“And the scripture was fulfilled which says, ‘Abraham believed God, and, it was accounted to him for righteousness. And he was called the friend of God.”
Abraham was called the FRIEND of God. Can you imagine? GOD called him friend! I would love for the Lord to feel that way about me.
This verse in James is referring to Genesis 15. In this chapter the Lord God is entering into covenant with Abram and all of his descendants. Before the covenant occurred the Lord showed Abram the heavens and the stars and said to him, “Abram, count them if you are able, for so shall your descendants be.” (Abram did not even have Isaac at this time – only the promise of an heir.)
But, Abram BELIEVED – aman (ah-mahn). The way aman is used here means that Abram considered God Trustworthy. He chose to BELIEVE what the Lord was telling him – he accepted it in faith because he realized that the Lord God could be trusted to do what He says He will do. Abram BELIEVED God.
And what was God’s reaction? God accounted Abram’s belief to him as righteousness. Remember, there was no tabernacle yet. Jesus had not yet come as a sacrifice for the atonement of our sin. Righteousness was only available as the Lord appointed it. God added up everything about Abram’s belief – his obedient heart, his kindness to others, his reverence of Almighty God – God added these up – chashab (kah-shahv) – and concluded that Abram was a righteous man.
In the verses that followed, God and Abram entered into covenant. Abram became Abraham. There was an exchange in their relationship – no longer was it one-sided. The two had become friends – beloved, affectionate friends.
The Lord desires this kind of intimacy with His children. Intimacy requires relationship, trust, surrender. It leads to affectionate friendship.
Dare to fall in love with the One Who made you. May we all aspire to be called the friend of God.
Lord, I pray that You think of me as Your friend. I want to give back to You in that way. So often we only consider You as the Almighty God. We forget that You need us as well. We forget that Your heart longs for a people who will love You unconditionally, just as You have loved us. Help us to draw near to You and to gain an understanding of what it means to be called Your friend.