Abraham exemplified God’s Way. His life was pleasing to God. When Abraham had come to the land God was giving to him, he had brought with him his nephew, Lot (Genesis 12:1-4). Since God was dealing primarily with Abraham, and since he was the elder in the relationship, no doubt when trouble arose with the herdsmen of Lot and Abraham’s herdsmen, Abraham could have directed Lot to move on with his herdsmen to another area. But what did he do?
Abraham said to his nephew, “‘Please let there be no strife between you and me, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen; for we are brethren. Is not the whole land before you? Please separate from me. If you take the left, then I will go to the right; or, if you go to the right, then I will go to the left'” (Genesis 13: 8-9).
Lot, having first choice, looked out on the land and chose what he considered to be the best! (Genesis 13: 10-11). That is, of course, human nature! Abraham, on the other hand, took the area that was left, having approached this whole situation from the basis of love towards neighbor. This was typical of Abraham’s approach. We notice in this story that wherever Abraham went, he showed honor and respect toward God, as well as to his fellow man (Genesis 12:7-8; 13:14).
How did God feel about Abraham’s approach in his dealings with man and with God? Notice in Genesis 18:17-19, God makes the statement of Abraham: “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing; since Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? For I have known [or: chosen] him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the LORD, to do righteousness and justice, that the LORD may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him.”
God had called Abraham out of this world to learn God’s Way of Life, and to pass it on to his offspring.
We find the real test as to Abraham’s faithfulness to God and to His Ways when God, after having given Abraham and Sarah a son, beyond the years of childbearing for Sarah, required of Abraham that he offer up Isaac as a burnt offering to the LORD. Having prepared the offering, Abraham was about to follow through with this sacrifice, when “‘the Angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, ‘Abraham, Abraham!’ And he said, ‘Here I am'” (Genesis 22:11).
“And He said, ‘Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me'” (Genesis 22:12).
Yes, God had now come to KNOW Abraham to the point that He knew Abraham would follow in His Ways, regardless of the situation! Has God come to know you to this extent, brethren? Has He come to know each of us in the Church, such that He can say of us — “I KNOW HIM!” — “I KNOW he (or she) will do what I have revealed that he (or she) should do?”
We must never forget Christ’s words in Matthew 7:21-23: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many shall say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I NEVER KNEW YOU; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'”
God has called us out of this world, brethren. He has given us His Spirit. He has given us His Law. Is He as sure of us as He became of Abraham? Can He truly say of each of us — “I KNOW HIM — that he fears Me and that he will do as I have commanded?”