Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me. But thou, O Lord, be merciful unto me, and raise me up…
Friendship can be one [or perhaps is] of the sweetest joys of earth, but there are times when, as with David, friends may turn. In David’s case, he mentions that it was a good friend who turned against him – and often those who are our best friends know the most, and can therefore be the most hurtful, should they turn.
It is perhaps partly for this reason that Prov. 22:24 warns us not to be friends with the chronically angry. We should be wise in choosing friends, but at the same time, be as Jesus, ready to befriend any sinner. Though He was – and is – a friend to sinners, we see certain throughout scripture who are labeled as ‘friends of God,’ or ‘a man greatly beloved’. These are people who have made friendship with God important enough that enmity with the world is of no consequence to them.
Should we desire to avoid David’s plight, we would be wise to search out friends who have a greater fidelity to God, than to any on earth, friends who have a history of consistently ploughing ahead for the Lord, regardless of opposition, or of times of ease. David fell into sin when he ‘took time off,’ but as Christians, we never have ‘time off’ from serving the Lord here on earth – rest comes in heaven. There will be times to rest on earth, but never to let down our guard, or take off our armor.
Should friends fail us, and they will, should they forsake us, and that will happen also, we must remember our friend ‘who sticketh closer than a brother’, our Lord Jesus Christ. As believers, our primary relational investment should be with the Lord, and with His people. When David’s friends forsook him, he turned more to God, trusting in Him. When we have friends, we should encourage them to turn to the Lord and trust in Him also, for there is no friend so true as our Lord!