Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Genesis 22:15-24

Today we’ll finish off this chapter, in which we’ll see Abraham passed the test of his life, with high marks:

The angel of the LORD called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, “I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed because you have obeyed me.” (Gen. 22:15-18)

Remember that God tested Abraham, not because He did not know how Abraham would do, but because He wanted to prove Abraham’s faith and His strength to the world. Satan comes to tempt us to steal, kill, and destroy, but God TESTS us (it can and most likely will be the same event) to build us up and show His power within us. God never allows us to go through anything that we haven’t been prepared for beforehand.

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. (1 Cor. 10:13)

On completion of the biggest test of his life, Abraham receives a “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” And he doesn’t just get a plaque to commemorate the occasion - he gets the reaffirmation that God will surely do what He has promised. Abraham’s descendants will be “as numerous as the stars in the sky or the sand on the seashore.” And the best part? “... all the nations of the earth will be blessed because you have obeyed me.” Wow! Now that’s a reward!

When we take God at His Word and OBEY it, we aren’t the only ones blessed. Our obedience in and through a trial affects MANY. Everyone around us who witnesses our submission to the test is drawn to the God who sustains us in the midst of it. Don’t you want to leave that kind of legacy? That is why James was so confident in his proclamation about the joy of a trial:

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4)

Don’t you want to be mature and complete and not lacking anything? Me, too!!! I keep waiting for the maturity! I know that I’m still here, because God still has so much to work out in my life!! :)

Finally, this chapter ends with another genealogy. This time it’s the list of offspring from Abraham’s brother, Nahor. It lists his many sons, with a tiny footnote about the daughter of one of them, Rebekah! So, at the tail end of a portrayal of the sacrifice of Christ, we are introduced to the the future bride of Isaac. So, we are also reminded of another Bride - the Church! We all love a good love story - especially one that ends with a wedding. It’s coming, but tomorrow we’ll first read about another loss.

Have a great morning, remembering that WHATEVER comes your way, He is more than capable of taking you through it!


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