There are several Old Testament saints that had a friendship with God, and I believe there is plenty to be learned about someone from the company they keep. I believe God is the same. We can learn something about God by looking at his friends. For instance when God told Abraham he was going to destroy Sodom; Abraham immediately pleads on behalf of Sodom. Abraham says, “Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked?” He says, “Suppose there are fifty, forty-five, and forty and so on…” Abraham dares to continue this conversation with God all the way to ten. Finally God says to him, “I will not destroy it on account of ten.” The first thing on God’s mind isn’t to destroy people but to save them. So here Abraham is displaying God’s very heart in pleading for him to spare Sodom.
Moses is another one who seems to have caught on to how God sees people. The Children of Israel constructed a golden calf to worship and God is none too happy about it. He says to Moses, “Now then let me alone, that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them; and I will make of you a great nation.” Moses’ response to this shows us he too has the heart of God. He pleads with God on behalf of Israel saying, “Turn from your burning anger and change your mind about doing harm to your people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants to whom you swore…” Moses had the heart of God, and the heart of God is one who keeps his promises and has only good things in store for others. God had offered to make Moses himself into a great nation but Moses’ heart was for putting others first. This is why he could be God’s man because God could trust him with the task at hand.
The last Old Testament example I wanted to share with you is David. David is said to be “a man after God’s own heart.” We see it in several places in his story, but the one I want to point out is how he didn’t kill Saul. King Saul pursued David relentlessly through caves and mountains trying to kill him. David had at least three opportunities to take Saul out but didn’t because he was leaving that to God. David simply wasn’t going to promote himself rather he waited for God and his timing. This is also the heart of God in action. Can you imagine the patience it took to run from Saul year after year knowing all the while that you are his replacement? David had been anointed King of Israel and yet Saul attempted to kill him around every corner. David refused to take matters into his own hands instead he waited on God’s timing. Even though David messed up on several occasions he never seemed to become hard headed or un-teachable. He was always quick to repent, and this I think is another reason he was called “A man after God’s own heart.”
My final example is the Apostle Paul. If you look in Romans 9 you will read an amazing testimony. Paul longed for his fellow Israelites to know Christ so bad he even said, “I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh…” Paul so longed for the salvation of others that he said he would take the curse of separation upon himself on their behalf. This is the ultimate expression of the heart of God. We know this because this is exactly what Jesus Christ came here and did for us. The Bible says, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree…” Jesus Christ did in fact become a curse so we might be freed from it, just as Paul says here. This truly is an astounding display of God’s character. He was willing to go even to Hell if it would save some.
Being a friend of God means we have the same interests as he does. Being his friend means we will start to love what he loves and hate what he hates. Being a friend of God means we will start taking on his characteristics–the chief one being putting the welfare of others above our own. This may be taking place a little at a time, but it will happen if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. If his Spirit is in you his “others first”, sacrificial traits will begin to show up in your life. Others will begin to see you are a friend of God.
Written by Louie