FRIEND OF GOD

Scripture Reading: Genesis 18:1-19

“If I have found favor in your eyes, my Lord, do not pass your servant by. Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree. Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way — now that you have come to your servant.” (Genesis 18:3,4)

Abraham is called “the friend of God” three times in the Bible. The phrase is first found in II Chronicles 20:7 where King Jehoshaphat prayed, “O our God, did You not drive out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham Your friend?” Next, the title is found in Isaiah 41:8 where God said, “But you, O Israel, My servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, you descendants of Abraham My friend.” The third occurrence of the phrase is found in James 2:23, “And the scripture was fulfilled that says, ‘Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,’ and he was called God’s friend.”

The incident in our text today is what led to the designation that Abraham was “the friend of God.” Abraham entertained God in an intimate way. He showed God hospitality that was common in his day.

Three heavenly visitors appeared to Abraham (v. 2). Abraham probably did not know who they were at first; but there was something about them that caught his attention. One of these visitors was God Himself. At the beginning of the chapter we are told that the Lord appeared to Abraham (v. 1). The other two visitors were angels. We will hear more about them later when they go to Sodom to execute judgment.

Abraham extended hospitality to these three heavenly visitors. He provided for them and even had a meal with them. These three heavenly visitors fellowshipped with Abraham. If anything these verses show us that God desires to be a friend to us and that He want us to be friends with Him. He wants to have an intimate relationship with us.

Jesus calls us His friends — “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command. I no longer all you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you My friends, for everything that I learned from My Father, I have made known to you” (John 15:13-15).

Jesus provides us with eternal companionship. He is the Friend who sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24). He laid down His life for us. We can have no greater friend than Jesus. We need to make time to spend with Him daily as we hear Him speak through His Word and as we lift our prayers to Him. He is always by our side and He will never leave nor forsake us.

Lord Jesus, friend of sinners, thank You for laying down Your life for me. Thank You for being with me always. I know You want the best for me and that You will provide what I need. I can have no better friend than You.

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