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      The elevation of Abraham in Genesis 18, 19, is something very peculiar.

      He seems to apprehend the Divine Stranger and His angelic companions at once, needing no introduction, or notice, or revelation--as Joshua, Gideon, and others, in like circumstances, did. "He was accustomed to the Divine presence," as one has said. This opens these wondrous chapters.

      The Lord does not come to regulate him in any way, either to rebuke or instruct him morally. Abraham is before him in the place and character and attitude of one who was fully prepared for His presence.

      Accordingly, the Lord makes His ways and thoughts known to Abraham, as a man would to his friend. He reveals secrets to him which do not concern himself--had they done so, in a sense Abraham would have been entitled to hear them; the Lord would surely tell them to him. But he has no personal concern in the matters communicated. They are the Lord's thoughts and purposes touching a city and a people with whom Abraham had no intercourse whatever. They were strangers to him and he to them--and that most advisedly. So that the Lord now deals with Abraham as a friend - not even as a disciple, much less as a sinner, but as a friend.

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