Michael Youssef, Ph.D.
There is a saying in the Middle East. Roughly translated, it goes like this: “Your enemy will count to you every one of your faults, but a friend will even swallow gravel for you.” Who wouldn’t like to have a friend like that? Who wouldn’t want a true friend who will stick with you through thick and thin? The Bible tells us that Abraham was God’s friend (see 2 Chronicles 20:7; James 2:23). In fact, God Himself called Abraham a friend (see Isaiah 41:8). But it’s in our passage for today that we get to see this friendship between Abraham and the Lord on display.
Read Genesis 18. When God appeared to Abraham, He came in the appearance of a man, but Abraham recognized that it was the Lord. That’s why Abraham bowed low to the ground in a posture of worship. Abraham invited God into his hospitality and had his servants prepare “a choice, tender calf” (v. 7). Abraham’s friendship with God was not lip service. It involved action. It involved a sacrifice.
And this friendship was mutual. When the Lord rose to leave Abraham’s tent, He said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do?” (v. 17). Friends share secrets, so God did not want to hide what He was about to do from His good friend. What God was about to do was no small thing: He was going to destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah for their incredible wickedness.
Abraham remembered that his nephew Lot was living near Sodom. So as his conversation with the Lord continued, Abraham asked Him to spare the city for 50, then 45, and all the way down to 10 righteous people. And God agreed, because Abraham was His friend.
On the authority of God’s Word, I can tell you that God is eager to renew His friendship with you. God is longing for you to be in close communion with him. But friends need to spend time together, talking with one another and sharing secrets, so open your heart to the Lord today.
Prayer: Lord, You are a true friend who has endured so much for me. I praise You for Your unfailing faithfulness. I long to know You as my intimate friend. Help me set aside time to know You more by spending time in Your Word and in Your presence. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
“Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you” (John 15:15).