11 JULY (PREACHED THURSDAY 11 JULY 1776)
The all-sufficient God
‘And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.’ Genesis 17:1
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: Psalm 89:1–18
The Lord’s appearance to Abraham in the former chapter was some time before the birth of Ishmael; this was thirteen years after his birth. Abraham had some special visits of love but his ordinary walk was, I suppose, by faith and dependence—the Lord did not appear to him every day. The time was not yet at hand when Isaac should be born and now the covenant is again confirmed. This text is of general application. We have the Lord’s character and his people’s duty [see 2/2].
The Lord’s character: God Almighty, or All-sufficient. O who can expound the fullness of this glorious name? Happy are his people who know him in Christ. This name is applicable to all their circumstances. In him they have an all-sufficiency:
(i) of righteousness—so the songs in Isaiah 12 and Psalm 27. They are accepted and no charge shall be heard against them. Herein they may glory all the day long (Psalm 89:16).
(ii) of strength—and that both in them and for them. In them: to enable them for suffering and for service (2 Corinthians 12:9), so that they shall not faint, but shall endure to the end. Their strength is not in themselves, but is renewed by waiting upon him. For them: to control and subdue all their enemies. Herein is their safety. Many fight against them, but cannot prevail, for if God be for us … (Romans 8:31).
(iii) of happiness. He is their portion, all-sufficient—in time—affording by his presence such a joy as the world cannot give—and he will be their portion for ever.
FOR MEDITATION: ‘And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness …’ (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Strange and mysterious is my life,
The rule of grace, the power of sin:
What opposites I feel within!
Too often I am captive led,
A stable peace, a constant strife,
Yet daily triumph in my Head.
SERMON SERIES: GENESIS, NO. 35 [1/2], GENESIS 17:1