Day 12


It’s easy for a word to go unnoticed on a page, overlooked in a sentence or brushed by in a paragraph. But this word is one we cannot overlook. It’s startling. Striking. Like cold water splashed on a face. Not because the word itself is confronting, but because of He who says it.

“But you, Israel, my servant,

    Jacob, whom I have chosen,

    you descendants of Abraham my friend

Isaiah 41:8

Friend. ‘My friend’. God said this.  Of a human being.

Let that hang on the air for a moment and settle into the stillness of your heart. This God who made the whole spinning universe of exploding stars, the minuscule details in the tiniest creatures of creation, all the miracles of life, this God speaks of humans as His friends. He wants us to walk with Him as Abraham learned to. To call on His name confidently as friends call on one another. He wants to be known by us. As a friend.


Author A.W. Tozer describes this heart of God…

“God’s love tells us that He is friendly and His Word assures us that He is our friend and wants us to be His friends. No man with a trace of humility would first think to that he is a friend of God; but the idea did not originate with men. Abraham would never have said, “I am God’s friend,” but God Himself said that Abraham was His friend…”

“..It is a strange and beautiful eccentricity of the free God that He has allowed His heart to be emotionally identified with men. Self-sufficient as He is, He wants our love and will not be satisfied till He gets it. Free as He is, He has let His heart be bound to us forever…”

“…The love of God is one of the great realities of the universe, a pillar upon which the hope of the world rests. But it is a personal, intimate thing, too. God does not love populations, He loves people. He loves not masses, but men. He loves us all with a mighty love that has no beginning and can have no end.”1

This God is a God who wants to be known, to be in personal relationship with human beings. And the whole Bible, the Old Testament and the New, is really a letter from God to us revealing who He is. Personally. The long story of the lengths He’s gone to to make Himself known to us.

This book with all its endless stories is not just revelation of information about God, it is revelation of the shape of His beating heart and an invitation to join His heart on an adventure. This God wants to be known.

And this is what His journey with Abraham has been all along, an intentional scattering of promises, blessings and interactions all revealing step by step the shape of God’s love for Abraham, for humankind, like bread crumbs leading Abraham (and us) straight to His heart.

All these years of God walking alongside Abraham are years of a friendship deepening and a committed partnership strengthening. Moment by moment God invites Abraham to know Him more, to walk closer, to commit more of himself. And step by step as Abraham comes closer, God reveals to him more of His heart.

And for Abraham, all these years of deepening friendship are deepening his trust in this God. He used to hustle to save his own skin at the expense of his family, but there has been a change. God’s faithfulness to Abraham has produced faith within Abraham’s heart. Unwavering faith. (Romans 4:20)


And then this one day arrives in Abrahams life. A day after decades of learning who this God is, and learning to trust His heart.

Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, ‘Abraham!’

‘Here I am,’ he replied.

Then God said, ‘Take your son, your only son, whom you love – Isaac – and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain that I will show you.” Genesis 22:1-2

God’s words sound like a statement, but in this moment God was effectively asking Abraham a question: How committed is this friendship? How deeply do you love and trust me? Is it just for what I give you? Is it just for all my promises, my blessing, my protection, my provision? Or is it for me? Is this thing personal to you? Personal enough for you to give up everything else, your own son on whose shoulders every promise I ever made to you rests? Is this as personal for you as it is for me?

When temptation and testing came, Eve and Adam gave up God in a moment, Cain gave up God in his jealousy and apathy, and a whole Babel world had given up on God for whatever identity drivenness their hearts were drawn to.

But this new family line, Seth’s family line that called on the name of the Lord and walked closely with Him, Noah, Enoch, now Abraham, this new family God was establishing, they needed to be different.

They were different.

Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac.” Genesis 22:3a

And the first born son of Israel is led up a mountain by his father to be sacrificed.