Two young girls sat on the back porch. They pricked their fingers with a pin and cemented their friendship with their blood in hopes of becoming closer. It was an act to solidify their friendship and create a deeper bond.
As we explore the idea of “friendship with God,” we will see that the foundation of our relationship with God is the blood of his Son, Jesus. It is that blood which enables us to come into God’s presences and have a deep relationship with Him.
A Little Review
The concept of a friendship with God first caught our eye in the story of Abraham, not because Abraham was the first friend of God, but because Abraham was the first person that the scriptures actually say was a “friend of God.”
In the previous article, “Exploring Friendship with God – Part 1I,” we looked at the three scriptures that literally say that God considered Abraham his friend.
- Our God, did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend? 2 Chronicles 20:7
- But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, you descendants of Abraham my friend… Isaiah 41:8
- And the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called a friend of God. James 2:23
The word for friend in 2 Chron.20:7 and Is.41:8 is “ ’ahab” and it means to desire, to breathe after- to long for, therefore, implying a very deep and personal aspect of friendship that goes beyond the idea of companionship and takes into the realm of a deeply personal, intimate relationship. A relationship that involves sharing of inner thoughts and feelings leading to a “heart” knowledge of one another.
As we looked at several scriptures where the word “ ’ahab” was used, and we saw characteristics of God as a friend.
- A friend of God is loved, beloved, and has God’s devotion and heart. Even more amazing is that God longs for me and longs to have a close personal relationship with me.
- God’s friendship is characterized by a valuing and sacrificing. God values the friend, the beloved (us). He values us and so, he sacrifices what he must to make a way for the friendship to be reality.
- God is humble and vulnerable in this friendship. He is willing to confide deep truths about himself and his will to me (us). God deems me (us) trustworthy of that confidentiality.
When I first heard someone talk about being “friends with God,” I thought this is preposterous. I was sitting in a co-worker’s living room. The people gathered there were freely sharing about their relationship with God. They made it sound as though they had some kind of special connection with God, an intimate relationship. I was shocked to hear people describing their experience with God as if he was their most adoring friend and closest confidant, but secretly I wanted that.
Yes, It’s True!
These claims of a close, personal friendship with God seemed far-fetched, but the more I read the scriptures the more insight I gained to this “friendship with God.”
Psalm 25:14 is a verse that clearly states friendship with God is available to us. When we look closely at the word some scholars translate as “friendship” we will see it is no ordinary friendship but a mutual deeply intimate sharing of love and heart.
Look carefully at the rendering of the Hebrew word ס֣וֹד “cowd or sode” in the following versions of Psalm 25:14.
- The friendship (cowd) of the LORD is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant. ESV
- The LORD confides (cowd) in those who fear Him, and reveals His covenant to them. BSB
- The secret (cowd) of the LORD is for those who fear Him, And He will make them know His covenant. NASB
- The intimate counsel (cowd) of the LORD is for those who fear him so they may know his covenant. ISV
The word “cowd” comes from a primitive root meaning couch, a cushion, a triclinium, or a divan. It is a place where friends gather to share intimate conversation. It is, so to speak, the symbol of friends sitting together conversing, sharing the deep thoughts of their hearts. It extends to consulting with, counseling, and familiar conversation. The personal sharing of hearts. Each version above connotes this meaning. (See other passages indicating friendship with God: Proverbs 3:32; Job 29:4; 2 Chronicles 20:7; John 15:15; 1 Corinthians 1:9).
Also note, that the second part of each verse above makes a point to state that this close relationship leads to deep inner knowing of the heart and will of the other, in this case God.
Throughout the gospels we see Jesus in familiar conversations with his followers. At the Passover supper before Jesus’ death, we can picture him sitting on a divan or triclinium eating and talking with his friends, actually sharing deep things on his heart such as his upcoming death, the covenant of his blood, and even his betrayer.
The Basis Is Blood
I thought the people in my friend’s living room who were freely talking about their friendship with God seemed odd, and it was definitely foreign to me, but I wanted that. I wondered what would I need to do to have such a personal friendship with God.
As I began to study the scriptures, I realized that God opened the door for me to come near to him through the blood of Jesus. And, what is more I did not have to stick my finger with a pin, feel pain and bleed in order to achieve a true and lasting relationship with God. It is Jesus who suffered and bled to bring me into the presence of God.
There are many passages in the Bible that explain the truth about the atoning blood of Jesus.
I isolated this timeless truth from a few passages. As I read and consider this truth in each passage, they reaffirm my belief and understanding of the basis for a friendship with God.
- 1 Peter 1:18-19 – “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.”
- Hebrews 10:9 – He (Jesus) did not enter (the presence of God) by the blood of goats and calves, but He entered the Most Holy Place once for all by His own blood, thus securing eternal redemption.
- Hebrews 10:19 –“Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus…”
- Romans 3:23-25a – “. . . for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith.” (See: Romans 3:19-26)
- 1: 19-20 – “For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him (Jesus), and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through the blood of His cross.” (BSB) (See: Col. 1:18-23)
The blood of Jesus is the foundation of our relationship with God. This thought is very reassuring to my faith. It is a clear and specific truth that shows us the extent of God’s longing for you and me to be His friend.
This truth brings a sense of relief and peace to me, in that I don’t have to be perfect, or sinless to come close to God. The blood sacrifice of Jesus makes me blameless and able to confidently approach God. I am not relying on myself, my knowledge, my achievements, or my personal righteousness, but I am relying on the blood sacrifice of Jesus.
This truth is especially reassuring to me as I walk under the shadow of death in this pandemic, I rest confidently on the blood of Jesus and know that He has secured for me an eternal friendship with God no matter what happens.