Why was Abraham called the friend of God?

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In the Old Testament, the first mention to Abraham as the friend of God is recorded in 2 Chronicles 20:7. Then, we have another reference in Isaiah 41:8. And in the New testament, the apostle James confirmed that Abraham was truly “the friend of God” (James 2:23).

It was Abraham’s faith that entitled him to be called the friend of God. His walk started when God called him when he was 75 years of age to get out of his home land saying, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you’” (Genesis 12:1-3).

God made a covenant with Abraham in Genesis 15 and ratified it in Genesis 17. What makes Abraham a remarkable man is that he obeyed God without hesitation (Genesis 12:4). The author of Hebrews uses Abraham as an example of faith. “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going” (Hebrews 11:8).

The Bible gives us another great illustration of Abraham’s great faith in the story of the birth of his son, Isaac. Abraham and Sarah were childless yet God promised that they would have a son (Genesis 15:4). This son would be the heir of the covenant promise. Abraham believed God’s promise, and his faith was credited to him as righteousness (Genesis 15:6). God reiterated His promise to Abraham (Genesis 17), and his faith was rewarded (Genesis 21) with the gift of Isaac as a son.

But God tested Abraham by asking him to sacrifice Isaac on the top of Mount Moriah (Genesis 22). Again, Abraham faithfully obeyed God (Genesis 15:1). He believed that God was able to bring his son back from the dead (Hebrews 11:17-19). Seeing that he passed the test, God asked Abraham not to hurt Isaac and to sacrifice an animal instead. Although this was a very hard test, Abraham’s unwavering trust in God prevailed over his love for his own son (Genesis 22:3).

For his steadfast faith, God rewarded Abraham saying, “By Myself I have sworn, says the LORD, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son— blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice” (Genesis 22:16-18).

The transparent genuineness of Abraham’s unwavering trust in God honored him to be the friend of God (2 Chronicles 2:7). His faith is an example that all should aspire to emulate.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team


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