Proverbs 27 – On Trusted Friends

Proverbs 18:24 reads: “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”  We all know that there are different degrees of friendship.  There are some that are little more than acquaintances in reality.  At different times in our lives, there may be those whose company we enjoy immensely; and we may we even spend countless hours with such.  But when times get tough, can these friends be counted on to stand by us?  The truth is – not always.  Verse 10 of chapter 27 advises:

“Do not forsake your friend and your father’s friend,
and do not go to your brother’s house in the day of your calamity

friendship01The first part of the verse has a couple of things to take away from it.  First, it entreats us to know our true friends.  “Your friend and your father’s friend” exemplifies a very long-standing relationship.  Fair-weather friends and mere companions will come and they will certainly go.  But one who remains our friend over a very long time has stood the test of time because that friend will have been there through the good times as well as the bad.  The other thing to take away from it is more important – that we do not forsake such friends.  We are to be the sort of friend that stands the test of time for them, for there will come a time when they need us to be there for them.   How sad if we should fail them in that time.

Having understood and lived according to the first part of the verse, the second part is self-evident.   When we have built such a relationship in concert with such a friend, it is to that friend that we will turn in time of tragedy, and often that may means doing so rather than turning to a relative.  How much better for the Christian today, if the friendship has been built with a “brother” (or sister) in Christ -with the type of friend that will encourage us, as well as hold us accountable to our commitment to the Lord?

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

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