Proverbs 17:17

A friend loves at all times,
and a brother is born for adversity

How good it is to be a friend and to have a friend, a true friend. A friend always loves; i.e. he always desires the good of his friend. To love at all times is to seek the best for ones friend at all times. That means sticking by him when others desert him. It means being there for him. And it means being truthful with him, telling him at times what he does not want to hear. Sometimes it even means not sticking by him when he chooses evil, i.e. not entering into the evil with him or enabling him to do what is wrong. But then, always, being there for him when he suffers the consequences.

And then a brother (or a sister), has even a closer connection. Even though he (or she) may not seem as close as a friend, he literally was born for adversity. For he is a kinsman. Brothers and sisters are bonded by blood. They are not connected by their common tastes. And it is in the troubles of life that their bond most clearly is shown to protect, to deliver, to avenge. If a brother is disappointed in another brother, the very disappointment rises from the blood-bond. And should brothers be against one another, it is a greater tragedy than any other feud because of that bond.

Let us be thankful for the One who calls us his friends (John 15:15). Let us be humbled by the One who is not ashamed to be called our brother (Hebrews 2:11), who became our kinsman-redeemer:

Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham. Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted (Hebrews 2:14-18).

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