“But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend.” —Isaiah 41:8
Friendship cannot be all on one side. In this particular instance it is intended that we should know that while God was Abraham’s friend, this was not all; but Abraham was God’s friend. He received and returned the friendship of God. From one point of view Abraham was always the object of God’s pity and mercy; but by his grace the Lord lifted him also into another condition, in which he became the object of the Lord’s complacency and delight. God gave Abraham his heart, and Abraham gave God his heart. They were knit together in love. To use expressive Scriptural words, the soul of Abraham was bound up in the bundle of life with the Lord his God. Not only did the Lord speak to Abraham as he did to Moses, “face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend,” but he continually treated him as his friend, and communed with him as such.
….Since Abraham was God’s friend, God accepted his pleadings, and was moved by his influence. Friends ever have an ear for friends. When Abraham pleaded with God for Sodom, the Lord patiently hearkened to his renewed pleadings. How instructive is that story of the patriarch’s pleading for Sodom! How humbly he speaks!— “I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, even I that am but dust and ashes.” Yet how boldly he pleads! for he ventures to say, “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” The strain of his pleading is worthy of special note. It was not an intercession for Sodom so much as an expostulation with God— friend with friend.
Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)
Delivered Sunday Morning, May 8, 1887
at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington
Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Vol. 33, Sermon No. 1962,
“The Friend of God”