Banner Of Truth
"Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee..." Psalm 60:4

THE WOUNDS OF A FRIEND
BY KAREN SANKOWSKI
JAN.11TH.2015

I need to clarify something before I begin: I’m not using the word “friend” casually, but in the highest regard; because it also means advocate.  Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.Prov.27:6. 
Wounds are actual injuries that one suffers. They can be minor or severe; but in either case, it leaves a mark. The mark may last a few minutes; or can scar you permanently.

In contrast: the kisses of an enemy is but for a moment; and leaves no noticeable mark; but whispers sweet subtle words that can send you happily on your way. But the way is death, destruction and complete and utter ruin.
OUR FRIEND: Since the world began, God through His infinite grace and mercy has provided a Man; for His creation to be friend, love and trust. A true and faithful friend; one who existed before the world was; one who was sent by God to give His life and take it up again. That Man is Christ.

The prophet Isaiah foretold of His coming. For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father; The Prince of peace. Isa.9:6.
God spoke to Moses as a man speaketh to a friend. Ex.33:11. And God said: But thou Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend. Isa.41:8.
Why could God call these men friend? Because they believed God; and were obedient. But the ONE friend, who has come from the seed of Abraham, is the greatest and truest friend, of all and to all.  To His Father, because He believed God; and was obedient even to the death on the cross. Faithful, in accomplishing the work to which His Father sent Him to do.
And faithful to the ones that the Father has given Him. … And there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. Prov.18:24.
His mouth is most sweet: yea, He is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend; O daughters of Jerusalem. S.O.S 5:16.  The amplified reads: His voice and speech are exceedingly sweet; yes, He is altogether lovely {the whole of Him delights and is precious}. This is my beloved, and this is my friend; O daughters of Jerusalem.
Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. {Growing in grace} they shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be full of sap; {Spiritual vitality} and rich in the verdure {of trust, love and contentment}.

They are living memorials to show that the Lord is upright and faithful to His promises; He is my ROCK, and there is no unrighteousness in Him. Ps.92:13-15.

Jesus said: Greater love hath no man than this; that a man lay down his life for his friends. Then He said: Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth, I {Jesus} call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what His Lord doeth; but I have called you friends: for all things that I have heard of My Father I have made known unto you. John 15:13-15.
For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ die for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.Rom.5:6-8.
…Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savor. Eph.5:2.

HIS WOUNDS: As I said in the beginning; Wounds are actual injuries that one suffers. They can be minor or severe; but in either case, it leaves a mark. The mark may last a few minutes; or can scar you permanently.

Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands: thy walls are continually before me. Isa. 49:15-16.
The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: He wakeneth morning by morning, He wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.
The Lord God hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back. I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting. Isa.50:4-6.
….His visage was so marred more than any man; and His form more than the sons of men. Isa.52:14.
…He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and we hid as it were our faces from Him, He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.
Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.  But He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed. Isa.53:3-5.
They stripped Him, and put on Him a scarlet robe. And when they had plaited a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, a reed in His right hand: and they bowed the knee before Him, and mocked Him saying: Hail, King of the Jews!
And they spit upon Him, and took the reed and smote Him on the head.  And after that they had mocked Him, they took the robe off from Him, and put His own raiment on Him, and led Him away to crucify Him. … They gave Him vinegar to drink mingled with gall. …And they crucified Him, and parted His garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet: They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.  They set up over His head His accusation written: This is Jesus The King of the Jews. Matt.27:28-37.
Christ was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. Rom.4:25.
For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. II Cor.5:21.
For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth; Who, when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not; but committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously: Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree; that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls. I Pet.2:21-25.

This Friend; loveth at all times….Prov.17:17.

Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He hath put Him to grief: when thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.
He shall see the travail of His soul, and be satisfied: by His knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities. Isa.53:10-11.
It is by these wounds; suffered by a true and faithful friend that we have: Justification, sanctification, reconciliation, redemption and the forgiveness of sin. And access to the very throne of God; with acceptance in and because of Christ.
Christ, who is our Friend is seated at the right hand of God; His wounds are a LIVING, EVERLASTING TESTIMONY, for they plead for us at the throne of God.
Jesus has remained faithful to us; He has promised: ….I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. Heb.13:5.
Betrayal by a friend can cause great anguish; but a Real Friend, always sticks close to you in good times and in times of trouble. They bring healing with a word, correction when needed; love, understanding and acceptance. This is the kind of Friend Jesus is.
So I ask you, what kind of a friend are you? Let us plead as Ruth did to Naomi: Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God. Ruth 1:16.In other words: Let the love of Christ constrain you. II Cor.5:14. And remember the wounds of THIS Friend. Amen.