“And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do;” (Genesis 18:17)
The testimony of many Children of God is, “I have prayed and asked God what is in my future – and yet no answer came from God.”
The Apostle John writes in John 15:15:
“Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.”
Here we see Jesus make mention of two groups: servants, and friends; “the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends.” Christ is pointing His eleven disciples to their position in Christ. They did not perceive, nor could they perceive, this truth – until they were born of God (or until they received the Gift of the Holy Spirit) on the Day of Pentecost.
The Regenerated Children of God have the ability to see (or perceive) and to enter into (or have the power to perform) the Kingdom of God when they are born from above (or when they receive the spiritual birth). (See John 3:3-8.)
Christ uses the physical example of a servant’s position to his earthly master. But the Apostles were in a different position (of which they would come to understand in the future, on the Day of Pentecost). They were Christ’s friends, which is a position to Christ that one has when regenerated and filled with the Holy Spirit of God. (See Romans 8:14-16; Galatians 4:1-7.)
The difference is in knowledge from an infant to an adult son; called “adoption” in Romans 8:15-16; and defined in Galatians 4:1-7. Adoption (or son-placing) has to do with knowledge.
Abraham is called the “Friend” of God (Isaiah 41:8; James 2:23). He is a type of the Possessor of Faith, or of Christ (Galatians 3:7-9, 29); or one in whom Christ dwells.
Note also the characteristics of Abraham and of the Friends of God:
1) Look at Genesis 18:18:
a) Abraham would become “a great and mighty nation” (a spiritual nation; of faith). So the Friends of God are possessors of The Faith, even Christ Jesus, who is The Faith (Galatians 2:20).
b) “…and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him” – not in Abraham, but in Christ; see Galatians 3:16:
“Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.”
Abraham was a type of Christ. Therefore, the friends of Christ are those who are “in Christ”; those who are “joint heirs” of the Promise. (See Galatians 3:14, 22, 29; Romans 8:17.)
2) Then in Genesis 18:19, God said He knew that Abraham would:
a) “…command his children and his household after him…” This statement reveals that one who is “in Christ” – one who is filled with the Spirit of God – that he, the regenerated man, will obey Christ, his Head; and in turn he will act as a representative of Christ in his own house. He will carry out his duties and responsibilities to his family, as their head and leader, guide and teacher. A man filled with the Spirit of God will have the perception and power to carry out his duties. And he will perform his duties in his own home and family, which proves he is “in Christ,” filled with Christ.
b) “…and they shall keep the way of the LORD…” This means the fruit of the regenerated man, carrying out his duty as a head, will be that his family will “keep (follow) the way of the LORD (the instruction of righteousness).”
c) “…to do justice and judgment…” There will not only be a hearing of the Word of God, but a doing of the Word of God (James 1:22).
3) The third thing God knew of Abraham is in Genesis 18:19c:
a) “…that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.” Abraham’s obedience is not what made God bring the Promises upon him. But Abraham’s obedience was proof that he was “in Christ,” or that he was a righteous man. (Not to become righteous, but because he was righteous.)
b) The Friends of God are men who have:
i) Surrendered to God as Lord and Master;
ii) Submitted to His Word and His Will;
iii) Obeyed God’s Word; and
iv) Endure in the same.
God knew what Abraham would do. And God knew what He would do, as God, upon and through His Friend Abraham. Then what is the answer to God’s question of verses 17-18?
“And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do; (18) Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?” (Genesis 18:17-18)
It is not a question “if” – but a statement of fact – Knowing these things about My friend, I shall tell him My Will.
In application, I submit the following question: Are you a Servant or a Friend of God?
It may be you are not a Friend of God. God is not speaking His Will to many so-called Christians today, because they are not regenerated. Many know “facts” about Jesus, but they do not know Jesus by experience. They have never been born from above. They have never received the knowledge of the new nature; or Christ living in them; and will not until conversion, when they cry out their confession of Christ as Savior (Romans 10:9-10).
Reader, this phrase is important – “It’s not what you know, but Who you know that is important.” The “Who” is speaking of a personal relationship with Christ – for if you know Christ, then He will reveal the “what” to you.
If you are in doubt, please follow the Apostle Paul’s advice in 2 Corinthians 13:5-6:
“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” (2 Corinthians 13:5)
“But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates.” (2 Corinthians 13:6)