Many people claim to be “a friend of God”, but the Bible indicates that number may be far fewer in actuality. Psalm 25:14 says, “The secret of the LORD is for those who fear Him, and He will make known to them His covenant.”
The word translated “secret” by the NASB here is the Hebrew word “sod”, which BDB tells us means “secret, scheme, intimacy.” So the ESV translation “friendship” may not be a bad one. But notice for WHOM this “intimacy” with God is reserved:
Verse 14 says the “intimacy” or friendship with God “is for those who fear Him.” “Fear” is the Hebrew “yireh”, which means “fear or reverence”. “The fear of The Lord (or Yahweh)” is a theme which is found throughout the Old Testament. It does not refer to a “craven” kind of fear, but rather speaks of the person who walks in holiness at all times because he realizes his constant accountability to God.
What is significant in this passage is that :14 tells us that intimacy with God is reserved for this person! What then of those who claim to have this “friendship with God” but who do not show a reverence for Him; who do not walk in holiness? Their so-called “friendship” is most likely nothing more than a delusion or a wish. Psalm 25:14 makes it clear: “the intimacy of YHWH is for those who fear Him.”