Proverbs 18:24b (NIV) “But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Having seen the “unfriendliness” in Proverbs 18:1 and “over-friendliness” in Proverbs 18:24a, we now have the “just right friendship” in Proverbs 18:24b “But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”
- True Friendship is giving of Oneself unreservedly to the interests of Another. It is unrealistic to attempt this to everyone we are on friendly term with.
- True Friend is brought together by a combination of circumstances and that mysterious chemistry that creates a bond between two Persons which can be closer than the ties of blood and qualify for the name “brother.”
King David’s brothers virtually disowned him, but Jonathan took up his cause. Jesus was rejected by His Jewish Brothers (John 1:11) but John, “the Disciple Jesus loved,” stayed with Him to the end. True Friendship is more than Affability (Friendliness), it is commitment – Proverbs 17:17 (NIV) “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”
Marriage (Greatest Friend)
Proverbs 18:22 (NIV) “He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favour from the Lord.” Marriage is the ultimate in Friendship, involving as it does a more formal and public expression of total and life-long commitment than that made to “a friend who becomes a brother” (Proverbs 18:24b).
- Marriage is one of the Bible’s Finest Commendations of a “Excellent Friendship and Companionship.”
- God Himself gave Adam a Companion for life by presenting Eve to him (Genesis 2:20b-24).
- The wife (woman) is one of the “good things” that still remain through “favour (gift) from the LORD.” – God knows how much a man needs the support (“help-mate”), care and sympathy of a Companion.
- God’s Favour (wife) is not a right, but it is a Gift of Grace (Favour) which has to be sought – We have to “find a wife” because not all women are compatible (well-matched) – Proverbs 11:22 (NIV) “Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.”
- Prayer, observation and thought have to go into the matter lest it turn out unhappily as in – Proverbs 19:13 (NIV) “A foolish son is his father’s ruin, and a quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping.” (Proverbs 21:19; Proverbs 25:24; Proverbs 27:15).
- Husband must show love and tenderness – Colossians 3:19 (NIV) “Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them” (Ephesians 5:25-33; 1Peter 3:7).