Daily D – Genesis 17:1 | Genesis 6:9
Genesis 17:1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless.
Genesis 6:9 This is the account of Noah and his family.
Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.
The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011).
Abraham had been living in the land God had called him to for nearly a quarter of a century. His son, Ishmael, was now thirteen years old. In Genesis 12:1-3, God told Abram/Abraham he would bless him and make him a blessing, and all peoples on earth would be blessed through him.
In chapter 15, God made a covenant with Abram/Abraham. In chapter 16, Abram and Sarai decided to do God’s will their way. What they wanted to happen did not happen the way God wanted it to happen. This is a lesson people still struggle with today. I have examples aplenty if you need them. Most of them are related to my own failures of rushing ahead of God.
Arriving at Genesis 17, we see God fulfill in his timing and in his way what he had planned all along. So many matters of significance take place in this chapter. It is hard to focus on all of them. God changes Abram and Sarai’s names. Circumcision is given as a sign of the covenant between God and Abraham’s descendants. God promises a son whose name means laughter to a centenarian dad and a nonagenarian mother.
God calls himself God Almighty. This is the name Amy Grant made popular a generation ago when she sang Michael Card’s lyrics and tune, El Shaddai.
Give attention to the setup and the directive. God Almighty says to Abram, a name meaning “exalted father,” a man about to celebrate a birthday whose cake, if he had one, would not support the number of candles placed upon it, “walk before me faithfully and be blameless.” God Almighty changes his name to Abraham, meaning “father of many.”
When God Almighty speaks, listen. Listen carefully. Listen expectantly. Listen with a heart prepared for immediate obedience. Whatever he says, whatever he asks is the most important direction you will ever receive. Do not get ahead, fall behind, or swerve to the right or to the left from what God says until he gives additional information.
What did God direct Abraham to do? “Walk before me faithfully and be blameless.” This is what Noah was commended for as seen in Genesis 6:9. God used him and his family to start over with humanity.
Adam and Eve walked with God and talked with him face to face, until they did not. Enoch walked with God 300 years (5:22). “Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away,” (verse 24).
When God Almighty tells Abraham to “walk before me faithfully and be blameless,” he indicates Abraham is to live an unblemished life. This does not mean Abraham, or Noah for that matter, was capable of living sinlessly. Job 1:1 is helpful for our understanding when it says Job was a man of “complete integrity,” (NLT). He was “blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil,” (NIV).
To walk with God is to live a wholesome and honorable life. To walk with God is to order your whole manner of life with the attitude of Abraham, to honor God and to bless others.
Adam and Eve walked with God until they chose their way instead of his way.
Enoch walked with God until God took him away.
Noah walked with God onto and off of the ark at God’s direction.
Abraham is told to “walk before me faithfully and be blameless.” To walk before God is to live life in conscious awareness of his presence in all places at all times.
You and I have never been anywhere God was not. You and I will never be anywhere God is not on this side of our ultimate eternal destination. However, we have often, and may still often, live as if he is not here at this moment in this place.
Here is an idea worth pondering: Do you recognize God’s immediate presence here, now, and always?
What will be different now that you do?
What does this make possible?
Suddenly, “pray continually” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) seems possible. All of life is conversation with our Father in heaven. In the same context where the Apostle Paul gives this command, he also directs us to “Rejoice always,” (verse 16) and to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus,” (verse 18).
Since God is here, since we belong to him, since he is working out his purpose for all people in all places at all times in this moment, we can live in confident assurance that God is in charge and he never loses control even when people do their worst. The end of all things as we know them will occur just as he designs.
I will walk before God faithfully, blamelessly, and confidently because I belong to God Almighty who is forever and always here.
Our Father, you are here. Questions in my mind find their answers in you. Fears in my heart find peace in you. Hopes and dreams are maximized in you. The daring destination, the ultimate contribution of my life is empowered by your wisdom, your direction, and your strength. You make every directive possible because it helps others see how good you are and because it bless them with the overflow of your greatness. Amen.
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Ezra 8:31, 32 On the twelfth day of the first month we set out from the Ahava Canal to go to Jerusalem. The hand of our God was on us, and he protected us from enemies and bandits along the way. So we arrived in Jerusalem, where we rested three days.
Esther 6:1, 2 That night the king could not sleep; so he ordered the book of the chronicles, the record of his reign, to be brought in and read to him. It was found recorded there that Mordecai had exposed Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s officers who guarded the doorway, who had conspired to assassinate King Xerxes.
Esther 4:14 “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”