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Our Closest Friend

Our Closest Friend

       Pretty much anyone who has ever texted, or perhaps all who don’t “live under a rock” has seen the text item BFF. Most young people could tell you what these letters mean. BFF is an initialism of the phrase best friends forever. BFF has since evolved into a noun that refers to a close friend.  

     There are many who have different ideas as to what a friend is, or should be. One dictionary definition of “friend” is: a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically exclusive of sexual or family relations.  Another common (and more modern) application is: to add (someone) to a list of contacts associated with a social networking website.

     The Bible has a lot to say about friends.   In 1Samuel 30:26 we read that after David inquired of the Lord, and had been told to pursue the enemies of Israel, the Amelekites, he returned with the spoils. He gives part of this to his “friends” in Ziklag, and to many others of Israel. And when David came to Ziklag, he sent of the spoil unto the elders of Judah, even to his friends, saying, Behold a present for you of the spoil of the enemies of the LORD;

       Much earlier, the suffering servant Job came to the conclusion that the “friends” and family one has are not always supportive or faithful.   We can read this in Job 19:14: My kinsfolk have failed, and my familiar friends have forgotten me. Then in verse 19 we see much the same. All my inward friends abhorred me: and they whom I loved are turned against me. But we also see that Job was not one to hold a grudge.   He even prayed for his friends who had wrongly accused him. We then read in Job 42:10 that God truly blessed Job substantially after Job endured suffering. Job did nothing to bring this upon himself.   And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before. Job was truly the “friend” in this situation.  

     Some in this life who are considered “friends” don’t always remain so. The weeping prophet Jeremiah was directed by the Spirit to pen the Words we read in Lamentation 1:2 about Israel, and how her “friends” changed in their dealings with her.   She weepeth sore in the night, and her tears are on her cheeks: among all her lovers she hath none to comfort her: all her friends have dealt treacherously with her, they are become her enemies. Then, in Zechariah 13:6, as we near the end of the Old Testament, the Spirit had the prophet warn Israel of the result when the wrong types of “friends” are chosen.   And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends

         Our choice of friends is of utmost importance.   We shouldn’t want to select the type of “friends” that would draw us away from God. We can see from James 4:4that being friends with some, makes one enemies of others. 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. Too many rely on earthly “friendship” to make their time here on earth more pleasant or enjoyable. Micah 7:5 is one place in which God’s O.T. people Israel were warned. Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom. 

       However, not all our “friends” are ones that will be against us or those who might cause us harm.    Proverbs 18:24 speaks of a friend that is closer than a brother.   A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.   Would anyone claim that one willing to die for our benefit is not our closest friend?       That is exactly what Christ did for humanity according to Romans 5:6-8. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us

     This makes God, Christ and the Holy Spirit our friends, if we will allow it. God sent His Son, Christ died on the cross, The Holy Spirit brought the Word to obey if we desire to possess the promises God has made. This also means that we can be “friends” of God. But we have to do our part. In James 2:23 we see Abraham was a “friend of God”, and why he was granted this great compliment. 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 2:17 tells us that our faith must be accompanied by works. Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.  Abraham’s Faith was shown by works. Abraham obeyed God. Hebrews 11:8 says that Abraham obeyed because he had faith in God.   By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went

     You too can have faith from God’s Word as Romans 10:17 shows. So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God You too can obey the gospel and become a child of God, and then continue to be His friend by continuing to follow His Word.   Let us help you do this.

Dennis Strickland – Mooresville church of Christ

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