Friday, March 31, 2017
Monday, March 27, 2017
Saturday, March 25, 2017
Thursday, March 23, 2017
3. Prayerful Consideration. (v.12)
Psalm 34:10-"The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.
Proverbs 18:22-"He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD."
Monday, March 20, 2017
Abraham could have taken advantage of the situation and acquired the burial site as a gift. But his integrity and ability superseded giving in to any pity the community had for him. He paid a fair price in this public transaction with a humble spirit.
Though it may have felt like this was the end, God was not done unfolding His plan for Abraham and his family. There is so much more ahead for him and for us.
Friday, March 17, 2017
God tested Abraham in an area of his life that, perhaps, of which he was holding on too tightly. No parent would want to face this test. Isaac was the long awaited heir to the future fulfillment of the promises of God. In Hebrew the word "test" means "prove". It is one thing to say we believe in God, to say that we trust Him, to say that we are followers of His. It is quite another to actually put it into practice. It is putting our faith in action. It is walking the talk.
Dr. Crawford Loritts, in his excellent book Leadership as an Identity, devotes the last three chapters to what he calls "radical, immediate obedience." No
What was Abraham thinking? He did not know how it would turn out. He did not know when or if God would intervene. He only knew one thing and that was all that he needed to obey. "God will provide..." (v.8). It is from this statement that we learn one of the names of God-Jehovah-Jireh, the LORD will provide. Hebrews 11 helps us to further understand how much Abraham trusted God during this test. "He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead..." All of God's promises to Abraham and future generations were on the line. Yet, he believed God would be faithful to His word.
There are four discoveries as a result of this one test that our faith needs today.
1. This is a proof of Abraham's willingness. God did not want Abraham to kill his son. He wanted Abraham to be absolutely willing to do whatever God asked him to do; radical, immediate obedience.
2. This is a proof of God's trustworthiness. The commands of God in His Word and the Biblical principles of life are most often counter intuitive. Sometimes what God wants us to do does not make sense to us. Human nature wants to see the outcome in advance. But the believer has been called to walk by faith. If what God wants is clear we will discover 100% of the time that God is worthy of our complete trust.
3. This is a proof of God's faithfulness. He did provide at exactly the right moment. We all wish God would provide in advance so we could avoid a crisis. But faith does not grow in a comfort zone and we do not get to see the faithful hand of God at work when there is no need.
4. This is a proof of God's truthfulness. God made an everlasting covenant to Abraham and his descendants. Then, He miraculously provided Isaac to continue to the promise. To slay Isaac seemed to contradict all that God had said. However, God did not change His mind, or His Word. In verses 17-18, the angel repeated the promise again. God's promises are true and completely reliable in every test.
Monday, March 13, 2017
Saturday, March 11, 2017
Think of who Abraham was. He was a man specially called by God. God made an unconditional and everlasting covenant with him and his descendants. He was called God's friend (James 2:23). Abraham was wealthy. Everywhere he went, he build an altar to worship the LORD. He worshiped God by giving Him ten percent of all he had. Abraham interceded before the LORD and God answered his prayers. God referred to him as a prophet (20:7).
In addition, Abraham was human and struggled with sin. Twice, Genesis recounts the same scenario in his life. He allowed fear to rule in his decisions, instead of trusting God. This fear led him to lie about his marriage. He placed his wife in great physical and moral jeopardy. Sin leads us to make one bad decision after another.
When Abraham would not listen to God, Abimelech heard God loud and clear. This king's character proved superior to Abraham's in this instance. The LORD's response was, "Yes, I know that you have done this in the integrity of your heart, and it was I who kept you from sinning." (v.6) God protected the king. He also protected Sarah when her husband would not.
Abraham confessed his fear of Abimelech, instead of God. "I did it because I thought, 'There is no fear of God at all in this place.'" (v.11). The environment may not have been godly, but the LORD is omnipresent. Abraham let the people around him to determine his behavior. Once a person forgets or jettisons the awareness of God's presence and power they will immediately make foolish and sinful choices. Doing so violates the first principle in make good decisions. Proverbs 9:10-"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight."
Despite this repeated public sin, God still used Abraham. "He will pray for you, and you shall live." (v.7b). "Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech..." (v.17) God had neither changed His plans nor His mind concerning His relationship with Abraham. There is hope for all us.
Thursday, March 9, 2017
Sunday, March 5, 2017
This is the sixth recorded time the LORD has directly revealed Himself to Abraham. Each occurrence provided direction, a promise, or affirmation concerning God's covenant with him.
In the previous chapter, the LORD promised that a son named Isaac would indeed be Abraham's heir. Here, the LORD appeared again to announce that the child would be born within the next year. What humanly was impossible for this elderly couple presented no problem for God.
"Is anything too hard for the LORD?" (v.14)
When he realized this would affect Lot, Abraham began to intercede on his behalf. Finally, Abraham's request is reduced to a number equal to that of Lot, his children and their spouses. Sadly, only three escaped alive.