This is the seventh part in a twelve part devotional commentary on “O Holy Night.” See the introduction here.
The King of Kings Lay thus in lowly manger;
In all our trials Born to be our friend.
The King of Kings is a lofty title. I used to think of it merely as God ruling over all the rulers on Earth. That, of course, is true. But it also encompasses the full scope of God’s reign. Everything we think a King might control or ought to be, God controls and is. God is the epitome of Kingship. He reigns sovereignly over all things large and small because it is His, and He manages His creation with perfect wisdom and justice. There are no boundaries to His kingdom. Unlike our American President, there are not checks and balances on God. He is free to act and will according to His desires.
Yet we find this most magnificent King in a most lowly place, a manger. We are again pointed back to the mystery of the incarnation, to Philippians 2 “He made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.” Though man is dust, God became man in order to save man.
Why would a utterly holy God stoop to such a lowly place? What could motivate Him to make Himself “nothing”? We are told in one of my favorite lines, “In all our trials born to be our friend.” The love of God is such a deeply rich love that it compelled Him to become “nothing” in order to be our dearest friend (amongst other titles, of course).
This friendship is costly. Not only did God have to become man, but He also had to die, as we saw in the last post. Jesus told us that true love is laying down one’s life for another. The only way God could truly love is by accomplishing this act. And because of the horrible mark of sin on our lives, the only way He could be our friend is through covering us with the perfectly righteous blood of His Son.
“Born to be our friend” assumes much because of cost required for God to be our friend. It is an expression of the gospel, that God so loved us that He did indeed send His Son to reconcile us to Him. In Him we find our truest companion, our dearest friend.