The All-sufficient One!
"I am the Almighty God! Walk before Me and be perfect." Genesis 17:1
Abraham was now grown old; he had known the Lord for many years; he had endured many trials — but many more lay before him; and the Lord appears to his aged servant, and reveals Himself as, "The all-sufficient One."
This was to comfort him amidst all the infirmities of old age, and to cheer him in the winter of life. The God who had always sustained, directed, and comforted him — now manifests peculiar sympathy and tender love. Aged believers should especially mark the kindness of the Lord, and look to Him for sympathy and grace in the decline of life.
"I am the Almighty God!" The title was intended to strengthen the faith of Abraham; he had wavered, the Lord intended to try his faith yet more; a promise was given — but everything appeared to oppose its fulfillment; yet the all-sufficiency of God was to be the stay and support of his faith. "Is any thing too hard for the Lord?" Look at His wisdom — it is infinite! Look at His power — it is omnipotent! He is the all-sufficient.
The title may have been intended to be placed in opposition to . . .
the foes he may meet,
the weakness he may feel,
the fears that may arise,
the needs he may experience.
What are all these — if God is with us; if God is for us — if the all-sufficient One is our God?
God may delay,
faith may be tried,
fears may arise,
foes may oppose,
temptations may assail,
needs may increase,
weakness may be painful,
the infirmities of age may gather around us
— but God is all-sufficient; and he bids us look to Him, trust in Him, and walk with Him!
"Walk before me." That is, walk . . .
exercising faith in my promise,
placing your dependence on my faithfulness;
and yielding hearty obedience to my precepts.
Walk before me as a servant in the presence of his master — realize that my eye is upon you, that I am interested in you, and am engaged to provide for you.
Walk before me as a child under the eye of his father — a father who loves him, observes him, cares for him, and delights to show favors unto him; a father who is teaching him, who will correct him — but who will never cease to love him.
Walk before me as a friend who is under my protection. You are my friend — if you do whatever I command you. I am your friend, and will show myself friendly; I will commune with you, I will counsel you, and I will make all my goodness pass before you.
Walk before me as an expectant — looking for the blessings I have promised; and expecting me to be all I have said, and to do all I have promised! Expect me to be . . .
faithful to my Word,
kind to my child, and
true to my character.
Walk before me, copying my example, that you may be a pattern to others. Be holy — for I am holy. Be perfect or sincere — for I am sincere.
"Be perfect," that is, sincere — or upright; sincere in heart — upright in life. Abraham had failed in this point, when he denied his wife; he had been reproved and corrected for it; and now he is reminded and admonished. The Lord will remind His people of their sins, and warn them against a repetition of the same.
He is also encouraged; it is as if the Lord had said, "Abraham, I am all-sufficient . . .
to preserve you in every place,
to protect you from every foe,
to guide you in every path;
therefore, never give way to duplicity — be always sincere and upright. Fear no one. Be false to no one. Be upright always, and in all things. A believer never can have any reason to practice deception, or yield to slavish fear — his God is with him; his God is engaged to defend and provide for him; his God will never leave him nor forsake him.
Christian, see what the character of your God is: he is Almighty — and will you fear? He is all-sufficient — and will you give way to gloomy foreboding?
Christian, see what He requires of you:
1. That you walk before Him, as always beneath His eye, in His presence, and under His gracious protection.
2. That you be sincere, open, upright; be just what you profess to be. Be an honest man, if you are not a faultless man. Your God hates deception. He abhors trickery. Ho will punish hypocrisy. Let your life be the faithful index of your heart. Say just what you mean — and do what you say. Hate the appearance of a lie, in all the shapes it wears!