What Does Genesis 18:17 Mean?

The LORD said, "Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do,

Genesis 18:17(NASB)

Verse of the Day

God chose one man out of the great sea of humanity to carry forward His plan of redemption. The Seed of the woman, Who would crush the Serpents head had already travelled through Seth and Enoch, Noah and Shem. But the Lord chose Abram, a pagan from the city of Ur, to become Abraham - the federal head of His chosen nation, through whose Seed, all the families of the earth would be blessed.

Abraham was justified in God's eyes when he believed God's Word, and left his past behind, to go to the land that God had promised him. He had been tested along the way, given a new name, and promised that his earthy seed would be as numerous as the sand on the seashore, and his spiritual seed.. as numerous as the stars in the sky. But by the age of 99, this old man had yet to see the son of promise born to his old, barren wife, Sarah. 

But the Lord honours His Word and visited His servant in the heat of the noonday sun to confirm the covenant He made years before. The birth of Abraham's promised son would happen in a years' time. The Lord knew that this man was to become a great patriarch, whose name would become known throughout the whole world, and so He asked Himself a rhetorical question. "The Lord said, 'shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do?'"

The Lord knows the end from the beginning. He knew that His purpose for Abraham was to become a great man and a mighty nation and that through his Seed, (the Messiah of Israel), all the families of the earth would be blessed. God had chosen this man so that he would bring up his children in the fear of the Lord and command his offspring to follow godly ways - by being righteous and just, so that God's plans and purposes would finally come to fruition.

The Lord also knew that men's hearts are only evil continuously. There are none that are good - not even one, for all have sinned and fall short of God's glorious righteousness. Adam's sin in the garden caused all his offspring to be born dead in trespasses, stained with sin, having an old sinful nature that is at enmity with God, and a disposition that nurtures evil and sinfulness.

Many years had passed since the world was purged of the wickedness that predominated in the pre-diluvian world. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord and was saved with seven others to continue the human race. But the sin nature of man is such that it cannot be changed by training or teaching. It can't be altered through resolutions or vows, self-denial or self-cleansing, mortifying the flesh or undertaking good works of the flesh. Wherever man went, sin travelled with him!

God knew the only way to change man's heart of stone, was to completely replace it with a new heart of flesh. The Lord knew that the only way for sinful man to be declared righteous and have their sins forgiven was if a 'Kinsman-Redeemer' was willing to spill his own, innocent blood to pay the price for man's sin. God knew that the only One good enough was the Seed of Abraham, Who would one day be born into the world as the sacrificial substitute for the sin of the world - Jesus Christ - the Seed of the woman - the Seed of Abraham - the Messiah of Israel - the Son of God.

The wickedness of the world continued to corrupt the children of Adam and Noah and infiltrate every city. The evil in mans' heart continued to gravitate towards wickedness as humanities very soul was flooded with rebellion and their evil plans were translated into ungodly practice. The Lord had purposed in His heart to judge these evil cities on the plain because the outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah was very great, and their sin was exceedingly grave. And so the Lord said to Himself, "shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do?"

God knew why He said this. God knew what He would do. God knew the outcome of man's slide into debauchery and sin. But the Lord recorded this for our learning and He revealed to His servant Abraham, the gravity of judgement that was about to fall on five, wicked and prideful cities that only did evil continuously. God wanted Abraham to abhor evil and choose the good. He wanted him to follow God's way and teach His children what is righteous and pure. His question was to challenge His servant towards a godly hatred of sin and a godly compassion for His creation.

May we, who are His blood-bought children, honour the Lord Who saved us, by rejecting the evil and seeking the good. May we bring up our children in godly ways and instil in them righteous judgements. May we hate sin with a godly hatred but love the sinner in need of redemption, and may our hearts be filled with compassion and love for those that are lost as we plead with God for their salvation. 

My Prayer

Heavenly Father, I realise that sin is such a little word, but its consequences are very terrible. Thank You that You judge the world in righteousness and that in Your grace, You sent Your only begotten Son to be born as the human Seed of Abraham and to shed His blood for the redemption of the world. Thank You that Christ's blood was shed for me. Help me to reject the evil and choose the good and may my life be a testimony of Your goodness and grace. In Jesus' name I pray, AMEN.

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