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Monday, September 16, 2019

2019.09.16 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 18:16-19

Questions from the Scripture text: Who rise in Genesis 18:16? Where do they look? Who goes with them? To do what? Who speaks in Genesis 18:17? What question does He ask? What will Abraham become (Genesis 18:18)? Who will be blessed in him? What has Yahweh done to Abraham (Genesis 18:19)? So that Abraham might do what? To whom? What is Abraham to command them to do? What will Yahweh bring about through this? 
The text continues to remind us this is Yahweh (Genesis 18:17) appearing in the form of three men (Genesis 18:16—cf. the same thing again in Genesis 18:20/Genesis 18:22, etc.). And one of the main points of the passage is related: behold how near the Lord has come to Abraham!

We remember, in John 15, Jesus saying that the disciples were His friends because He told them what He was doing. Elsewhere, the Scriptures tell us that Abraham is called the friend of God, and here we hear God ask, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing? … For I have known him!”

Yes, there is a sense of “choosing” in this knowing. Of all the people in the world at this time, Abraham is the only one about whom the Lord speaks in that way. But let us not forget to see the knowing in this choosing. “I have known him.” I have intended, from before the world began (cf. Romans 8:29), that we would be in close fellowship with one another, and have set my affections upon him from that time.

Notice the result of this knowing: godliness. When God sets His affections upon a man, He does not leave that man unchanged.

Notice the content of that godliness: faith and obedience. First, faith. It is not Abraham who has planned the good that will come to him. Yahweh has spoken it to him. It is not Abraham who will bring about what has been spoken. Yahweh is bringing it to him. We mustn’t make the mistake of thinking that the obedience is what ensures the blessing. That belongs to God alone. Remember chapter 15. Abraham believed God, and it was counted for him as righteousness.

And then obedience. But notice especially the sphere of that obedience. Ordinary, everyday life. Leading his household to keep the way of Yahweh. Leading his household to do righteousness and justice. This is the necessary result of the Lord knowing us. And this is also the role which the Lord has given us, amongst all the other means that He has appointed for bringing to us what He has promised.

The Christian life is not easy—it requires the miracle of Yahweh bringing it about, Yahweh bringing it to us. But it is, in fact, rather simple. Trust in Him, and do what He commands in the role where He has placed you. He will bring about what He has promised.
What everyday role has the Lord given you? What are some things He has promised you?
Suggested Songs: ARP23B “The Lord’s My Shepherd” or TPH128B “Blest the Man Who Fears Jehovah”

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