May 9

“Abraham stood yet before the Lord.” Genesis 18:22

The friend of God can plead with Him for others. Perhaps Abraham’s height of faith and friendship seems beyond our little possibilities. Do not be discouraged, Abraham grew; so may we. He went step by step, not by great leaps. The man whose faith has been deeply tested and who has come off victorious, is the man to whom supreme tests must come. The finest jewels are most carefully cut and polished; the hottest fires try the most precious metal. Abraham would never have been called the Father of the Faithful if he had not been proved to the uttermost.

Read Genesis, twenty-second chapter: “Take thy son, thine only son, whom thou lovest.” See him going with a chastened, wistful, yet humbly obedient heart up Moriah’s height, with the idol of his heart beside him about to be sacrificed at the command of God whom he had faithfully loved and served!

What a rebuke to our questionings of God’s dealings with us! Away with all doubting explanations of this stupendous scene! It was an object lesson for the ages. Angels were looking. Shall this man’s faith stand forever for the strength and help of all God’s people? Shall it be known through him that unfaltering faith will always prove the faithfulness of God?

Yes; and when faith has borne victoriously its uttermost test, the angel of the Lord–who? The Lord Jesus, Jehovah, He in whom “all the promises of God are yea and amen”—spoke to him, saying, “Now I know that thou fearest God.” Thou hast trusted me to the uttermost. I will also trust thee; thou shalt ever be My friend, and I will bless thee, and make thee a blessing. (Streams in the Desert)

It is such a simple word that I rarely consider its meaning. I describe certain individuals past and present as “friends” to the exclusion of others. A technical definition indicates a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection. I prefer the definition offered by the Urban Dictionary:

“A friend is someone you love and who loves you, someone you respect and who respects you, someone whom you trust and who trusts you. A friend is honest and makes you want to be honest, too. A friend is loyal. A friend is someone who is happy to spend time with you doing absolutely nothing at all. . . . A friend is someone who not only doesn’t care if you’re ugly or boring, but doesn’t even think about it; someone who forgives you no matter what you do, and someone who tries to help you even when they don’t know how.”

Stated simply, a friend is a favored companion. If so, am I a friend of God? Do I thoughtlessly go about my business aloof from the Father, or do I consciously enjoy Him? Is He so important to me that to go one hour without Him on my mind and in my life would be unthinkable torture? My sister commented on something I wrote recently: “Growing older seems to make me desire even more that sweet communion with God. It brings peace and order to a sometimes jumbled, busy mess.” I cannot claim the Father as friend if I only address Him when I need or want something. Holy friendship is spending time together with no ulterior motive.

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