Walk Before Me, and be Thou Perfect

The words, “walk before me, and be thou perfect,” are spoken by God to the patriarch Abraham; yet, they are applicable to God’s children everywhere and at all times. When we first encounter these words in the Scriptures, we are prone to question this mandate rather than to obey it. How can weak, feeble, sinful creatures walk before God and be perfect? The answer to this question, and many like it, are found in the statement just prior to the command: “I am Almighty God” (Genesis 17:1b).

For the first time in the Scriptures, God reveals Himself as the Almighty, or in Hebrew, El Shaddai. Ell Shaddai is the name of God which sets Him forth primarily as the strengthener and satisfier of His people. A better translation of this Hebrew word might be the “All-Sufficient” One. The apostle Paul said that we are not sufficient in ourselves, nor are we to think anything of ourselves, “but our sufficiency is of God” (II Corinthians 3:5b). Abraham was 99 years old when the Lord appeared to him. Yet, when faced with such great natural improbability as the fulfillment of the promise, God speaks once again and says, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” (Genesis 18:14a). To know that God is all sufficient is to be able to walk before Him wholeheartedly. God assures us that when it is our desire to walk before Him by faith, no good thing will He withhold from us (2), and all that is required will be provided by El Shaddai.

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