by David Woetzel, B.S.
"A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother" (Proverbs 18:24).
Who is this friend who adheres to us tighter than those that are joined by blood? Solomon had observed that his father was a man after God's own heart. But he also undoubtedly had read of the patriarch Abraham's close personal relationship with God:
"Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend for ever?" (II Chronicles 20:7).
What does it mean to be called the "Friend of God?" Friendship implies a kinship in spirit, a community of interest. It involves communication, commitment of loving companionship, and sharing of personal experiences. Many people come to know God only as a distant master. Indeed He is our master, but Christ offered much more: "Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you" (John 15:14-15).
Notice that there is a conditional phrase that is attached to the offer of friendship extended by the Lord. James says, "Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God" (James 4:4). Indeed, our relationship with God must start as Abraham's began, with the important step of faith. "And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God" (James 2:23). Let us commit anew to cultivate the divine friendship which excels all others. DW