“But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen,you descendants of Abraham my friend,”
Genuine friendship is priceless. Having someone that knows us, understands us, is well acquainted with the positives and negatives of our personality and character; is indeed a valuable find. If that kind of friendship is truly priceless, what value can we possibly place on genuine friendship with God? Here is a passage where God Himself vouches for Abraham, calling him “my friend.”
God is Abraham’s Friend
God spoke these words through Isaiah to His people who had a history of struggling with idol worship. The huge difference between God and idols beside the fact that other gods are fake, is that people must choose an idol, but God chooses us! The conversation between God and Moses when the Ten Commandments were given is revealing of God’s heart toward His people. “Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession” (Exodus 19:5).
The people of Israel were descendants of Abraham. God chose Abraham, and called him friend because he believed everything God promised him. Abraham was loved by God, and so are his descendants. The word rendered “my friend” in our passage is “ahfiv,” which means “to love.” It was well known that God loved Abraham deeply because this word covers many aspects of a loving friendship. God’s intense love for His people is inherent in His friendship with people, this Divine friendship is more than priceless indeed!
God Calls us Friends
Jesus told his followers “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends…” (John 15:15). This statement includes us who are in Christ! It gets even better, Paul told the Galatian Church “If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:29). We have already seen that God’s love was extended to His friend Abraham and his descendants after him. In Christ we are Abraham’s descendants, and are (as Jesus said) God’s friends (“ahfiv”-to love)!
He Loved Us First
God chose Abraham just as in Christ He chooses us (Romans 5:8, 1 John 4:10). God loved us and was a friend to us before we knew Him! His love for Abraham made it easy for Abraham to believe Him. It’s God’s love/friendship for us that enables us to love Him and believe Him in return; “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19), this is Grace. This is why Abram’s focus was on God and not the promise. Abraham believed God and trusted Him completely. He knew that God his friend would never disappoint him. We have this same confidence in Christ our redeemer friend!
There is no struggle in believing the promises when the person who makes them is our friend. As Abram was “fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised” (Romans 4:21), so are we. Taking the time to develop an intimate friendship with God will require time. As we become more familiar with Him our confidence in His friendship will grow. When our confidence is in Him (our friend) personally, having faith in His Word becomes automatic.
So, begin developing a close friendship with the God who loves you and is already your friend; be relentless in your pursuit of intimacy with Him. Ask Him about Himself and wait for His response, really get to know Him personally as the friend who loved you first, Be convinced that He chose to be friends with you, and Be Encouraged! -JSP