When David was down (but not out), he learned a lot about friendship and fellowship, including:
1) Rulers can betray their strongest supporters: 'Now Saul spoke to Jonathan his son and to all his servants, that they should kill David' (1 Samuel 19:1).
2) True friends are proven in adversity: 'Jonathan answered Saul his father, and said to him, 'Why should he be killed? What has he done?' ' (1 Samuel 20:32). To protect David, Jonathan withstood the king.
3) False friends are exposed in adversity: 'Look and see, there is no one at my right hand; no one is concerned for me. I have no refuge; no one cares for my life' (Psalm 142:4).
4) Even church friends can be deadly: 'If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it... But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend, with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship at the house of God' (Psalm 55:12-14).
5) Misfits can become friends: 'All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their commander' (1 Samuel 22:2).
6) Friends can be fickle: When David ran for his life, his own tribe revealed him: 'Our part shall be to surrender him into the king's hand' (1 Samuel 23:20). When his new friends faced a crisis, they 'Spoke of stoning him' (1 Samuel 30:6).
7) The same brothers who ridiculed him returned to help him: David 'Escaped to the cave of Adullam. When his brothers and his father's household heard about it, they went down to him there' (1 Samuel 22:1).
8) In his youth, David pledged himself to One. As time passed, David made mistakes--but never left his best Friend's side. At the end, David witnessed God's loyalty again and again: 'Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me' (Psalm 23:4).
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Jesus extended the bonds of fellowship by extending Himself on a Cross. He took down the deceiver and raised up a church. You are that church: a church without walls, united in Spirit and extended to the world. Good fellowship is essential--for protection, encouragement and correction.
Nevertheless, 'Test all things; hold fast what is good' (1 Thessalonians 5:21), including friends. If a friend stumbles and asks your forgiveness, give it. (David did.) Only One will never stumble. Only One will never leave your side. Always, always trust Him first. God is your most essential Friend.
Stay united with Him by His Son, His Word and His Spirit; by thanksgiving, praise and prayer.
'That which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ' (1 John 1:3).
## Valiant Like David: Fellowship (Part 14)
NOTE: This series is a republished edit of a 2014 series called, Valiant Like David. In these devotions, you may see notes to 'Actors, Models & Talent for Christ.' I have not changed this designation. Because in a greater sense, every disciple of Christ acts for Christ, models Christ and stewards His talents, from which God expects a profit.
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Valiant! Like David series.