince. Jonathan meets David for the first time and what we see them to. He is relieving himself.

He is stripping himself of his royal regalia. Some commentators say this is mind blowing. That's what's happening here is Jonathan is literally abdicating the throne. He's communicating you're the next king, not me. May be there's some truth to that.

I won't go that far at its core commentators are saying what we have here is vulnerability and sacrifice.

Jonathan is saying look, David, I'm so for you.

I'm so for your success. I see so much that God has for you.

There's no sacrifice to great this won't be a relationship predicated on status because status breeds competition. I love Dennis Rainey says Dennis Rainey said you put two men next to each other our natural inclination is to complete times a there's no competition here. I am so for your promotion that if it demands my deep motion, then what ever it takes for you to occupy all that God has for you.

I will do in your life that you don't share DNA with you have that kind of sacrificial commitment David is nobody at this point she has it all. Her name is Meyer more Meyer Moore has been dubbed by Sports Illustrated as the greatest winner in women's basketball history as a high school basketball prep where she won the highest award, the Gatorade national player of the year as a college basketball player Yukon she won the highest award there is John wooden award.

She gets to the WNBA. She wins the highest award there MVP multiple times. She's the first female athlete signed to Jordan air. She won championships on every single level, but chances are many of you struggling remember Meyer Moore. Why is that because of the height of her fame. She gave it all. Why for many Jonathan irons that you don't know that name. Why would you Jonathan Irons group on the wrong side of the tracks and Jonathan Irons. I was a man in poverty Jonathan Irons spent several decades in prison. He was accused of ups of assault and robbery.

Meyer Moore heard of Jonathan Irons and was convinced that he didn't commit the crimes of the height of her career. She walked away from basketball to work really hard to get him out of jail, everybody said you are crazy you even really know this man. He has nothing.

You have everything what in the world. And guess what she wanted. It was released. Now Jonathan Irons is a follower of Jesus Christ because Meyer Moore, a follower of Jesus Christ, fueled by her faith in Jesus committed to somebody who seemingly had nothing and she leverage her everything so that he could not get by all that God old friend, but I see a greater Jonathan, I see a greater Meyer Moore. His name is Jesus. As the hymn writer said what a friend we have in Jesus. Jesus this road himself.

He left the comforts of heaven and maintain her.

He became our friends. In fact, that's how he relates to us. John 15. He said these words of we, as followers. Greater love has no one than this, that someone would lay down his life for his sense of you are my friends. No longer do I call you servants with a servant does not know what his master's doing.

But I've called you friends as our friend Jesus is committed to us is entered into covenant with us, not contract relationship with him is isn't based on form and it is based on because he is committed us were safe and when there's a name we can be transparent with you not read the songs and the same David expressed to his greater frame Jesus vision come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. You can tell me anything. I'm, I'm your friend. I'll never leave you nor forsake you.

And not only that, but Jesus paid the ultimate price. The ultimate sacrifice died on the cross he ran his sword through his side and crown of thorns on his and we are in friendship. Jesus is going to understand you and I can have a V formation friendship because the lien is he's the one leaning away fact, dare I say there is there really isn't even any such thing is Christ exulting friendship. Melissa Christ is leading I can sacrifice this way without Christ. I can't commit this way without price. Jesus is all so maybe your journey of the gospel saturated community begins with friendship with Jesus as a songwriter said there is not a friend of the lowly.

Jesus no not one known online. No one else can ill all our souls. Diseases, no not one. No, not one service there be some individuals will be available. Talk to you in more detail about what is narrative in our services. Let us all stand right now I want to say a prayer in the no one commission lesson out the name of Jesus in a world that says looking inward for meeting you are the captain of your great master of your soul showing that vision returns vision.

Jesus is declared and we need the Lord God and pray for us.

John okay Lord God for you gifting us another walking in communion so got what you do we take this vision with us and we model Lord and this is Jesus name we summon yours

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