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Friends Of The King

How many friends do you have? I recall being asked that question by a chum who lived in residence with me at university. When I replied that I had lots of friends he was more specific and asked me to differentiate between friends and acquaintances. When I considered that a friend must be trustworthy, faithful and loyal, my answer was narrowed down to 'two or three'. If you will do the same thing, you will likely come up with a similar answer, proving to you the preciousness of a friend.

It is interesting to note that the qualities I want in my friends are the very ones that they want in me, and therefore I have made a real commitment when I tell someone that I am his friend. If I let my standards drop, then I slip back from being a friend to being an acquaintance. This is what happened to the folks in the Church of God in Laodicea. They would all think of themselves as friends of the Lord Jesus, but He may not have regarded them as His friends. We know this because we see Him going around the Church, knocking at the door of each heart, and patiently waiting to be invited in to enjoy the kind of fellowship that nurtures and builds a true friendship (Rev. 3:20).

David had many loyal men gathered around him, and no doubt he valued and esteemed them very highly. They were present when he fled from Absolom, but just one man is singled out as being 'David's friend' (2 Sam. 15:37). This was Hushai, the man whose name means 'hasty, eager with excitement'. He no doubt loved just being with David and so he was found with him at that time. He was now an old man, and no longer of value as a soldier, so David asked him to return to Absalom and advise him against the traitorous Ahithophel. He did this, and in so doing, he put his own life at risk, thereby showing a high standard of love for David. What an encouragement to David in his time of deep distress! No wonder he earns the delightful distinction of being the king's friend.

During His last night with the disciples before His death, the Lord Jesus said to them, 'No longer do I call you servants... but I have called you friends' (John 15:15 NKJV). That was important to Him, and if they reflected on it, they would grasp the significance of this change in their relationship. It keeps on changing for when He was resurrected on the third day, He sent back word to these same friends that He had risen, and the instruction was, 'Do not be afraid; go and take word to My brethren...' (Mat. 28:10 NASB). With Him, things just keep getting better.

When the young lady of the Song of Songs was looking for her lover, the daughters of Jerusalem asked her, 'What kind of beloved is your beloved... that thus you adjure us?' The answer was, 'My beloved is dazzling and ruddy, outstanding among ten thousand... His mouth is full of sweetness. And he is wholly desirable. This is my beloved and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem!' (5:9,10,16 NASB).

When the Lord Jesus reached us, we were His enemies. Instead of treating us as enemies logically treat each other, He converted us and made us His friends, a relationship that we should jealously guard. Even on your most discouraging day, you may then remember that YOU ARE A FRIEND OF THE KING.