Read about David and Jonathan’s friendship in portions of 1 Samuel 18, 19, and 20.
Jonathan Helps David: A Retelling of 1 Samuel 20 (ages 6-12)
Retells the story for children, summarizing key parts.
Ideas for discussion
- After David killed Goliath, people admired his bravery, and King Saul was jealous. The Lord had also chosen David to be the next king of Israel rather than Saul’s son, Jonathan. Saul tried to kill David several times (see 1 Sam. 18:10-12; 19:1, 9-12). Are there times when you have felt jealous of someone? Or angry with a person because of the situation? What are healthy ways to handle these feelings?
- Jonathan loved David “as his own soul” (1 Sam. 18:3) and the two made a covenant of friendship. Jonathan gave David his robe and belt, and also his armor, sword, and bow. When Saul told Jonathan and all of his servants to kill David, Jonathan did all that he could to keep David safe. What qualities did Jonathan show by acting this way? (Unselfishness, loyalty to his friend, loyalty to the Lord’s choice, etc.)
- What did Jonathan and David plan to make sure that David would be safe? (Jonathan would see how Saul reacted when David did not come to the feast at the New Moon. Jonathan would then signal to David whether it was safe or not.)
- What did David promise to do for Jonathan? (He would show Jonathan kindness throughout his life and extend that kindness to his children.)
- David and Jonathan show us a beautiful example of a friendship where each person wants what is best for the other. They respect what is good in the other and are unselfish in their words and actions toward each other. How can we look to this example when we trying to help other people and be a good friend to them?
- “The essence of spiritual love is to do good to others, not for one’s own sake, but for their sake” (Divine Love and Wisdom 335).
- “They who are in genuine mutual love are in their delight and bliss when they are benefiting the neighbor, for they desire nothing more” (Arcana Coelestia 6388).
Read more about this story and friendship:
- “Friends” by W. Cairns Henderson (for ages 3-6)
True friendship is where you forget about yourself and think only of making the other person happy. This is the kind of friendship the Lord wants us to have.
- “Friendship” by W. Cairns Henderson (ages 7-14)
Jonathan knew that the Lord wanted David to be king, so he gladly gave up any thought of becoming king of Israel himself. Instead, he became David’s friend and helped him become the next king.
- “Friendship: The Outward Expression of Love” by David R. Simons (ages 18 and up)
How does the Heavenly Doctrine of the New Church define friendship and what do they say we should base it on?
Projects and activities for various ages:
- Hearts Knit Together (for ages 3-6)
Combine two hearts together by threading yarn through holes around the edges.
- Jonathan Gives David His Robe Coloring Page
Lovely illustration of the Jonathan giving his robe to his friend, David.
- Story of Jonathan and David Collage (ages 6-12)
Illustrate Jonathan and David’s friendship with a collage that shows them “standing out” from the background.
- David and Jonathan Story Ladder (ages 8-12)
Illustrate three parts of the story about these close friends.
- Jonathan’s Gifts Prepare David for Battle (for ages 11-14)
Looks at Jonathan's gifts to David. How can friends help each other by giving them spiritual weapons for spiritual struggles?
- What Makes Someone a Good Friend? (for ages 9-12)
What do you love about your friends? What can you do to be a good friend to them?
- Kindly Heart or Selfish Heart (for ages 9-14)
Cut out all the pieces for the kindly heart and the selfish heart. Then try assembling them and see which one makes a true heart shape.
- Food for Thought: Friendship (for teens and up)
What makes a person a good friend?
Sign up to receive notification when new highlights like this are published. Subscribe.