Friends care about each other, make plans to spend time together, are honest, and tell the other the truth in a kind way.
Proverbs 18:24 A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
We can’t walk with the Lord unless we make an appointment and agree together (Amos 3:3 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition). If we agreed to be a friend of God, we agree to meet with him. A friend willingly denies self, laying down their life for them.
John 15:12-15 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than…a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth…called you friends; for all things that I have heard…made known unto you.
A friend to God obeys and does what he says to do. Obedience is vitally important and the only way to be a friend of God. Abraham was called a friend of God because he obeyed.
James 2:21-23 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 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.
Isaiah 41:8 But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend.
II Chronicles 20:5-7 And Jehoshaphat…said, O Lord God of our fathers, art not thou God in heaven? and rulest not thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee? Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land…gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend…
Abram (Abraham) was 75 years old and a worshipper of the moon god when God first spoke to him. Abram didn’t question God but he immediately obeyed and traveled 500 miles on foot to Canaan. When God speaks to us, we’ll know our heart condition. He wants us to do what he asks us right away. Abram proved he believed because he did what God said.
Genesis 12:1-4 Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country…from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken…Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old…
Abram’s attitude wasn’t selfish. He was willing to sacrifice his way and didn’t want any strife among the herdsman. It didn’t matter what Lot decided, as long as Lot was happy. If we insist on our way, we’re not going to show ourselves a friend.
Genesis 13:7-11 And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram’s cattle and the herdmen of Lot’s cattle…Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren. Is not the whole land before thee?…if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left. And Lot…beheld all the plain of Jordan…was well watered every where, before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah…Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan…and they separated themselves…
Abraham and God were in close communication so Abraham made an altar to worship God when he came to Canaan.
Genesis 13:12-18 Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot…pitched his tent toward Sodom. But the men of Sodom were wicked…before the Lord exceedingly. And the Lord said…Lift up now thine eyes…all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever…Then Abram…dwelt in the plain of Mamre…built there an altar unto the Lord.
Abram took his 318 servants to rescue Lot from the enemy. Abram gave tithe (1 tenth) of the spoils to the priest of God because God put it in his heart. He wanted to give back to God because of the blessings he had received. Giving a tithe is a test to see if we’re covetous. We won’t give a tithe and offering (in addition to the tithe) if we’re stingy or covetous.
Genesis 14:13-20…when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued…by night, and smote them…And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot…and the people…Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God…said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.
Abram was 83 years old, 8 years after God said he’d be the father of many nations. God spoke to Abram in vision that was clear and not confusing. It will be clear when God speaks to us. Abram spoke with God like a friend and he believed God.
Genesis 15:1-6…the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. And Abram said, Lord God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless…to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir. And, behold, the word of the Lord came…saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. And he…said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them…So shall thy seed be. And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.
God appeared and spoke to Abraham, saying to walk before him and be perfect. He didn’t talk back, but fell on his face in humility, worship, and he listened to God. God gave the covenant (agreement) of circumcision. Abraham immediately circumcised all the males that were 8 days or older. If a man wasn’t circumcised, they had no inheritance with the Jews.
Genesis 17:1-7…Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said…I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying…my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. And I will make thee exceeding fruitful…kings shall come out of thee. And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed…for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.
Abraham knew what God looked like and ran to meet him. He was immediately available to God. Do we start our day saying, “I’ll catch up with you later”? When we meet God at the beginning of the day, he gives encouragement for our day. Abraham hurried to make his visitors comfortable and to feed them. It cost something, but the cost wasn’t important.
Genesis 18:1-7 And the Lord appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door…And he lift up his eyes…three men stood by him…he ran to meet them…and bowed himself toward the ground, And said, My Lord…Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves…I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts; after that ye shall pass on…they said, So do, as thou hast said. And Abraham hastened…unto Sarah, and said, Make ready quickly…fine meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth. And Abraham…fetcht a calf…to dress it.
God didn’t hide important things from Abraham. He had confidence in Abraham to keep his ways and tell his children too.
Genesis 18:13-19 And the Lord said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old? Is any thing too hard for the Lord? At the time appointed…Sarah shall have a son…And the Lord said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do; Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation…I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord…
Abraham and God were having a face to face conversation. Abraham wasn’t self conscious about asking if God would spare any righteous people in Sodom and God answered him. God wants us to talk to him, just like Abraham did.
Genesis 18:20-33 And the Lord said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great…their sin is very grievous…And the men…went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the Lord…said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked? Peradventure there be fifty righteous…wilt thou also…not spare…fifty righteous that are therein?…And he said, Oh let not the Lord be angry…Peradventure ten shall be found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for ten’s sake. And the Lord went his way, as soon as he had left communing with Abraham: and Abraham returned unto his place.
Abraham did whatever God asked. God wants us to choose willingly to put whatever our Isaac is on the altar.
Genesis 22:12 Lay not thine hand upon the lad…I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son…
(Notes from the Mature Class Bible Study, teacher Edith Tolbert)