Summary: Journey of Faith, part 8 “Abraham, a Friend of God”
Journey of Faith, part 8
“Abraham, a Friend of God”
In Abraham, we see a man, who is not perfect but growing in his relationship with God. In chapter eighteen, I believe we see why he earned the reputation of being called a friend of God.
Main idea – Abraham had a reputation as God’s friend because he had intimacy with God.
1. God Pursues his Friends (vs. 1-8)
To escape the heat of the day Abraham is resting at the entrance of his tent and as he is sitting, their enjoying his rest God shows up. Abraham lifted his eyes (i.e. Lot 13:10; 14ff) and he sees three visitors; the preincarnate Christ and two angels. There is some debate whether Abraham knew this was God or not but I believe Abraham knew this was God. The term Adonay, here is used of God in the rest of the chapter and he bows to the ground, which is a sign of reverence. Then he states emphatically, ‘if I have found favor in your sight do leave me.’ Abraham is emphatic; I want to stay in your presence. This tells us something about his friendship with God. When Gods’ presence showed up he did not want him to leave; Abraham wanted to linger in God’s presence. Then he washes their feet; he quickly goes to Sarah to ask her to make food; he runs to get a calf and quickly prepares it. This is not a small meal; he is preparing a banquet to celebrate Gods visitation. He makes room for God in his life; he makes a place for God in his life. He wants God to know that he is welcome in Abrahams home.
Do you take time in them midst of your day to look to be in his presence? Is God welcome in your life all the time or just when it is necessary or convenient? Do you consider yourself a friend of God or more importantly does God consider you his friend? Covenantal relationship is not just about having a right standing before God but having a relationship with God. Do you long to linger in God’s presence or is it a mundane routine when you do meet with him? What about Sunday’s celebration time? Do you long for worship to go on or can’t wait until it is over? Are you critical of the song selection or the repetition of the songs or do you choose to enter into worship because you long to connect with God? As we spend time in the word, are you looking at your watch or do you long to linger with him because as you know that as his word goes for, Gods personal, fresh, new word. Don’t miss the point of personal or corporate worship - it is to spend time with Him, to hear his voice, to be in his presence, to let him speak to your heart, to mend your heart, to renew your heart.
Side note: worship and hospitality are related. A Heart of worship is heart of hospitality. Because what we do for others, we do for the Lord. Jesus said, as you did to one of the least of these my brothers you did it do me.
2. God Works to Reassure the Faith of His Friends (9-15)
God not only promises Abraham the timing of the birth of his son he promises to show up for the birth. Sarah is listening to this promise and after years of barrenness, hopelessness, and disappointment, she laughs to herself, a laugh of unbelief. It is easy for us to look back and wonder why she doubted but how often do we doubt God. Unbelief is living by sight and not by faith. Unbelief is believing in our circumstances more than what God promises. Unbelief is calling God a liar and telling him that he cannot be trusted. Unbelief is believing a lie. Unbelief leads to more sin – Sarah goes from distrusting Gods word to lying about her actions. The only reason for such unbelief is a failure to comprehend the extent of God’s ability to work in and through us.
Then God questions Abraham about Sarah laughing and he uses Sarah’s new name, which means princess. As followers of Christ, God has given each of us a new name which represents a new standing with God. We are no longer his enemies; now we are his children. He is no longer against bus but for us because we are his friends. We need to see ourselves and others as God sees us. Even when we struggle and sin and walk in unbelief God stills sees us in this new light – as his children, as his friends and he is for us and not against us. God was direct but loving. He knew she was not trusting his word, he knew she laughed at his promise; he also knew she was afraid so he lovingly and directly rebukes and then to combat her unbelief he restates his promise. He did not want her to believe a lie. God spoke to the issue of her heart. After years of hoping, past childbearing age and all she saw was darkness; God gave her light. She saw grey and God added color to the grey.