God had promised Abram that he would bless Abram and make him into a great nation (Genesis 12:2) and to Abram’s seed, he would give the land (Genesis 12:7). Abram was 86 years old when Hagar bare him a son, whom he named Ishmael (the name that the angel of the Lord had told Hagar to name her son). The next we know of Abram is that Abram is 99 years old and God has to come and reintroduce himself (Genesis 17:1) as the Almighty God. There is nothing mentioned of 13 years of Abram’s life from the time Ishmael is born to the time God reestablishes his covenant with Abram, but we hear God ask Abram to walk before him and to be perfect (blameless). Though it is not explicitly stated, one could imply that Abram was walking in his own way, as opposed to walking in the ways of the Lord; his heeding to Sarai’s wishes to lay with her slave girl Hagar for a heir, instead of relying on God by faith and trusting his word is one evidence of this fact.
In any case, the loving nature and Sovereignty of God brings him back to Abram and this time God conditionally commands Abram to walk before him and to be perfect.
Points to ponder:
Are you walking in your own ways? God is asking you and me to walk before him and to be perfect. Are you and I walking before the Lord and are we perfect? The only way, we are made perfect (blameless) is to have the perfect righteousness of Jesus imputed on us, which happens when we believe in him. God is loving and Sovereign and out of his great love for each one of us, he is asking us to walk before him and be perfect.
Genesis 16:15-16 – 17:1 (KJV)
15 And Hagar bare Abram a son: and Abram called his son’s name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael.
16 And Abram was fourscore and six years old, when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram.
1 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.