Walk before Me
“I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.” (Genesis 17:1) Abraham had been “walking” in the land of Canaan nearly 25 years when God gave this command to him. He had experienced the shameful rebuke in Egypt by Pharaoh and a marvelous victory against Chedorlaomer—and then had demonstrated both humility and obedience before Melchizedek.
God had been explicit in His promises to Abraham, but the promised had not yet come. Now, in spite of the awful lapse of faith with Hagar and the nagging burden of Ishmael, God insisted that Abraham “walk before” Him and “be perfect.” The Hebrew language here is unusual. The word translated “before me” is basically meaning “the face.” This is the term used in the first commandment where we are told to “have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). In Genesis 17:1, the phrase could well be…
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