What value do we really place on friendship? Isn’t it rather tiresome how some folks like to call us “friend”, but we only hear from them when they want money or something? How many true friends do we really have in this life? What really constitutes true friendship? The most profound friendship is the one that is with YHWH and His Mashiyach. YHWH called Abraham his “ahav”, translated as “friend”, but it’s more like His “love”, YHWH loved Avraham, they obviously have a very intimate friendship.
“Are you not our Elohim, who drove out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel, and gave it to the seed of Abraham your ahav (love/friend) for ever?” 2 Chronicles 20:7
“But you, Israel, are my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen,
the seed of Abraham my ahav (love/friend)”.
YHWH also spoke of the ahav (love/friend) relationship Abraham had for his son Isaac.
“And he said, Take now your son, your only son Isaac, who you ahav (love), and get yourself into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell you of.” Genesis 22:2
Ahav between Isaac and Rebecca.
“And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and took Rebecca, and she became his wife; and he ahav (loved) her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.” Genesis 27:67
Ahav and true companionship of the soul is a beautiful gift from YHWH, imagine the love between David and Jonathan.
“And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. And Saul took him that day, and would let him go no more home to his father’s house. Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul.” 1 Samuel 18:1-3″I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan: very sweet have you been unto me: your love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women.” 2 Samuel 1:26
Being chaverim (life and soul companions) is to have our souls knit together in the will of YHWH, anything less is lacking the depth of true friendship.
“So all the men of Israel were gathered against the city,
chaver (knit together) as one man.”
“I am a chaver (soul companion) of all them that fear thee,
and of them that keep thy precepts.”
“That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of Elohim, and of the Father, and of Mashiyach; In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
The Word of YHWH and His Mashiyach defines what true friendship is, and what it is not. Cultural and religious values have defined friendship as it sees, but in many cases it reduces friendship into membership or social club co-dependancy. Religious people tend to use the word “friend” fast and loose, everybody is their “friend”, much like when people are looking to recruit new distributors into a Multi-Level Marketing enterprise. The list of contacts becomes their “friends”, evangelical Christians on TV like to call everyone a “friend” who is watching or listening to their appeals for money. Worse yet, anyone who gives the TV Evangelist a donation instantly becomes their “partner”, yes in one sense they do get right into bed with them. But its obvious that love between many religious people is cold as ice, and willing to sacrifice true love and friendship on the alter of religion. It’s not a pretty picture out there in the religious worlds.
Mashiyach Yeshua foretold that the love of many would grow cold, and this would happen when people turn away from Torah. People are becoming members of churches and religious groups, but very few are becoming disciples and friends of YHWH, most are accepted into “the beloved” or “the club”. People are called “friends” if they agree with the theology or the cause, the more they give the more attention they get, the more acceptance by their peer group. You are a “friend” if you believe the same, its peer group syndrome, talk the talk, use the same cliché’s as the movers and the shakers.
But the church is a sad and lonely place for many, who know they’re really kidding themselves, they have no true friends in their churches. They can’t really be true to themselves either, in their religious environments and they know they can’t survive for very long. Many people know that you can’t be a friend to one person and hate another because you disagree with their theology. Most know that friendship is a universal law, friendship itself has a foundation of trust, loyalty, honesty, and truth on which it must be built.
Many people know in their hearts there is more to Faith than the church or social club they’re attending. Many know that their true friendship with YHWH is being sacrificed for the social fuzzies and acceptance of peers. We all like to think that we have friends who will stick with us through thick and thin, and if we get off track they’ll help us out. It’s ok if there are times in our lives when we only have One True Friend. Many people walk away in their underwear when they talk about Torah in their churches, most will never ever hear from their “friends” again if they “cross the line” and advocate for Truth. Thankfully, there is a very wonderful and immediate cure for those who lack true friendship.
Mashiyach Yeshua speaks very plainly.
“Henceforth I call you not servants;for the servant knows not what his master does:but I have called you friends;for all things that I have heard of my FatherI have made known unto you.”Matthew 15:15
I have given them Your Word; and the world has hated them,because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.I pray not that You should take them out of the world,but that You should keep them from evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.John 17:14-16″Whosever is a friend of this world,is an enemy of Elohim.James 4:4
There is a choice we must make between friendship with YHWH and His people, or friendship with the world (ie Hellenized carnal people). Many think they can have friendship with the world, and friendship with Yeshua, this is an illusion. The key element is discipleship, from which love can flow. Discipleship always raises a righteous standard that nurtures and protects friendship, without discipleship there is no friendship, only social interaction and camaraderie.
YHWH gave us life, He maintains our lives, He brought us to this place, He has kept us safe and He will supply all our needs according to His abundance and Mercy. We must know who we are in Him! The Most High Elohim is our forever Friend Who loves us. How much more then should we consider the value He has put on His Friendship with us? Let us not reduce friendship to an ordinary thing that is gratified by social interaction. Friendship is a calling and a righteous institution given by YHWH to reflect His goodness and mercy. Hellenized religious people despise the standards of righteous living, for them Torah is an encroachment on their carnal lifestyle choices. For the Hellenized soul, the social world satisfies “friendship” and a rich man has many “friends”.
Whoever is a friend of this world is an enemy of Elohim,
those who sit on the fence and make “friendship” with carnal people are satisfying needs of their own carnal flesh. YHWH commands us to love and prefer the souls of they whom He is calling into His Kingdom, our Friendship with YHWH must direct our actions towards others,
“A man that has friends must show himself friendly:
and there is a AHAV (love) that sticks closer than a brother.”
Mishlei (Proverbs) 18:24
How utterly terrible for someone to call you a friend, but not care enough for your soul to teach you about the Love of YHWH! How terrible it would be for you to not tell others about the True Love of YHWH, given in Mashiyach Yeshua! How can we stand on the sidelines and watch “friends” live a life that mocks YHWH, knowing His anger will be kindled against them? Maybe they will choose to walk away from our friendship if we speak the truth in love, but then how deep could our love and friendship be if that were to happen? Without common courtesy and respect there is no love or friendship, only a veneer of camaraderie.
I don’t know about you,
but I would rather have a few wonderful friends
than be in a room full of backstabbers,
who call me their “friend”.
Which is another very good reason why we should reject religious social clubs,
which offer light and vain “friendship”.
Try it, you’ll like it…
YHWH be with you,
Baruch Ben Daniel