For our instruction
‘And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do?’ Genesis 18:17
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: 2 Peter 3:1–18
How unspeakable the condescension of this expression, Shall I hide …? Would not Abraham have sufficient cause of thankfulness if he himself was spared, though he had known nothing of the destruction of Sodom till he afterwards saw the smoke of the country ascending like the smoke of a furnace? But it was the Lord’s pleasure to honour him. The case of Abraham is not to be so far drawn into a precedent for all believers as to give us expectations that he will give us a prophetical view of his providential dispensations before they come to pass, but only in general, that he will hide nothing from them that fear him and walk humbly before him, in which their good and his glory is concerned—though by a careful attention to the Word of God and what the Scripture calls the signs of the times, perhaps a clearer view of the Lord’s hand and design in his providences is attainable than what we are ordinarily aware of. It was upon several accounts desirable that Abraham should know of the Lord’s purpose against Sodom before it took place. It was to be an unusual judgement such as had never before been heard of. And his people may expect that in very extraordinary dispensations he may appear in an extraordinary way for their support. So our Lord gave his disciples notice of the approaching destruction of Jerusalem and I doubt not but there are many prophecies as yet unfulfilled that, when the time of their accomplishment draws nigh, will give his people a light into his proceedings, though at present they seem dark to us. The Lord’s notice likewise was designed to engage Abraham’s intercession, which was to be recorded for our instruction to teach us how we should be affected when the judgements of God are in the earth.
FOR MEDITATION: On the commencement of hostilities in America
[written for 11 June 1775]
Ye saints, unite in wrestling prayer;
May we, at least, with one consent,
If yet there may be hope;
Fall low before the throne;
Who knows but Mercy yet may spare,
With tears the nation’s sins lament,
And bid the angel stop?
The church’s, and our own.
SERMON SERIES: GENESIS, NO. 38 [2/4], GENESIS 18:17–19