God entered into covenant with Abraham, as recorded in Genesis 15. Each person involved—God and Abraham—made a total commitment. There came a time when God called on Abraham to fulfill his commitment and offer his son, Isaac, as a sacrifice. But God’s commitment was just as total as Abraham’s. So, two thousand years later, the other side of the covenant came to the fore: God gave up His only Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Remember that the commitment you make to God usually determines the measure of God’s commitment to you. Total commitment to God calls for total commitment from God. That is the very essence of a covenant relationship. However, Abraham’s covenant with God had a further practical effect on his personal relationship with God. In his epistle, James spoke about what Abraham did when he offered up Isaac, and the result of his willingness to do so.
Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected; and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,” and he was called the friend of God. (James 2:21–23 nasb)
Through that covenant commitment and through its outworking in the offering up of Isaac, Abraham was reckoned as God’s friend. That is a very significant and honorable title. The lesson is this: covenant is the door to true friendship. When two individuals make a covenant with one another and live out the terms of their covenant, that is true friendship at work.