Bible Society of South Africa
Xanthe Hancox

Friendship – Day 8

Abraham – friend of God

Bible text(s)

21How was our ancestor Abraham put right with God? It was through his actions, when he offered his son Isaac on the altar. 22Can't you see? His faith and his actions worked together; his faith was made perfect through his actions. 23And the scripture came true that said, “Abraham believed God, and because of his faith God accepted him as righteous.” And so Abraham was called God's friend.

James 2:21-23GNBOpen in Bible reader

8“But you, Israel my servant,

you are the people that I have chosen,

the descendants of Abraham, my friend.

Isaiah 41:8GNBOpen in Bible reader

14And you are my friends if you do what I command you.

John 15:14GNBOpen in Bible reader

In the Bible, we read three times that Abraham was God’s friend (2 Chronicles 20:7; Isaiah 41:8; James 2:23). What a remarkable statement! This was not Abraham’s assessment of the relationship, but God’s himself. In today’s verse, James is quoting Isaiah 41:8. “But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, you descendants of Abraham my friend.” Think about that for a minute. Consider that the all-powerful, immortal, all-knowing God would think of an imperfect, physical, mortal being, as his dear friend.

They had a relationship of respect and obedience; Abraham trusted God to lead him where he was supposed to go. Abraham was a man of obedience. When God spoke, Abraham obeyed immediately. Abraham obeyed God when he left his country and family (Genesis 12, Hebrews 11:8-10). He showed great faith regarding the offering of Isaac (Genesis 22, Hebrews 11:8-10). Abraham never tried to argue his way out of God’s commandments. Even though he was obedient to God, Romans 4 makes it clear that his salvation was not earned by works, but through faith in the promise of God for a Saviour.

Friendship with God is a worthy goal and one that we can all reach. Abraham might have been one of the great men of the Bible, but he was not sinless. Jesus said, “You are my friends if you do what I command.” (John 15:14). Are you a friend of God? In other words, are we obeying the things Jesus commands?

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