Do you sing the hymn, “What a Friend We Have In Jesus?” Perhaps that is what the writer of Proverbs had in mind when he tells us we should choose our friends wisely (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 way 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 close friend?
So, here’s a question for you. Do you have a friend you would trust your entire being too? Many of us can identify a person such as this in our lives and cannot imagine trying to exist without the close relationship we share. May I remind you of another friend whom you cannot live without?
In Exo. 33:11 the writer says, “Thus the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend.” Just think, Moses and the Lord were very close friends.
Also, James tells us Abraham “was called the friend of God” (2:23). In the Old Testament, we see many instances where Abraham truly was called God’s friend. 2 Chronicles 20:7 tells us, 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.”
The Hebrew writer tells ue He will always be there when we need Him (cf. Heb. 13:5-6). It is He who loves at all times (cf. Rom. 8:35-39). And this Person loves us as His own soul (cf. Eph. 5:2; Isa. 53:10-12; Heb. 4:15).
Jesus died for a friend
So, go and read John 15:13-15. Jesus died on the cross so you and I might not have to be separated from God for eternity. Yes, He loved His friends and laid down His life for them. 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?