The Friendship of the King
‘He that loveth pureness of heart, for the grace of his lips the king shall be his friend.’— Prov. xxii. il.
‘WHO can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure’? Who must not despair of the friendship of the King if this were the condition? But His wonderful condescension in promising His friendship bends yet lower in its tenderly devised condition. Not to the absolutely pyre in heart, but to the perhaps very sorrowfully longing lover of that pureness, come the gracious words, ‘The King shall be his Friend.’
Yet there must be some proof of this love; and it is found in ‘ the grace of His lips.’ For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.’ Here, again, we stop and question our claim; for our speech has not always been ‘with grace; ‘ and the memory of many a graceless and idle word rises to bar it. How then shall the King be our Friend ? Another word comes to our help : ‘ Grace is poured into thy lips,’—grace that overflowed in gracious words, such as never man spake, perfectly holy and beautiful; and we look up to our King and plead that He has Himself fulfilled the condition in which we have failed,—that this is part of the righteousness which He wrought for us, and which is really unto us and upon us, because we believe in Him ; and so, for the grace of His own lips, the King shall be our Friend.
1 Prov. XX. 9. 2 Hab. i. 13. 3 Matt. v. 8.
4 Matt. xii. 34. 6 Col. iv. 6. « Matt. xii. 36.
-Who has not longed for an ideal and yet a real friend,—one who should exactly understand us, to whom we could tell everything, and in whom we could altogether confide,—one who should be very wise and very true,’—one of whose love and unfailing interest we could be certain ? There are other points for which we could not hope,—that this friend should be very far above us, and yet the very nearest and dearest, always with us, always thinking of us, always doing kind and wonderful things for us; undertaking and managing everything; forgetting nothing, failing in nothing; quite certain never to change and never to die,—so that this one grand friendship should fill our lives, and that we really never need trouble about anything for ourselves any more at all.
Such is our Royal Friend, and more; for no human possibilities of friendship can illustrate what He is to those to whom He says, ‘Ye are my friends.’ We, even we, may look up to our glorious King, our Lord and our God, and say, ‘This is my Beloved, and this is my Friend!’ And then we, even we, may claim the privilege of being ‘the King’s companion’ and the ‘King’s friend.’
1 Ps. xlv. 2. 2 Luke iv. 22. 3 John vii. 46.
4 Rom. iii. 22. 5 Ps. cxxxix. 2. ^ Mark vi. 30.
7 Rev. xix. II. 8 John xiii. i. ^ Matt, xxviii. 20.
Ps. xl. 17. 11 Isa. xxxviii. 14. 12 Zeph, iii. 5.
13 Mai. iii. 6. 14 i Pet. v. 7. 15 John xv. 14.