David and Jonathan (1 Samuel 20)

Scripture Text:

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1 Samuel 20


1. When you were in high school and needed a long talk with a best friend, where did you go?

2. When growing up, did you have any secret ways of communicating with your friends? Do you still use coded messages? What for?

3. Thinking about this story of David and Jonathan, what comes to mind?

  • this is beautiful
  • this is corny
  • this sounds like a Hollywood plot
  • I wish I had a friendship like that

4. If you found out your father was threatening to kill your best friend, how would you feel?

  • there must be something wrong with my dad
  • there must be something wrong with my friend
  • there’s something wrong with me
  • I would feel terribly torn

5. When you realized your father was doing this to save the throne for you, how would you have felt?

  • the same way
  • unworthy
  • appreciative
  • disgusted

6. How do you think Saul was feeling?

  • insecure
  • betrayed by his son
  • unappreciated by his son
  • deceived by David
  • blinded by jealousy

7. If you knew the king was trying to kill you, would you trust the location of your hiding place to his son?

  • yes – if you can’t trust your best friend you’ve really got a problem
  • no – you really can’t depend on anyone but yourself
  • only if I had a promise like Jonathan made

8. What do you think was the secret to David and Jonathan’s friendship?

  • common interests
  • loyalty
  • warm affection
  • trust
  • the problems they went through together

9. Do you think Jonathan did the right thing to remain loyal to David? Has he betrayed his father? If so, how? If not, why not?

10. What is the closest you have come to a friendship like theirs?

11. When it comes to making friends, I usually (choose one in each pair):

  • make friends quickly or slowly
  • change friends constantly or never
  • break off friendships easily or painfully
  • pick the right or wrong kind of friends

12. What has been your basis for choosing friends? Has that led to friendships of character like David and Jonathan’s?

13. How do you feel about having a close and trusted friend?

  • I need a friend like that
  • I have friends like that now, and would like more
  • I like the idea, but can’t imagine myself with such a friendship
  • I’m not sure I want to make the commitment it would take
  • I haven’t recovered yet from a close friendship that had an unhappy ending

14. Do you think you parents are (or were) totally honest with you all the time? Why?

15. When have you presumed to know your parents’ innermost thoughts, only to be proven wrong in a big way? How did you handle that piercing hurt?

16. What does this chapter indicate about the quality of a “Jonathan-David type” friendship? When have you experienced such a covenant bond with a member of the same gender?

17. Whose circumstances and emotions do you most readily identify with: Saul, trying to preserve you own self-interests? David, trying to escape and torn by conflict of interests? Or Jonathan, losing a loved one?

18. When is it right to go against authority in obeying God? When is it wrong? What elements in civil or familial disobedience are never right?



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