“I am God Almighty;
Walk before Me, and be blameless.” Genesis 17:1 (NASB)
When one comes face to face with the almighty God of the universe, that encounter demands a response. And, our response will often show the condition of our heart. Abraham fell on his face. Simon fell on his face, eventually. Lot, well, Lot is too busy scrambling to smooth out wrinkles in his less than ideal situation.
Let’s look at a quick summary of these interviews:
God showed up (Genesis 17), Abram fell on his face, God promised great blessing, humanly impossible blessing.
- God appears again and hangs around long enough for Abraham to prepare him a meal and promises a son within the next year
Side note, Sarah’s response is also noteworthy as she becomes defensive when God points out the truth of her heart – she denies laughing out of fear.
Immediately after this rendezvous, comes the revelation of the judgment of Sodom.
Lot tried to get family members out of the condemned city, but it seemed like he was joking to his sons-in-law (the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing – I Cor 1:18 NIV).
What an incredible contrast – Abraham that seeks after God, falls on his face in worship when given a command – walk before me. And, Lot – city is destroyed, wife turned to salt, he impregnates his daughters while inebriated. And yet, God brings two nations from this – Moab and Ammon.
Jump to Luke 5 –
Simon has a middle of the road response – are you serious? (v. 5) But, then he obeys. And then, he responds the same way Abraham did – on his face.
They left everything and followed him.
Then, Psalm 3 pulls it all together with absolutely beautiful imagery.
Psalm 3:3 (NASB) — But You, O Lord, are a shield about me,
My glory, and the One who lifts my head.
Whether I respond like Abraham, Sarah, Lot, Simon, or some other way entirely, God continues to love. He is my shield; He lifts up my head. Such a sweet, tender response.
Can you picture it? A father, gently lifting the face toward his with a finger under the chin. Eyes shining with love.
We humble ourselves out of respect for His majesty, but then we get to savor His relationship as well.