“Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him….”
– Genesis 17: 3a, NKJV –
It’s funny how simple statements can rock a world’s construct.
So far, in the Bible, God hadn’t spoken to all that many people.
Adam and Eve walked with Him.
Enoch walked with Him too, and was taken up into heaven one day, no death-taste.
There was Noah, the man who believed God’s weather forecast years in advance. Talk about faith.
Then there was Abram.
An old man, far from home, who’d left all to follow a God who spoke to Him and called him to a place he’d never seen.
Was there something special about Abram?
It sure wasn’t his youthful vigor–he was ninety-nine in Genesis 17, when the Bible says God talked with him.
It wasn’t his truthfulness–he lied about his wife to a king.
It wasn’t his brains–he lied again, to another king. Some people just never learn…
It certainly wasn’t his upstanding moral character–he let his wife talk him into marrying her servant girl in hopes of a child.
And, although Scripture commends his faith, that wasn’t flawless either–what else do you call that man-made attempt at an heir that Abram agreed to when he took Hagar to himself? What do you call it when Abram laughed out loud at the idea of himself having a son, when he was already almost a hundred years old. Normal people were having great-grand kids at this age. Maybe even great-great-grand kids.
So what was so special about him?
All I can figure out is that it is the same thing that is so special about us–
The calling of God.
Us, unworthy, never with enough good deeds to make us valuable. And still He calls.
The Most High, Almighty God, who bends down and talks to us.
Just like He stooped down from His majesty in this verse and made a covenant with a not-so-perfect nomad with sun-wrinkled skin and wobbly knees and a faint heart. A wife who had even less faith. A house that had never rung with the laughter of their own child.
And He promised him a nation, when he didn’t even have an heir.
There’s a lot that God did for Abram–gave him a new name, for one. Promised him an everlasting nation. Sent him out into a land where he was a stranger. Said He would multiply him as the stars. Answered his prayers of persistence.
But one thing still strikes me, quivers like an arrow sticking into wood.
God talked to Abram.
We’ve established that it wasn’t because Abram was so great.
We aren’t so great either. Our sin totally corrupts us, blinds us to the Light.
And yet He came into this world that we like to call ours, and He talked to us.
Talked and lived and then made His biggest statement of all–a living Word, a dying cry–
“It is Finished!”
The debt was paid, the ransom price given. It was so,so high. Did all of heaven gasp when its King shuddered out His last breath? Is that why the ground writhed and the rocks seemed to cry out in that hour? In what kind of world would God die and let us live?
He wrested the sin-gap from between His face and ours and let in all the light of His glory. And–wondrous love–He still talks to us. He loves to walk with us. He loves to love us.
We should get excited here–God talks to us. We have a Book full of His messages, a prayer-closet that could overflow with communion, a Spirit that dwells with us.
Loving us isn’t a dull duty to God. Not at all! He delights over us with singing (Zephaniah 3:17)!
Facing today may seem impossible to you.
The deadlines hover. The dishes are mountains in the sink. You’re just fed up.
But stop. Breathe. Remember.
God chose to speak to you. That is a great honor, a beautiful, filling thing.
He delights over you with singing. Not because you’re worthy, but because He is worthy.
Beloved one, rest. Live in the light of His face. Really live–a whole-heart, down-to-earth, in-the-grit living. He didn’t call us so we could sit here, did He? We must walk in Him, abide in Him, go and be poured out as He was.
It’s an exciting life. It’s a joyous life. And He will be there, all the way–leading, talking, loving…and singing with delight over you.
Can you hear His song?
“God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high….”
– Hebrews 1:1-3, NKJV –
Thank you to Petr Kratochvil for the photo from Public Domain Pictures!