Saturday, January 9
Shall I hide from Abraham…?
Scripture: Genesis 17-18, Psalm 5, Luke 9
Genesis 18:16–19 When the men got up to leave, they looked down toward Sodom, and Abraham walked along with them to see them on their way. 17 Then the Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do? 18 Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him. 19 For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.”
After dining with Abraham and promising that Sarah would have a baby next year, the Lord (in the presence of three men or angels) looked down toward Sodom and began to go there. God’s thoughts are revealed to us in v. 17-19. He treats Abraham as a friend (John 15:15), and tells him what He is about to do. Why?
First, because He has chosen Abraham and is in covenant with him.
Second, “so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just.”
Third, (this is inferred from what follows) to give Abraham a chance to intercede for the city and for Lot. Abraham barters with God, asking if God will destroy the righteous with the wicked or will He spare the city for the sake of 50 righteous? 45? 40? 30? 20? 10? God agrees to spare the city if He can find even 10 righteous people, but obviously He couldn’t and He destroyed it. However, He brought Lot and his wife and daughters safely out.
First, Jesus calls us His friends and reveals everything to us. We are invited into an intimate relationship with God, where He could ask, “Shall I hide what I’m about to do from Joe?” Lean into that relationship. Be God’s friend. Listen. Last night at the men’s event, my friend Eugene told me that he’s been practicing solitude and the Lord is meeting him there. He said that he turns all his tech off and gets away from everything (nothing within reach) so he can slow his mind and focus. I needed to hear that! Thank you Eugene. I think that God wants to say more to me, but I’m often too distracted. Wait on the Lord. Be His friend.
Second, the Lord wants us as parents and grandparents to be responsible for the spiritual instruction and well-being of our kids. We are to “direct them…to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is just and right.” First we know God; then we share Him. Spiritual instruction starts in the home. (For me, this also extends to the church I pastor). Teach your children well to know the Lord and live His way.
Third, the Lord wants me to intercede for my city (and my nation). I love the dialogical relationship Abraham had with God—two friends bartering, going back and forth. I want to have that kind of conversational relationship with the Lord and that kind of love for people. Abraham interceded because he loved his nephew Lot and his family. I want to have that same kind of love for our city, and pray intently for it.
Prayer: Lord, lots to learn from this story. Help me to know You deeply, be Your friend, teach my kids, grands and church, and love our city!