It Pays To Have Friends
Where would you be without your friends? Most people have no problem admitting that life would be a mess without their friends. So often, especially when life gets tough, without our close friends, life would be overwhelming. That being true, why would anyone try this life journey without friends?
In Judges 18 there was a whole city of people who decided they didn’t really need to have any friends from the neighboring area: LAISH. (18:7 “they had no dealings with anyone”)
Note: this was at a time when wars over territory were common.
Part of the reasoning behind the people of Laish choosing not to pursue close relationships with other cities in the region was their reliance on their location: about 25 miles north of the Sea of Galilee, 27 miles east of Tyre and isolated both from Sidon by the Lebanon mountain range and from Syria by Mount Hermon and the Anti-Lebanon range. ((18:7 “they were far from the Sidonians”) Imagine a horseshoe as the neighboring mountains and Laish in the middle.
Another factor in their aloofness was rooted in their self-sufficiency. They were in the middle of the Huleh basin, home to some of the most fertile land in the entire region.
In Judges 18:7, the 5 Danite spies described Laish as: “they lived in security, after the manner of the Sidonians, quiet and unsuspecting, lacking nothing that is in the earth and possessing wealth”.
Little did they realize it, but they were the target of Danite spies looking for new land. The end result is recorded in 18:27-28: “But the people of Dan … came to Laish, to a people quiet and unsuspecting, and struck them with the edge of the sword and burned the city with fire. And there was no deliverer because it was far from Sidon, and they had no dealings with anyone.”
Notice carefully that it says: “there was no deliverer”. If they had built close ties with those in the area, then there would have been someone on which they could have called for help. However, as “loners” they were out on the limb by themselves and paid the price for that exclusiveness.
Eve tried this same “solitude” approach when she battled Satan without Adam close-by and all of humanity paid the price.
The early Church understood the need of friendships-aka fellowship. Acts 2:42-47
“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
Point? First, you NEED friends. Second, you NEED quality friends. Third, you NEED godly friends. Fourth, in order to have quality, godly friends, you have to be a quality, godly friend. Don’t try to make it through this earthly venture, in this fallen world, by yourself. Just ask the citizens of Laish.
Mike Sublett is a pastor at Hi-Land Christian Church, 1615 N. Banks St., Pampa, Texas 79065. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.