I was reading in Genesis this morning, moving through the One Year Bible, and came upon the passage where Abraham was visited by three heavenly beings who had taken on physical form (Gen 18)…
A short re-cap of the story…
It was “the hottest part of the day” (v.1) for Abraham. Seeking shade, he would be resting, and less likely to pay attention or jump up and run at the sight of anything! But Abraham looked up and saw the three men standing nearby. He instinctively recognized one to be the Lord (with two angels?), and “ran to meet them” (v.2).
When God approached Abraham, Abraham responded to God. He was excited to see Him! They had built trust by turning toward each other, and responding to each other throughout their relationship. Abraham jumped at the opportunity to meet with the Living God. He welcomed the men in. He honored them by bowing low. He quickly set his household about offering the very best of their food and provisions…
As they turned to leave, Abraham went with them “to send them on their way” (v.16). And God paid attention.
WE ARE PRECIOUS TO GOD.
God recognized the special relationship he had started with Abraham, setting him apart as the one through whom the plan of redemption would unfold… Establishing him as the first human member of God’s beloved people.
“Should I hide my plan from Abraham? …I have singled him out so that he will direct his sons and families to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just. Then I will do for Abraham all that I have promised” (vv.17-19).
RESPONDING TO GOD IN THE SMALL MOMENTS OFTEN LEADS TO BIGGER CONVERSATIONS, even discussing the fate of a nation.
“So the Lord told Abraham, ‘I have heard a great outcry from Sodom and Gomorrah, because their sin is so flagrant. I am going down to see if their actions are as wicked as I have heard. If not, I want to know” (vv.20-21).
God had turned toward Abraham, invited him into a heavenly conversation, and then paused, gave room and opportunity for Abraham to respond.
“The other men turned and headed toward Sodom, but the Lord remained with Abraham” (v.22).
GOD WAITS FOR US TO ENGAGE, BUT OFTEN, WE DON’T!
What would you and I do if this seemingly fantastical scenario were to play out in our own lives? How many times does God stop to tell us something. Turn toward us patiently waiting to engage in a dialogue about heavenly matters… things too great for us to comprehend on our own. How many times do we hear Him, realize the opportunity we’ve been given, and engage in a dialogue with the Most High God?
ENGAGING IN HEAVENLY DIALOGUE STARTS AND ENDS WITH TRUST, even when lives are at stake.
When God made room for Abraham to enter the conversation about His plans for Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham stepped in. He approached God. The blood of Jesus was at work through faith even then, as Abraham went “boldly to the throne of our gracious God” (Hebrews 4:16). He appealed to God out of compassion. He appealed to His heart and to His holiness.
Instead of challenging or questioning the heart of God, instead of doubting His holiness and perfect love, Abraham appealed to the friend he knew… “Should not the Judge of all the earth do what is right?” (v.25).
This reminds me of Job… God has so much grace for His friends, and loves to hear us out.
Abraham is called “the friend of God” because he “believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith” (James 2:23).
How do I respond to God when I face impossible situations? when I see the wickedness at work around me? when I hear of one natural disaster after another…?
Do we turn toward Him, or away? Do we come to Him as a friend, or treat Him as a foe? Do we bow and trust, and approach the Living God who has made a way for us to engage in the heavenly conversations that effect our world? or do we numb our hearts to the sound of His voice and bury our heads in the sand?
JESUS CALLS US FRIENDS, AND WE ARE INVITED INTO HEAVENLY CONVERSATIONS that say:
You are God. You are Just. You Holy. You are Love. “Should not the Judge of all the earth do what is right?” (v.25).
I am seeking God’s heart for the nations. What is this season we are in? What is the age? What is 2018 on the linear plan of full redemption? Yes, there is sin. Yes, there is wickedness. Yes, so many have forgotten the Lord. And yes, we have Jesus.
I don’t have answers, but I WANT TO BE A FRIEND OF GOD, AND ENGAGE IN THE CONVERSATION.
“I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me” (John 15:15).