Abraham, God's Friend
Abraham my friend. (James 2:23, Isa. 41:8)
Search the Scriptures, pour over the words of God, examine every page and paragraph of this Book and you will find that there is no one else of whom God ever spoke and called “my Friend.” It is not only a unique expression it is astonishing that God would talk that way about anyone. In Abraham- we have found a special specimen.
That I need a friend is not astonishing. I need someone to bounce my ideas off. I need someone to help me open and air my heart, like my mother used to air the blankets on the clothesline on a sunny and windy day- someone who will permit me to let it all hang out. I need someone to temper my temper. I need a friend. I need a friend call out the best in me, and protect me from my worst self. I need someone who will help me with my bandages, cheer me on in my battles, and give me a hand with my baggage. I need a friend to tell me the truth, that will not hedge words or flatter, but at the same time not completely flatten my inner self. A bruised reed shall he not break, a smoking flax shall he not quench. Faithful are the wounds of a friend. Who on earth does not need one. As iron sharpens iron, I need a friend to keep me from becoming dull. Bacon the great Presbyterian preacher said there are four reasons every man needs a friend. Infirmity of judgment, selfishness of disposition, inertness of nature, adversity of fortune. It seems that since the fall of Adam- God was looking out for a special and unique man to become the father of a great family into which to place His Son.
I don’t for a moment think Abraham would have spoken of himself in that way. He would never had said God was his friend or even that he was God’s friend- anymore than a humble man would pronounce himself humble. The Bible says “let someone else praise you.” Nevertheless God spoke thus of Abraham. The Story of every great life is the story of What you do with God (once you find Him) and what you allow Him to do with you.
Abraham had the heart and the will, to choose and prefer God before all and over everything else in the world. He was willing to go out, or to go in, to go up, or to go down, to go do anything God asked him to do, or to be anything God promised him he would be.
Is someone looking for a friend? Greater love than this hath no man, then that a man should lay down his life for his friends (Jn.15:13). God has already acted like a friend. I am afraid I have not. Oh, I aspire to be a friend of God. But I don’t call Him as often, as I should, I don’t think of Him, or visit Him, or Listen to Him as much as a good friend should. I don’t share some of my lame brained ideas with Him, or show him some of the silly self-inflicted wounds I have made, because I know He will- tell me it was all foolishness. I have failed to speak up for Him when others have slighted Him, I have been found at times next to Peter at the enemies fire- trying to keep warm. I want to be a better friend.
You open up your heart to a friend. You are not afraid to show him your treasures, be they of gold and silver, or of ideas and dreams, and aspirations. You do not show them to your enemies. Hezekiah was a fool to show Babylon his business. You open your treasure house, you keep no secrets from a friend.
God told Abraham that Sodom was about to be destroyed. He didn’t have to tell him. He did so because he was His friend. And friend that Abraham was he made “Intercessions.” You might as well step in front of an on-coming train- as to stand in the way of Providence. Sodom, was History- God had had enough- but the Friendship of Abraham and God was remarkable- Abraham pushes his relationship with God to the limit- seemingly bartering like the Jew he was to become. (And I don’t mean that in a bad way). Only a friend could intercede with God like that.
It still staggers me to think that God should need a friend (it is almost blasphemous to think so- and yet- at the great judgment – God will call out those who befriended His friendless Son- as He walked through this friendless world. The women who cared for Him with their substance- Martha, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, and Simon the Cyrenian who helped Jesus carry the cross.