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LEGENDARY DEVOTION OR ASTOUNDING EXAGGERATION: Was Abraham Really God's friend as the Bible claims?

The lyrics to a famous Gospel song goes, "What a friend we have in Jesus!"

The Book of Proverbs says God is a friend who sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24).

I’ll show you three Scriptures from the Holy Bible that help to prove Abraham was really the friend of God. First, let us define what a friend is:

  • A person whom one knows, likes, and trusts.

  • An acquaintance.

  • A person with whom one is allied in a struggle or cause.

Abraham fits the definition.

The first of the three verses we offer for proof represents the actual words of the LORD as dictated to Isaiah the prophet:

But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend (Isaiah 41:8).

Israel was the new name that God gave to Abraham’s grandson Jacob whose father was Isaac.

The Lord made a pact with Abraham: one of the rare few that God made with individual men.

The Abrahamic Covenant

The LORD made a covenant with Abraham that granted the land from the “river of Egypt to the River Euphrates” to Abraham’s descendants.

The agreement also established a particular strain of Abraham’s seed through Isaac and Israel as God’s chosen people, picked to worship Him and serve Him through the Hebrew priesthood family tribe called Levi.

So during a time when other nations were worshiping pagan gods in the form of statues, idols, animals, nature, mythology, etc., the LORD promised to be the God for the Hebrew Jewish people of Israel.

Now Abraham had many sons, including his first-born Ishmael who is often called the patriarch of the Arab-dwelling world. But the covenant was established with Abraham, Isaac and Israel, going forwarded with their offspring.

Their offspring included the 12 Tribes of Israel which birthed Moses, Aaron, King David, Solomon and Almighty God incarnated - the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

You should now have a clearer picture of why Abraham is called “the friend of God.”

Let’s make it even clearer.

The 2nd scripture proving Abraham was the friend of God

Here is scripture number two from a prayer rendered by King Jehoshaphat of the Southern Israelite kingdom of Judah:

Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel, and gave it to the seed of Abraham thy friend forever? (2 Chronicles 20:7).

Jehoshaphat was referring to the Abrahamic Covenant whereby the LORD promised that Abraham’s seed would conquer the current inhabitants of the Promised Land Canaan – the name for Israel before it was called Israel.

The 3rd Scripture proving Abraham was the friend of God

And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God (James 2:23).

In this verse James is referring to the absolutely unwavering faith, trust in and obedience to the LORD that Abraham consistently displayed: a key factor in God calling Abraham “my friend.”

James was known as the oldest earthly brother of Jesus Christ, and eventually became a leader in Jerusalem’s early Christian Church. He was a Messianic Jew. So he knew a lot about Abraham and of course Jesus (Matthew 55-56).

Why Abraham?

Some may wonder why Abraham received the special distinction of being called the friend of God.

After all, there are many very devout men described in the Bible who could be called friends of God including Moses, Job, Simeon the Just, and John who was entrusted with caring for the Virgin Mary after Jesus was crucified and resurrected.

Incredibly, the LORD spoke to Moses face-to-face "as a man would speak with his friend" (Exodus 33:11).

The answer I can give is that the LORD chooses who He wants to choose and does what He wants to do. And there is no injustice or unfairness possible with Almighty God.

The Bible centers around the LORD in the person of Jesus Christ who was born as one of Abraham’s descendants into the Hebrew Israelite tribe of Judah (Matthew 1; John 8:58).

For these and more reasons, the Word of God clearly shows that Abraham was really the friend of God.



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