WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE
Knowing the influence that friends have on each other, the Lord advises that “the righteous should choose his friends carefully” (Prov. 12:26). Friends, even as the Bible uses the word, are not mere acquaintances. True friends build a relationship which can surpass even that which they experienced in their own home. Solomon stated that “there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother,” and “a friend loves at all times” (Prov. 18:24; 17:17). (This is why husbands and wives need to be best friends.)
Moses spoke of a friend “who is as your own soul” (Deut. 13:6). That’s the kind of friends that David and Jonathan were to each other. First Samuel 18 says, “The soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul…Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul” (18:1, 3).
Do you have a friend that you would trust and value “as your own soul”? Many of us can identify that person(s) in our lives and we cannot imagine trying to exist without their close and constant companionship. Can I remind you of another friend whom you cannot live without?
The following passages paint a portrait of God that I think we need to have refreshed in our hearts. “So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend” (Ex. 33:11). Meditate on that for a minute. Moses and the Lord were very close friends.
James tells us that Abraham “was called the friend of God” (2:23). In the Old Testament, Abraham truly was called God’s friend. In 2 Chronicles 20:7, King Jehoshaphat appealed to God and referred to “Abraham Your friend forever.” But, it was not just others calling Abraham a friend of God. In Isaiah 41:8, the Lord Himself said, “Abraham My friend.” Meditate on that for a minute. God proclaimed, “Abraham is My friend.”
We have a friend who sticks closer than a brother (cf. Heb. 13:5-6). We have a friend who loves at all times (cf. Rom. 8:35-39). We have a friend who loves us as His own soul (cf. Eph. 5:2; Isa. 53:10-12; Heb. 4:15).
Now, go and read John 15:13-15. He loved His friends and laid down His life for His friends. But, we are only His friends if we do as He has commanded us.
Would the Lord call you His friend? Is He your close, constant companion? Is your soul knit to Him?