Daily Words of God: Knowing God | Excerpt 35
God’s Promise to Abraham
(Gen 22:16–18) By Myself have I sworn, said Jehovah, for because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son: That in blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will multiply your seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is on the sea shore; and your seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because you have obeyed My voice.
Gaining Those Who Know God and Are Able to Testify to Him Is God’s Unchanging Wish
At the same time as speaking to Himself, God also spoke to Abraham, but apart from hearing the blessings that God gave to him, was Abraham able to understand God’s true wishes in all of His words at that moment? He was not! And so, at that moment, when God swore by Himself, His heart was still lonely and sorrowful. There was still not one person able to understand or comprehend what He intended and planned. At that moment, no one—including Abraham—was able to speak to Him in confidence, much less was anyone able to cooperate with Him in doing the work that He must do. On the surface, God had gained Abraham, and had gained someone who could obey His words. But in fact, this person’s knowledge of God was barely more than nothing. Even though God had blessed Abraham, God’s heart was still not satisfied. What does it mean that God was not satisfied? It means that His management had only just begun, it means that the people He wanted to gain, the people He longed to see, the people He loved, were still distant from Him; He needed time, He needed to wait, He needed to be patient. For at that time, apart from God Himself, there was no one who knew what He needed, or what He wished to gain, or what He longed for. And so, at the same time as feeling very excited, God also felt heavy of heart. Yet He did not halt His steps, and continued to plan the next step of what He must do.
What do you see in God’s promise to Abraham? God bestowed great blessings upon Abraham simply because he listened to. Although, on the surface, this seems normal, and a matter of course, in it we see God’s heart: God especially treasures man’s obedience to Him, and cherishes man’s understanding of Him and sincerity toward Him. How much does God cherish this sincerity? You may not understand how much He cherishes it, and there may well be none who realize it. God gave Abraham a son, and when that son had grown up, God asked Abraham to offer his son to God. Abraham followed God’s command to the letter, he obeyed God’s word, and his sincerity moved God and was treasured by God. How much did God treasure it? And why did He treasure it? At a time when no one comprehended God’s words or understood His heart, Abraham did something that shook the heaven and trembled the earth, and it made God feel an unprecedented sense of satisfaction, and brought God the joy of gaining someone who was able to obey His words. This satisfaction and joy came from a creature made by God’s own hand, and was the first “sacrifice” that man had offered to God and that was most treasured by God, since man was created. God had had a hard time waiting for this sacrifice, and He treated it as the first most important gift from man, whom He had created. It showed God the first fruit of His efforts and the price He had paid, and allowed Him to see the hope in mankind. Afterward, God had an even greater yearning for a group of such people to keep Him company, to treat Him with sincerity, to care for Him with sincerity. God even hoped that Abraham would live on, for He wished to have such a heart accompany Him and be with Him as He continued in His management. No matter what God wanted, it was just a wish, just an idea—for Abraham was merely a man who was able to obey Him, and did not have the slightest understanding or knowledge of God. He was someone who fell far short of the standards of God’s requirements for man: knowing God, being able to testify to God, and being of one mind with God. And so, he could not walk with God. In Abraham’s offering of Isaac, God saw the sincerity and obedience of Abraham, and saw that he had withstood God’s test of him. Even though God accepted his sincerity and obedience, he was still unworthy of becoming God’s confidant, of becoming someone who knew God, and understood God, and was informed of God’s disposition; he was far from being of one mind with God and doing God’s will. And so, in His heart, God was still lonely and anxious. The more lonely and anxious God became, the more He needed to continue with His management as soon as possible, and be able to select and gain a group of people to accomplish His management plan and achieve His will as soon as possible. This was God’s eager desire, and it has remained unchanged from the very beginning until today. Ever since He created man in the beginning, God has yearned for a group of overcomers, a group that will walk with Him and are able to understand, comprehend and know His disposition. This wish of God has never changed. Regardless of how long He still has to wait, regardless of how hard the road ahead, no matter how far off the objectives He yearns for, God has never altered or given up on His expectations for man. Now that I’ve said this, do you realize something of God’s wish? Perhaps what you’ve realized isn’t very profound—but it will come gradually!
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself II