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Posts Tagged ‘Friendship’

Scripture: Can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction? Amos 3:3 (NLT)

Observation: The Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible shares these insights on this passage: Can God’s prophets be so unanimous in prophesying against you, if God’s Spirit were not joined with them, or if their prophecies were false? The Israelites were “at ease,” not believing that God was with the prophets in their denunciations of coming ruin to the nation (Am 6:1, 3; compare 1Ki 22:18, 24, 27; Je 43:2). This accords with Am 3:7, 8. So “I will be with thy mouth” (Ex 4:12; Je 1:8; Mt 10:20). If the prophets and God were not agreed, the former could not predict the future as they do. In Am 2:12 He had said, the Israelites forbade the prophets prophesying; therefore, in Am 3:3, 8, He asserts the agreement between the prophets and God who spake by them against Israel [Rosenmuller]. Rather, “I once walked with you” (Le 26:12) as a Father and Husband (Is 54:5; Je 3:14); but now your way and Mine are utterly diverse; there can therefore be no fellowship between us such as there was (Am 3:2); I will walk with you only to “punish you”; as a “lion” walks with his “prey” (Am 3:4), as a bird-catcher with a bird [Tarnovius]. The prophets, and all servants of God, can have no fellowship with the ungodly (Ps 119:63; 2Co 6:16, 17; Eph 5:11; Jam 4:4).

Application: We can find so many similar statements in the Bible teaching us about the importance of being in agreement as a couple and as a family. For instance:
– Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 2 Corinthians 6:14 (NKJV)
– If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. Mark 3:24-25 (NKJV)
These verses underscore the importance of dating people with whom we have similarities, particularly in the most important areas of our life, such as religious beliefs and principles, values, goals, family background (including relationship with in-laws), education, finances, etc.
The idea that opposites attract is used as a way to explain that we are still individuals with differences. While it is true that we maintain our individuality when we marry, and we should, it again underscores the importance of having and sharing similarities with the person we marry. We can benefit from each other’s differences as long as the differences are not more prominent or greater in number than our similarities.

A Prayer You May Say: Father, bless us so we may benefit from our different strengths, but also bless us that we may find and marry the person with whom we have more similarities, especially when it comes to how we relate to You.

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Scripture: Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up. 11 Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; But how can one be warm alone? Ecclesiastes 4:9-11 (NKJV)

Observation: The author of Ecclesiastes, believed to be King Solomon, thinks about what loneliness is and what it does. The context suggests that he is describing someone who is so consumed by his work, he is incapable of making or keeping close relationships. Former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Dag Hammarskjöld, once wrote, ‘What makes loneliness an anguish is not that I have no one to share my burden, but this: I have only my own burden to bear.’1
Solomon then highlights the effects of such loneliness by contrasting them with the joys of having someone by our side (v. 9). In some cases a person cannot work alone, for they need “another pair of hands.” An ancient Jewish proverb says, “A friendless man is like the left hand bereft of the right.” Success is something to be shared.
Solomon also speaks of the warmth of human relationships. His picture is very practical (v. 11). This can obviously be seen as a reference to marriage, but it must be noted that travelers often slept together on cold nights. Towards the end of his life, Solomon’s father, David, slept with the virgin Abishag simply for the warmth of her body.
The last verse of this series focuses on protection (v. 12). For travelers at that time, it was advisable to have someone with whom to travel. Lone travelers were easy prey to robbers. . . Like in Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25–37).

Application: Success is meaningless when it becomes all consuming. Think of the politician or businessman who rises to the top of his profession, only to realize that he has lost his family in the process, or a person consumed by his hobbies to the extent where the family is pushed out. George Eliot described a best friend as “a well-spring in the wilderness.”
From the marriage point of view, God designed that man should not be alone and thus created an equal companion for Adam. One of the goals or purposes of marriage is the companionship, the friendship that two people can offer each other. For the unmarried, friendship is also important and we must seek such company, not just for our benefit but in order to be of benefit to someone else’s life. One of the interesting things, though, is that many live with the marital fence close to them and they imagine the grass would be so much greener on the other side. Some who are married wish they could be single, and some who are single wish they would be married! What these passages should teach us is the value of true friendship. In marriage, your spouse should be your best friend. If unmarried, treasure the true friends in your life.

A Prayer You May Say: Father God, thank You for the gift of friendship and companionship. Bless us with that true friend in our lives.

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