Monday, April 11, 2011

Genesis 17:23-27

Good morning, dear friends!

Well, it’s back to school today, after a whirlwind tour of Washington, DC, and finally getting to meet our Penelope! Oh, she is teeny!!! So cute and sweet, and as Beau says, soft! I am overwhelmed by the goodness of God, who continues to surprise me with His attention to the details in our lives! He answers immeasurably more than we think or ask (Eph. 3:20). Thank you to the many who prayed for Anne, the other teacher who was with our tour. I am planning on keeping in touch with her.

I just wanted to finish off Genesis 17 this morning with a note about Abraham’s obedience in verses 23-27:

On that very day Abraham took his son Ishmael and all those born in his household or bought with his money, every male in his household, and circumcised them, as God told him. Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised, and his son Ishmael was thirteen; Abraham and his son Ishmael were both circumcised on that very day. And every male in Abraham’s household, including those born in his household or bought from a foreigner, was circumcised with him.

On that very day... Abraham did not argue with God, or question the instructions, or consult friends for advise; he obeyed God immediately. Even though it would be personally very painful! I like that Jon Courson points out here that Abraham did not think that, because he was 99 years old, he himself did not need to do this. There is a tendency as we get older to step aside and sit down - remembering what we did years ago for God. We expect the younger people in the church to step up and take over. But, until God calls us home, He has something for us to do. And Abraham stepped up, took the lead for his family and his entire household, and modeled obedience!

And he didn’t TELL Ishmael to go get circumcised. Abraham took him by the hand and did the job! It’s not enough to tell our children to go to church or to study the Bible or to pray; we need to take them by the hand and do it with them, until it becomes their daily habit as well. Do not expect your children to get everything they need spiritually at Sunday School! They spend no more than an hour and a half there each week. That will NOT cut it! As parents and grandparents, the spiritual instruction of our children is our responsibility - even if it means leading them by the hand. When you take them to church each week, you are building a pattern for them, an expectation that this is the life of a disciple of Christ. It involves community, commitment of our time and resources, and accountability. And they need to see that it is NOT a ritualistic thing we check off each week - it is the one day we all truly look forward to, because we are going to the house of the LORD! It’s a privilege!

Heading for school!


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