“All these, who were chosen as gatekeepers at the thresholds, were 212. They were enrolled by genealogies in their villages. David and Samuel the seer established them in their office of trust. So they and their sons were in charge of the gates of the house of the LORD, that is, the house of the tent, as guards.” 1 Chronicles 9:22-23 ESV
Trust. Those chosen to guard the house of the tent were trusted men. To be a friend to someone or chose a friend, this friendship must include trust. Last week I shared a Celtic vow of friendship. The second vow is “I drink from your well.” When we drink of another’s well, we trust that person with our lives. This is true, too, of our well, the well we share. We must be trustworthy for we hold that person’s very life in ours.
There are many elements in this vow of trust. In Acts 15:36-41 Paul and Barnabas disagree over taking Mark on the next journey. “. . .a sharp disagreement, so that they separated from each other. Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus. . .” (Acts 15:39 ESV). Barnabas supported, sided with, Mark and willingly separated himself from Paul. A friend supports a friend, provides opportunities for a friend to make up for failures. A friend believes in a friend.
Another element of drinking from a friend’s well is suffering, or at least being willing to suffer, with a friend. When Y’shuaJesus announced his desire to journey to Jerusalem, Thomas passed a test of friendship when he said “Let us also go, that we may die with him” (John 11:16 ESV). To truly be a friend means a willingness to walk a friends walk with him. It is a willingness to suffer for a friend if called.
We are called to be a friend to those whom we don’t know. When we have little to give, we give what we can. We share our well as Peter did. “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!”(Acts 3:6 ESV)
We are taught to do good to our enemies, to befriend our enemy. Wonderful things happen when we follow this way of friendship. In Acts 16:25-30 Paul and Silas are in prison when an earthquake struck and “all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bonds were unfastened. When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped.” Paul did not run, did not take the opportunity for freedom. Rather he called to the jailer “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.” The outcome of this selfless action on Paul’s part is that the jailer fell down before Paul and Silas and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
Thank You, LORD, for Your Word, written through Your breath, preserved for us through the thousands of years. Continue to give us insight through it, that we might learn, that we may be transformed, that we may live Your promised abundant life. AMEN.
Lord Bless, Keep, Shine. . .