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The Bible Friend

The Bible Friend

   There are a number of Hebrew and Greek words in the Bible for the word “friend”. Most of these carry the meaning of “an associate”. In the Old Testament, one Hebrew word translated “friend” can be used to indicate a brother, companion, fellow, husband, lover, neighbor, or other. All through the first part of the Bible we see the word used in this way.     But, when we get to Psalm 18:24 we find a different word employed. The passage reads ” A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” The Word for friend in this passage indicates one who has affection for, or loves another.  

   The next time we see this particular reference used is Proverbs 27:6 and the context indeed shows that the one referenced is one that truly loves. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.   This is a way to say that only a “true friend” will tell you what you need to hear.   Truly, only one who loves you will tell you (as a friend) words you really need to hear, even if they hurt badly, no matter how carefully delivered.   These types of instructions are for our own good.

   Can we not see the application in Isaiah 41:8 when the reference to a friend is to the father of the nation chosen by God to bring Christ to humanity.   But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend.   Abraham loved God and believed God – which means that he did that which God asked of him.   This has to be the meaning of the “Bible friend”.     This cannot be denied as there are many references in God’s Word that testify to this.     One such passage is Genesis 26:5 where the promise was repeated to Jacob that had been made to Abraham and also passed on to Isaac, the father of Jacob.   Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws. This was definitely holding Abraham up as an example for Jacob to follow.  

   As we go to the New Testament we see a completely different word for friend. One reason for this is because the New Testament was written in Greek and not in Hebrew. However, the same concept is presented in this new (different) language.   As we read this we may also remember that in James 2:23 we find Abraham identified as one that truly loved God and was loved of God.   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.    We need not go back and read all the accounts proving Abraham loved of God as he did all God commanded.   This is not to say that Abraham did not make any mistakes or that he did not sin. Galatians 3:22 assures of this.   But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.   But we have also seen that those that “believe” will do what the Lord says to do.

   In the account of Jesus ministry given to the beloved John we read in John 14:15 how we show our love for Christ.    He said to His apostles: “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”   Would we not be considered friends of those we love?   We might, but Jesus is a friend to everyone; even those who would do Him harm.   In Matthew 26:50 we find Jesus calling Judas a “friend” even though Judas had come to betray our Lord and turn Him over to those that would take His life. And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus, and took him.   This was necessary so Jesus could fulfill the Will of His Father.  

   Part of that Will was that Jesus be a friend to man. Jesus is indeed a friend to all in that He willingly gave Himself on Calvary’s cross so that mankind could have life and have it more abundantly.   When Jesus was here on earth He was accused of being friends with sinners.   Matthew 11:19 is one place this occurred. The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.   But we see in Luke 19:10 that Jesus Himself pointed out that it was the lost (sinners) that He came to save.   For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

     Many in the world sing the song “What a friend we have in Jesus” when in fact they have not accepted His friendship or the benefit of that friendship. They want to retain their friendship with the world and still claim friendship with Christ.   The Bible teaches in James 4:4 that this is not possible. 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.

   Now, do you want a “Bible friend” or a “friend of the world”?   That is a choice you have to make.   Make the right choice and become a friend of God today by being obedient to His Word, the gospel.

                                                                                          Dennis S – Mooresville


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