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September 23 – Wisdom about companions (part 2)

“A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” – Proverbs 18:24

Scripture readings: Proverbs 18:24; John 15:12-17

We use the word ‘friend’ loosely today. Our friends are often acquaintances. We know and enjoy them on a casual basis. We share common interests, enjoy game nights and movie nights with them, or play sports together.

Usually, however, such friends are not tuned in to our innermost fears, sins, struggles and hopes. For this reason, they are unable to pray for us and support us when our lives begin to unravel. “A man of many companions may come to ruin” (Proverbs 18:24a). He is surrounded by companions, yet none of them are close enough to warn him of danger or throw him a lifeline.

“But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24b). A brother is expected to be loyal, to be there for his siblings. In that case, a friend who sticks closer than a brother is a rare gem!

When life unravels, people are often surprised at who that friend proves to be. It is the person who shows up and stays when companions back away. We need friends like this so that we will not come to ruin. We need to be friends like that.

Ultimately, Jesus is that friend. “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends. You are my friends…” (John 15:13-14a).

“What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!

What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!” (Joseph Scriven).

Suggestions for prayer

Thank Jesus for being the Friend of Proverbs 18:24. Ask Him to help you be such a friend to someone else.

Pastor Richard Zekveld, his wife Nancy (nee Vandermeer), and their five children live in South Holland, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. Richard has pastored Covenant Fellowship Church of South Holland (PCA) since 2015, he also works part-time in jail ministry as a chaplain for Chicagoland Prison Outreach. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at

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