Genesis 19:27 says that, “Abraham gat up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the LORD:” This short verse is tucked away in a chapter long description of the demise of Sodom and Gomorrah. While righteous Lot was fleeing fire and brimstone and leaving behind those wicked men whose filthy conversation daily assaulted his eyes and ears and vexed his soul, Abraham was quietly meeting with God in “the place.” Do you have such a place?
The world’s barrage upon the senses of the believer is ceaseless. Whether it is the string of cuss words you hear at work, the violence and mayhem of this morning’s internet news feed or just some of the lost people you have to live with, as long as planet earth is your home you can rarely escape the Devil’s spray of spiritual sewage – unless you know how to find “the place.”
Moses was challenged to be ready in the morning to come up onto Mt Sinai and present himself before the Lord. (Exodus 34:2) Job had an altar where he prayed for his family every morning. Hezekiah had a spot in the temple where he could go up and spread his problems out before the Lord. (I Kings 19:14) Jesus regularly withdrew himself from the crowds to a solitary place in the wilderness or to the Garden of Gethsemene so he could meet with his Father. He commanded us to find just such a prayer closet and make sure we go in to, shut the door, and commune with God!
Abraham had such a place – somewhere apparently on a hilltop where met with God every morning. On this particular occasion, it must have been a rough meeting. As Abraham got to his quiet-time place on this morning, “he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace.” He discovered his prayer of the previous day had been answered in the negative – Sodom had not been spared. And he would have been unaware of Lot’s fate – another disappointment after his personal meeting with the Lord to bargain for Lot’s life. But there is no indication that either of these setbacks bothered Abraham in the least – for he was in the meeting place where these things could be quickly put into the lap of the Lord! “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” (I Peter 5:7)
Far too many things we carry that God never intended for us to bear. When we don’t meet with God in our place, we pass up our chance to empty our load of burdens. We go through the day wondering why the stresses and pressures seem so great and our soul seems so vexed – we may even cry out to God seeking some relief! But God is in no hurry to provide a quick fix to those who have failed to make him the priority. Neglecting your spouse and then seeking their help only when the emergency comes is no way to grow a marriage. Failing to set aside a time and place to meet with God and then running to him when the crises emerges is no way to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Did you and God meet this morning?