Summary: A detailed look at Abraham and the lessons he teaches on the importance of walking with Almighty God
As a classroom teacher for a number of years, I have always been fascinated by the behaviour patterns of my students. One of the things I have come to observe about students/young people is that they are just like us adults, just mini versions of us. They see and react to life in pretty much the same way, as their attitudes and behaviours often mimic our own.
One of our intriguing traits as humans, whether adults or youth, has always been the importance we place on the friends/peers one has, who one walks with. We tend to judge people based on the person/person with whom they walk. We know the old adage quite well – ‘Show me your company; I tell you who you are’.
At school, it is usually commonplace for a teacher of many students to either forget or confuse students’ names. Nine out of ten times when you ask students about their peers, the response is the same. For example, when you ask ‘John, do you know Sarah Brown from 9East?’ John’s response is almost spontaneous ‘Who she walk with Miss?’ Even us adults do it too. We know people, we remember people by who they walk with. And if we are not careful, we begin to treat people based on this judgment as well. You see, who we walk with is a very, very big deal. And so this morning, for a brief time, I want to arrest and capture our attention by asking this question, by issuing this challenge…who are you walking with?
Many believers, including some famous Biblical characters, it is said ‘walked with God’. We think of Enoch (Gen. 5:22 – 24) and Noah (Gen.6: 9). Then there is Jehoshaphat, King David and the list goes on. But what about you this morning? Who are you walking with? In a society that places so much importance on the company you keep, what can be said about you? Will people remember you like Enoch; for example, by saying ‘he/she walked with God’? Who are you walking with?
As we stand at the verge of a new day/ a new week, what stands out in my mind is how each new day we get represents a new and fresh opportunity to do things differently, to make a change, to do things right. Perhaps we spent last week walking with the wrong persons. Today offers us a new opportunity to change that. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am by no means suggesting that we get rid of or change our friends or peers. I am simply suggesting that we use these moments to take stock (again) of the lives we are living, lives that have been entrusted to us, loaned to us by Almighty God and to whom we will ultimately be accountable.
This morning I would like us to examine our lives as though it were a journey on which we were embarking…a journey somewhat similar to that which Abraham took, as recorded in the passage read earlier. Like Abraham we are presented with a new opportunity, with time. Like Abraham, we have no clue what lies ahead. Like Abraham, some of us don’t even know our destination, but we trust that there will be one and we know that we must do something to get there. Like Abraham, all we have to do is just take that first step. Might I ask then, who are you walking with on this journey called life? I believe Abraham knew exactly with whom he was walking, and that is why he is such a good example for our study this morning.
Never mind the fact that Abraham is by this time quite aged and possibly a wrinkled and bent old man. And never mind the fact that this story took place thousands of years ago. This great big wonderful God of Abraham, who walked with men then, can and still does so today. Isn’t the fact that many of us are here, alive and well this morning testimony to that? God still makes himself available to ‘walk’ with man. Are you walking with Him? Who are you walking with?
The challenge is ours as we look at Abraham’s journey into those mountains, as he demonstrated his walk with and faith in God, for us to walk like Abraham did. This God of Abraham wears many hats. It sounds strange but it is true…just like many of us here wear many hats. For example, there is Stacey the daughter (at home), the teacher (at school), the clown (with my friends). My roles change depending on my situation, just as God’s character changes from time to time, as He becomes what we require in order to meet our needs. He is our friend, our healer, our provider, our comfort, our source of reproof, our shelter, and our all in all as the songwriter says. Yet, despite these shifts in character, the essence of God and who He is never changes. Isn’t that a marvelous promise, a marvelous hope? He is and will always be the omnipotent (all powerful), omniscient (all knowing/all wise) an omnipresent (here/there and everywhere) God! Abraham walked with this same God.