“Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do?”
This simple question reveals the regard the person asking it has for Abraham- he considers him a friend. The person asking is the Lord and his question is letting Abraham know that because he is a friend, God is not going to keep secrets from him (Gen. 18:17).
A friendship, as we all know, is not an instantaneous thing. It is a relationship forged over time. It grows and prospers when both sides perform actions that demonstrate commitment to and respect for the other and the friendship. It is tested and proven.
Abram- as he was originally named- was called into the land where the Lord would establish his people, along with his wife Sarai and his nephew Lot and his family. They also brought the community they had established in Haran.
Genesis 12: 1-3: 1 Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: 2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
Abram had an interesting life to say the least. You can see the hand of God guiding, protecting, and lifting up his friend throughout his sojourn. When the Lord told Abram to pack up his family and his estate and move to a new land- full of strangers- he did it and prospered. He was sent into Egypt to survive a famine and came out much richer. So rich that he and Lot had to separate and exploit new resources in order to continue their growth. A tribal war broke out, and Lot is captured. Abram gathers his men along with volunteers from the surrounding tribes and rescues Lot, while establishing his dominance in the land. He pays tithes from the spoils to the King of Salem, but declines to keep anything for himself.
But throughout everything, Abram and Sarai remain childless- and they are getting old. Abram despairs that he will not have an heir:
Genesis 15:3-6 3 And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir. 4 And, behold, the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. 5 And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. 6 And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.
No matter what- Abram believed in the Lord. Because he was his friend.
Sarai believed in the Lord too- to a point. As the years went by, she began to reason that the promise to Abram couldn’t possibly be fulfilled through her. She remained childless. She decided to ensure that her husband wouldn’t die childless by bringing in a surrogate- Hagar, her Egyptian handmaid. The scheme worked- Abram married Hagar and she got pregnant with Ishmael- but that was not the Lord’s plan.
Genesis 17 is the Abrahamic Covenant. 1 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. 2 And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.
The Lord had previously covenanted to be Abram’s God, and to protect him. Later, he promised to give him the land. He was now making a spiritual covenant- an establishment of the covenant people, the line through which the Messiah would come. This is where the Jew-hating began- Satan’s response to the Abrahamic Covenant.
The Lord began the new covenant with new names for the father- and mother- of many nations: Abraham and Sarah.
We were told in Genesis 13:13 that “the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly.” Their day of reckoning has come.
The Lord has come to tell his friend. 17 And the Lord said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do? He has come with two angels,and they stop at Abrahams dwelling to let him know what is about to happen so they won’t be frightened. 20 And the Lord said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; 21 I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know.
The Lord could have just gone straight to the cities of the plain and taken care of business. But, he stopped to give a heads-up to his friend. Because that is what a friend does for a friend. God will reveal everything to his friends. He will reveal to you the Truth, and the truth will set you free.
How do you become a friend to God?
Jeremiah 29:13- And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
John 15:14- Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
James 2:23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
Genesis 15: 5-6 5 And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. 6 And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.
James 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
next week: a wild man