Friday, October 6, 2006

By Faith... Abraham - Part II, Part 29 of 79

TEXT: "When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, "I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless" (Genesis 17:1).

IDEA: When we live before God, it is a movement toward holiness.

PURPOSE: To help listeners understand that what God asked of Abraham He can also ask of us.

In Genesis 17:1 God came to Abraham and said, "I am Almighty God. Walk before Me and be blameless."

I. What do you think was involved in telling Abraham to "walk before Me"?

Do you think He was telling Abraham not to ride a camel and to be sure his whole journey is on foot?

What comes to your mind when you talk about walking? It's a metaphor used throughout the Bible, especially in Genesis.

In Genesis 3:8 the word walk describes the Lord God in the Garden of Eden.

It was used of Enoch, Genesis 5:21-24, a man who "walked with God."

It described Noah in Genesis 6:9, as "a just man, perfect in his generations, [who] walked with God."

A walk is not static. It means movement.

II. What do you think He means when He says, "Walk before Me and be blameless"?

We walk before God in His presence with nothing to hide.

Do you think it's possible for Christians to try to hide from God?

What do we mean by "blameless"?

The Hebrew word is tamin and is used of Noah in Genesis 6:9. The root meaning is whole, integrated, as we put all of our energy into one pursuit.

Abraham was to be wholly dedicated to God's cause, not free to live like the Canaanites around him, nor to be half-hearted in his service to God.

James captured the meaning of this in James 1:4: "to be perfect and complete." The call is for whole-heartedness. With the singlemindedness of an athlete, we make it our aim to please God. We do this by "walking before Him" with nothing to hide.

Conclusion: The opposite of being "perfect and complete" is being double-minded. It's like the character in Pilgrim's Progres, Mr. Looking-both-ways:

  • He doesn't get anywhere.
  • Second, he doesn't life a whole and complete life.