Today’s theme is friends and friendship. Solomon had this to say about friends:
“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” (Proverbs 17:17)
In other words, a friend will love you even when you’re unlovable. A friend will stick by you and not desert you when everything is going wrong. In fact, sometimes he sticks closer to a brother.
One of the greatest examples of a true friendship is the one David and Jonathan shared, even though Jonathan’s father, King Saul, was trying to kill David. Recognizing Saul’s evil intent, David didn’t hang around and risk getting killed. Yet he didn’t say or do anything negatively against Saul, because he was the Lord’s anointed, and he didn’t allow the ugly situation to interfere with his relationship with Jonathan. We can learn a lot from this.
One thing I’ve learned is, you never know who your true friends are going to be. Sometimes, those you were convinced were your good friends may turn out to be your enemy. When we go through trials and discouraging situations is, typically, when we discover who our friends truly are. From David we also learn what to do and what not to do in these relationships. For instance, nothing in the Bible suggests that we have to hang around someone and get run through with the javelins they send our way. We also learn that, when they do that, we shouldn’t retaliate against them. Even when it seems that God delivers them into your hands, don’t strike out against them – let the LORD deal with it. When you really think about it, though Saul never acknowledged it, the truest friend he had in the world was the man he was trying to kill.
Finally, when we consider friendships, could there be any greater honor than for the Creator of the universe to recognize you as His friend? That’s exactly what He says of Abraham.
“But you, Israel, are My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the descendants of Abraham My friend.” (Isaiah 41:8)
What was it about Abraham that God would refer to him in such a way? I believe the answer is simple. Abraham believed God and he obeyed God. He honored God and preferred others before himself. In short, he was a friend to God and he was a friend to his fellow man. He loved the Lord wholly and loved his neighbor as himself.
There’s a worship song that says of the Creator, “He Calls Me Friend.” If He does, it’s certainly not because I have always been a great friend to Him. If He calls me friend, it’s because He chooses to be that friend who sticks closer than a brother. He loves me when I’m unlovable, and He stands with me though all adversity. My prayer, today, is that we will all live a life that merits being called His friend.