Abraham – friend of God

Xanthe Galanis

Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 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.

James 2:21-23

Three times we read that Abraham was God’s friend (2 Chronicles 20:7; Isaiah 41:8; James 2:23). What a remarkable statement! This wasn't 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 an imperfect, physical, mortal being would be thought of by the all-powerful, immortal, all-knowing, God as his dear friend.

They had a relationship of respect and obedience; Abraham trusted God to lead 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 (Gen. 12, Heb. 11: 8-10). He showed great faith regarding the offering of Isaac (Gen. 22, Heb. 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 wasn't sinless. Jesus said, "You are my friends if you do what I command." (John 15: 14). Are you a friend of God? Asked another way, are we obeying the things Jesus commands?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you that even I am able to be your friend. Help me to be Christian of action as well as faith, obeying your commands. Amen.