God Buddies in the Bible: Summary
To conclude this series of posts about God Buddies in the Bible, I want to start with the reminder that God didn’t design humans to live in solitude. Genesis 2:18: reminds us “The Lord God said, It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
While this verse describes the creation of the first woman, God describes Himself multiple times in Scripture with the same root word for “helper”. According to this post, the word for “helper” in Hebrew is ezer (pronounced “ay-zer”) used in the context of powerful acts of rescue and support. In English, the word “help” has a broad range of meanings from a simple, modest act to even one that is more vital and significant. For God Buddies, your deep, authentic friendship connects you on a “soul level” and is helpful for God’s purposes for both of you.
In my opening post, Introduction to GBs in The Bible I used a definition of biblical friendship by Jonathan Holmes which states:
“Biblical friendship exists when two or more people, bound together by a common faith in Jesus Christ, pursue him and his kingdom with intentionality and vulnerability. Rather than serving as an end in itself, biblical friendship serves primarily to bring glory to Christ, who brought us into friendship with the Father. It is indispensable to the work of the gospel in the earth, and an essential element of what God created us for.”
— Jonathan Holmes, The Company We Keep: In Search of Biblical Friendship,
Each of the relationships in this series provided vital and significant acts of support as well. Each friendship was bound together on a soul level and worked together for God’s mission.
Paul and Barnabas demonstrate one of the Three Relationships Every Man Needs. The Apostle showed that doing life together with a peer and having a mentor is important for your growth as a godly man. This relationship aspect requires you be intentional and spend time together.
Paul’s Protege, Timothy needed a role model and Paul was perfect for him. These two established a level of trust that helped develop the spiritual and personal growth of the young Christian leader. The mentor trained and released the mentee to carry on the mission of the early church. Paul followed Timothy’s life even from far up until his own death.
Jonathan and David are one of the most famous yet controversial, relationships in the Bible. This friendship encourages us to become more comfortable with emotional openness with other men. These two GBs definitely connected on a “soul level”, shared a common goal and stuck to obedience to God since it was a high priority.
The story of Ruth and Naomi is an unlikely friendship that shows devotion and protection of the legacy of family, regardless of their age difference and family of origin. The relationship between the mother-in-law, Naomi, and daughter-in-law, Ruth (the grandmother of King David) is part of the genealogy of Jesus Christ. It showed an abiding loyalty since they looked out for each another throughout their lives.
Jethro and Moses is another example of in-law relationships that carried forward a family legacy. The tough conversation Jethro had with his son-in-law demonstrates you should
- Trust the advice of an older man.
- Accept criticism openly.
- Work together to improve.
Jethro provided wise counsel and called out a difficult truth for Moses which helped him in understand proper leadership.
The story of King David and the prophet Nathan shows that we all struggle with sin. But if we have someone who will speak truth to us, even if it may cost us a friendship. Sometimes, we all need a GB to hold us accountable for our actions and to change the direction of our life.
And the last post of the series, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were young Jewish boys who grew up in their faith together and stood by each other during some tough times. They never allowed their friendship to usurp God’s place in their lives; not even in the face of death in a fiery furnace.
There are more that may come up in later posts but these initial God Buddies trusted in God’s plan and responded, even when they may not have known their purpose at the time. But in every case, they did not do it alone.
We all need a God Buddy to help us become the person that God needs to further His kingdom here on earth.
So learn from these biblical accounts and trust that your GB relationship will bear fruit and be helpful for both of you.
Next week, I start a series on the characteristics that a God Buddy relationship should include.