Genesis 17: 1-3: Face down
“When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, ‘I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. 2 Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.’ 3 Abram fell face down, and God said to him,” NIV UK
Then God said to him, “This is my covenant with you: You’ll be the father of many nations. Your name will no longer be Abram, but Abraham, meaning that ‘I’m making you the father of many nations.’ I’ll make you a father of fathers—I’ll make nations from you, kings will issue from you. I’m establishing my covenant between me and you, a covenant that includes your descendants, a covenant that goes on and on and on, a covenant that commits me to be your God and the God of your descendants. And I’m giving you and your descendants this land where you’re now just camping, this whole country of Canaan, to own forever. And I’ll be their God.”
‘’When Abram was ninety-nine years old, GOD showed up and said to him, ‘’I am The Strong God, live entirely before me, live to the hilt! I’ll make a covenant between us and I’ll give you a huge family.’’
Overwhelmed, Abram fell flat on his face.’’ The Message.
This is the first of two references in this chapter to Abram being, effectively, in the same bodily position before God. (See verse 17 for the other). But if God tells you to ‘’live entirely’’ before Him, this is a great response. Surely the laying of the human body before God is expressive of setting the whole life before Him. A word is used in God’s call to Abram that means to be ‘single-hearted, without blame, sincere, wholly devoted to God.’ In Exodus 12:5 it is used regarding a sacrifice without blemish. The place for a sacrifice is on the altar.
This is something we too are called to do ‘’in view of God’s mercies’’ (Romans 12:1,2) – in the light of all that God has done for us in Jesus. As the old gospel song says: ‘Lay your life on the altar for God. He’s calling to you today.’
On any old, ordinary day, God may ‘show up’ and say something to you that will change your life. What an adventure we are on!