This is one of those phrases that we too quickly pass over. Abram fell on his face. It is easy to come up with some plausible explanations for Abram’s fall. At 99, perhaps Abram had balance problems. Maybe the shock of hearing that he and Sarai would have a child was too much.
I like to think it was the presence of God Almighty. This was such a holy occasion that Abram fell on his face in worship. Later in the biblical narrative, when the accuser brings the mob to arrest Jesus, they ask, “Are you Jesus of Nazareth?” When Jesus answers, “I am,” the crowd is literally blown away; they fall to the ground. It’s an awesome thing to be in the presence of the holy.
Have we lost that sense of holiness? When we walk into church, for example, do we acknowledge we are on holy ground, or do we treat the place like it is any other meeting place? When we go into our quiet areas to pray, for another example, do we sense the presence of the Almighty and treat that time with due reverence and awe?
God is not our pal. God is holy and awesome. Abram fell on his face before God. What do we do?
Holy God, may we offer you the reverence due your holy name. Amen. — DAB