A True Friend
There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24
Jesse, the father of King David, had eight sons, David being the youngest (1 Samuel 16:10-11; 17:12). But there is no record in the Old Testament of David being particularly close to any of his brothers. In fact, one of his older brothers acted harshly toward David (1 Samuel 17:28). David found a friend who epitomized the words of Solomon in Proverbs 18:24, “A friend who sticks closer than a brother.” That friend was Jonathan, the son of Saul.
Friend had a covenant connotation. Jonathan and David made a mutual covenant between them; Abraham was the covenant friend of God. What did that mean? Loyalty, provision, protection, and sacrificial love—these were not something always found in brothers by birth. It should come as no surprise that Jesus, during His last meeting with His disciples, declared them to be His “friends” (John 15:13-15) by displaying the most telling trait of true friends: a willingness to lay down one’s life for another. All who walk in covenant with Jesus Christ are assured of His loyalty, provision, protection, and sacrificial love.
Let Christ’s loyal love for you set the standard for how you love others. Be the friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Jesus takes to heart the sufferings of His friends. William Hendriksen
WiseUp – One Minute Proverbs 18:24
My Best Friend, Proverbs 18:24 – Pastor Chuck Smith – Topical Bible Study
[Nothing] will be able to separate us from the love of God. Romans 8:39
“What’s one thing you can’t give up?” the radio host asked. Listeners called in with some interesting answers. Some mentioned their families, including a husband who shared memories of a deceased wife. Others shared they can’t give up on their dreams, such as making a living in music or becoming a mother. All of us have something we treasure dearly—a person, a passion, a possession—something we can’t give up.
In the book of Hosea, God tells us that He won’t give up on His chosen people Israel, His treasured possession. As Israel’s loving husband, God provided her with everything she needed: land, food, drink, clothing, and security. Yet like an adulterous spouse, Israel rejected God and sought her happiness and security elsewhere. The more God pursued her, the further she drifted away (Hosea 11:2). However, though she had hurt Him deeply, He would not give her up (v. 8). He would discipline Israel so as to redeem her; His desire was to re-establish His relationship with her (v. 11).
Today, all God’s children can have the same assurance: His love for us is a love that will never let us go (Romans 8:37–39). If we’ve wandered from Him, He yearns for us to return. When God disciplines us, we can be comforted that it’s a sign of His pursuit, not of His rejection. We are His treasure; He won’t give up on us.
Heavenly Father, thank You for Your love that never gives up on me. Help me to love You wholeheartedly.
Having facts about someone is not the same as truly knowing the person. For instance, if a friend you know relatively well were to come and live with you for several months, you would discover his or her ways—that is, habits, preferences, attitudes, and priorities.
When Scripture speaks of God’s ways, it’s referring to much more than His actions or facts about His nature. His ways include His manner, motivations, desires, thoughts, and purposes. One of the reasons believers often become discouraged is that they don’t understand what God is doing in their life. That’s why it’s essential to learn how the Lord operates. As long as we remain ignorant of His ways as revealed in His Word, we won’t trust or know Him intimately.
The Bible is such a big book that some believers may be tempted to give up, thinking it will take too long to learn how God works. But it’s important to remember that we all have the same starting point. When we’re born again, God doesn’t automatically download everything we need to know about Him into our brains. Learning to understand the Lord and how He does things is a process; He teaches us as we continue to read, obey what we know of Scripture, and spend time with Him.
Do you find yourself longing to grow in intimacy with the Lord? If so, you must live closely with Him by listening as He speaks through His Word—and by humbling yourself to learn, accept, and delight in His ways above your own.
“And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.” (1 John 3:19)
There is a chain of reasoning in this context that is important to understand. Our hearts will be “assured” before God (1 John 3:19) if we love the brethren in “deed and in truth” (v. 18). A lack of that heart assurance condemns us (v. 20). If our heart does not condemn us, then we will have “confidence toward God” (v. 21).
It is worth noting that John uses the word “love” 26 times in this little letter. The word “know” is used 31 times, but the word “assure” is used only once (our text) and the word for “confidence” just four times. In each case, the promises of boldness in prayer or trust in answered prayer are based on our obedience.
Apparently, the key to an effective relationship with God, especially the key to a confidence in our prayer life, is a ready, visible, and instant response to God’s requirements for the believer. To the degree that we abide in Him (2:28), we will be confident when He returns. Our ready love for the brethren will keep us bold before God in our prayers (3:21), and our Christlike lifestyle will give us boldness at the judgment (4:17).
Meanwhile, absolute and steady belief in God’s salvation will remove any doubt that God hears us when we pray (5:14).
There is a continuing loop in these messages. We gain confidence as we “do” truth. We find more boldness as we understand God’s answers to our needs and prayers for others. That, in turn, increases our confidence that God is listening to our prayers, making our hearts all the more confident in our relationship with our heavenly Father. HMM III
And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.
Modern civilization is so complex as to make the devotional life all but impossible. It wears us out by multiplying distractions and beats us down by destroying our solitude, where otherwise we might drink and renew our strength before going out to face the world again.
“The thoughtful soul to solitude retires,” said the poet of other and quieter times; but where is the solitude to which we can retire today? Science, which has provided men with certain material comforts, has robbed them of their souls by surrounding them with a world hostile to their existence. “Commune with your own heart upon your bed and be still” is a wise and healing counsel, but how can it be followed in this day of the newspaper, the telephone, the radio and the television? These modern playthings, like pet tiger cubs, have grown so large and dangerous that they threaten to devour us all. What was intended to be a blessing has become a positive curse. No spot is now safe from the world’s intrusion. OGM125-126
Lord, help us somehow to escape today and retire to solitude, even if only for a brief time. Amen
Ye shall know that I have not done without cause all that I have done, saith the Lord God.—Ezekiel 14:23.
Joy is the lesson set for some,
For others pain best teacher is;
We know not which for us shall come,
But both are Heaven’s high ministries.
The outward features of our life may not be all that we should choose them to be; there may be things we wish for that never come to us; there may be much we wish, away that we cannot part from. The persons with whom we live, the circumstances by which we are surrounded, the duties we have to perform, the burdens we have to bear, may not only be other than what we should have selected for ourselves, but may even seem inconsistent with that formation and discipline of character which we honestly wish to promote. Knowing us better than we know ourselves, fully understanding how greatly we are affected by the outward events and conditions of life, He has ordered them with a view to our entire and final, not only our immediate, happiness; and whenever we can be safely trusted with pastures that are green, and waters that are still, in the way of earthly blessing, the Good Shepherd leads us there.
Anthony W. Thurold
“And he said, Certainly I will be with thee.” Exod. 3:12
Of course, if the Lord sent Moses on an errand, He would not let him go alone. The tremendous risk which it would involve, and the great power it would require, would render it ridiculous for God to send a poor lone Hebrew to confront the mightiest king in all the world, and then leave him to himself. It could not be imagined that a wise God would match poor Moses with Pharaoh and the enormous forces of Egypt. Hence He says, “Certainly I will be with thee,” as if it were out of the question that He would send him alone.
In my case, also, the same rule will hold good. If I go upon the Lord’s errand, with a simple reliance upon His power, and a single eye to His glory, it is certain that He will be with me. His sending me binds Him to back me up. Is not this enough? What more can I want? If all the angels and archangels were with me, I might fail; but if HE is with me, I must succeed. Only let me take care that I act worthily toward this promise. Let me not go timidly, half-heartedly, carelessly, presumptuously. What manner of person ought he to be who has God with him! In such company it behoveth me to play the man, and like Moses go in unto Pharaoh without fear.