Abraham – The Friend of God
Written by Carol Sutton
Three times in the scriptures Abraham is spoken of as God’s friend. In Isaiah 41:8 God said “…Abraham my friend.” In his prayer to God, Jehoshaphat, King of Judah, said, “…Abraham thy friend forever” (II Chronicles 21:7). Centuries later in speaking of Abraham, James said, “…and he was called the Friend of God” (James 2:23).
Abraham’s faith in God was the key factor in his being called the friend of God. When Abram was called to leave his country and kinsmen and go into a land that God would show him, he obeyed! Although Abraham did not know where he was going, he knew with Whom he was going. He had faith in the God of heaven and of earth. (See Genesis 12:1-3; Hebrews 11:8) By faith he “sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country” because he was looking for “a city which hat foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” Hebrews 11:8-10 tells us that “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. By faith, he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: for he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” God tried (tested) Abram’s faith when He told him (Abraham) to “take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.” Abram rose up early in the morning and proceeded to obey God’s instructions. (See Genesis 22: 1-19). We learn from Hebrews 11:7 that “by faith, Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac…” (NOTE: God “tempted” Abraham in the same sense that he “tried” him. But God did not tempt Abraham in the same sense of “enticing him to do evil.” According to James 1:13-15 God does not “tempt” man in that sense.)
Paul said, “for what saith the Scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.” (Romans 4:3). James said, “was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with works, and by works was faith made perfect?” (See James 2:21-22). He was called “the friend of God.”
Abraham was truly a “friend of God.” This is evidenced by his obedient faith! Do you have that kind of faith? (from The Instructor, Vol. 20, Number 10, October, 1983).