Saturday, January 4, 2014

Genesis 13-16

Abram is traveling for God in Genesis 13-16.  God is really changing Abram (meaning noble father) and Sarai's (meaning princess) life through this journey, so it's no surprise that He changes their names too.  They become known as Abraham (father of many) and Sarah (mother of nations).  God keeps reminding Abraham of His promise, but there's lots of in-between time with hard work involved and some very scary moments.  Abraham rescues his nephew, Lot, from some allied kings, and he ends up being blessed in the process.  He and Sarah also make some mistakes along the way, but God doesn't give up on them.

I love seeing the relationship evolve between Abraham and God as time goes on.  God senses Abraham's need for reassurance.

15 After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision:
“Do not be afraid, Abram.

    I am your shield,[a]

    your very great reward.[b]

Abraham has questions for God.  There are things he doesn't understand.  He talks to God about it, and God answers very directly.

Then the word of the Lord came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir. He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring[a] be.”
Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.

I am sure this huge promise still didn't make total sense, but Abraham trusted God.  And did you catch what the scripture says about belief?  God credited belief as righteousness.  

I think sometimes we just have to believe without understanding everything.

Even though Abraham's faith is clearly very strong, he is still prone to mistakes.  

I have to be honest, it makes me feel better to know Abraham and his wife made mistakes too.  It gives me hope and shows me how great God's love is for His believers.

Back to today's reading...

Abraham's wife, Sarah, talks him into taking matters into their own hands.  I am sure the old couple was very tired of waiting for God's promises to come true.  In their waiting, I am willing to bet feelings of uncertainty and doubt crept in about "how" God was going to make His promise happen.  The couple makes a bad decision in their weakness.  Abraham takes Hagar as another wife so he can have a son.  That decision causes a lot of suffering and heartache.

Thank goodness we know God can work all things for good.  Hagar's story becomes a blessing too...teaching us that God is always with us.  He doesn't forget us, no matter what we are going through.

13 She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen[a] the One who sees me.”

Is there anything you need to talk to God about in your life right now?  

As God works His great promises for you, how do you wait?  What works and what doesn't?

What can we do, as believers, to learn from Abraham and Sarah's mistake?

A prayer for today-

Dear God,

Thank you for all the promises You make with me.  I need to talk to You about ____________ in my life right now.  Help me to hear You clearly.  Give me the strength to wait in faith and the trust I need to let You work out the details.  Forgive me for doubting Your power, Lord.  You are my shield and my strength.  I also pray for those on my mind today__________.

In the name of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit,

Love in Christ,

      *This post is part of A Mind-Maker-Upper's Everyday Reading Project.  Click here to read more.

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