Lesson 9: "Out of the Darkness" Genesis 17:1-8; Eph. 4-6
"I am God Almighty, walk before me and be blameless." Genesis 17:1
What's in a name?
17:1 is the first time God identifies himself as El Shaddai. Prior to this, Abram knew God primarily as Elohim. (See Exod. 6:3) El Shaddai is God the invincible, God who does miracles, God who can work outside the laws of nature.
Think about what this means in the context of what is going on in chapters 16-17.
Abram's name is changed to Abraham (great father ® father of multitudes). Think about what that name means in the same context.
Sarai's name is changed to Sarah (my princess ® a princess). Think about what that name means in the same context.
After the 13 year silence, the name changes are not angry punishment, but affirmation of grace
Walk before me and be blameless
With the declaration of El Shaddai comes a challenge. When we have the correct perspective on God, on what He can do, it should affect the way we live.
The word 'walk' is often translated 'go'. It can indicate a metaphor for traveling a path. (Different words, but see Psalms 119:105).
God is not saying be absolutely perfect. It isn't possible. God means our Christian life is a process that requires commitment. If we stray from the path, we'll suffer the consequences.
A New Testament parallel
The book of Ephesians is Paul's clearest statement of why we should live a holy life, and what God expects of us. In the first three chapters, Paul describes the power and grace of God involved in His plan of redemption (that started, in a sense, with Abraham) This section ends with the great doxology in Eph 3:20-21.
In the next three chapters, Paul describes how we are to walk before God. Five times Paul uses a descriptive metaphor. The NIV translates the Greek word peripateo as 'live', but it more literally means 'walk'.
Walk Worthy (Eph. 4:1) Abraham had been called out of a pagan world. Now, God Almighty says live like one called by the Invincible God
Walk No Longer As The Gentiles Walk (4:17) Don't fall back into the old ways, or the worldly ways. First Century Roman Empire was wicked and pagan. Abraham fell back into his pagan ways and father Ishmael with a surrogate.
Walk In Love (5:2) Abraham did show that with Lot. Love is sacrificial and unconditional.
Walk As Children Of Light (5:8) See John 8:12,39-40. Notice what that says about Abraham. When we hear the Truth, do we change? Or do we stay in darkness?
Walk Carefully (5:15) Understand what God's will is (5:15-17). Abraham may have thought he understood God's will, but made a mistake because he didn't consult God.
#1) As Christians, the way we live should reflect our high calling and position in Christ (Rom. 8:17)
To live a life that honors the name of Christ we need to able to test God's will (Rom. 12:2)