May 17

How Then Shall We Live?

Devotions on Living the Deeper Christian Life

“But the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, Abraham, Abraham!” – Gen 22:11

The Two Who Live Within You

The two “Abrahams,” with the disjunctive line between them should really be translated, “You, the two different Abrahams co-existing in one person.”

In Gen 22:11 God addresses Abraham with words, “Abraham, Abraham,” in our English translation of the Bible. But in the Hebrew, there is one more thing added, a disjunctive sign between the two “Abrahams.” This same disjunctive also appears in the Hebrew text in 1 Sam 3:10, when the Lord called, “Samuel, Samuel.” In Exodus 3:4, we read, “Moses, Moses”, but there is no disjunctive in this verse. Therefore, there must be a significant purpose in this use of this sign. What does it mean for us and our relationship with God?

Like us, Abraham also had an outward and inner man. There was the man that people knew, and the hidden man of the heart, with all its impulses, instincts and desires.

In his book, “My Correspondence with Jesus,” Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, who spent 14 years in Communist prisons, wrote about the two natures living within all of us. Wurmbrand, a Jew by birth, was a Christian Pastor and recognized Greek and Hebrew Scholar. He explained the existence of the “hidden man,” as a whole man, with his own desires, thoughts, emotions, will and love – who lives in the heart of the outer man. This inner man is so hidden that men often live a lifetime without discovering him.

Wurmbrand wrote, “In my case, this Richard is known only to me, distinct from the ordinary Richard known to others. Therefore, God speaks to them as with two different beings. In the case of Moses, a harmony had been established. Thus there is no disjunctive sign when God says, ‘Moses, Moses.”

It is interesting that when God addresses both persons within his children. He doesn’t single out the part of you that we would like to believe is more presentable to God – our “Spiritual side,” but He speaks to all that is within a man. This means that God speaks into the ways of the flesh in us, those parts of us that we are often ashamed to address. In our efforts to keep parts of ourselves “hidden” from God and others, God lovingly uncovers all things hidden when He speaks your name. He doesn’t leave anything in the dark; it is all in the light. God recognizes it as part of me, part of my struggle as man yet, He breathes acceptance into me, all of me. Men are commanded to love one another, which means that the two in you should also love one another. The good person in you should love the person who is sinful in you. It is desirable that we understand each other and love God with all our heart, which means to love him with both sides of our nature, the good and evil.

Always remember that God is an Eternal being. He sees your life from His Eternal perspective. There is nothing that befalls you that He didn’t see with His foreknowledge. God is faithful and just and His mercies are new (inexhaustible) every day. He knows our inner struggles with the two who live within us. Next time you go before God for help with your inner struggles, know that he sees the whole you, the inner and outer man.

Words to Think About…


Rowland V. Bingham, founder of the Sudan Interior Mission, was once seriously injured in an automobile accident. He was rushed to a hospital in critical condition. The following day, when he regained consciousness, he asked the nurse what he was doing there. “Don’t try to talk now, just rest,” she replied. “You have been in an accident.” “Accident? Accident!” exclaimed Dr. Bingham. “There are no accidents in the life of a Christian. This is just an incident in God’s perfect leading.”

“You must learn, you must let God teach you, that the only way to get rid of your past is to make a future out of it. God will waste nothing.” – Phillips Brooks