Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Genesis: Chapter 12

What a chapter!  There is so much more tucked in the treasure of scripture than any of us can ever unlock in this world!  It delights my heart to dig; I hope you are being blessed as well.

As we read this chapter, we are reminded that the world had again fallen from the Lord.  A summary of the types of worship at that time is given in Halley's--absolutely appalling information!  Suffice it to say, Abraham lived in a land of idolatry.  Yet, God reached Abram in that wicked land and called him out.  Praise God, He is unchanging and still reaches out to individuals living in a sin-soaked land!  

Scripture shows us that while Abram obeyed, he only went 'half-way' and settled in Haran, short of the Promised Land.  Aren't we like that, too?  We hear the Lord but life has a way of side-tracking us.  Abram didn't forget and when he got back underway to Canaan, the Lord appeared to him again.    And in God's great mercy, He allowed Abram to bring with him the 'souls' he had gathered while in Haran.  I treasure God's promises to redeem the years of blight in my own life; the time I waste(d) on 'my plans' can still have hope as I carry forward in obedience to God's call!

As Abram went about life--about exploring the blessings God had promised, he built altars--monuments that reminded himself (and others, no doubt) about the focus of his worship.  We need to remind ourselves--and others--who is Lord!  McGee says that the tent and the altar were constants in Abram's life...a willingness to obey and a desire to worship God.  We need those same possessions. 

It also bears remembering that Abram left a cultured, civilized life to go to an unknown land. He wasn't leaving an unpleasant location for a better location.  He left the 'good life' to live the 'obedient life!'   He walked in faith, not sight, but sometimes he stumbled.  Aren't you thankful that scripture includes real people like us...people who make mistakes but don't fall out of the Lord's care?  Abram and Sarai had willing, worshipful but human hearts!  We, like them, will make mistakes but will remain in the Lord's loving care...perhaps chastised, perhaps reaping the results of even forgiven sins but never outside of his care!

The promises God made to Abram were repeated numerous times...and those promises are to his seed as well.  While we can not claim the promises of the nation of Israel, by faith we are part of the promises that pertain to spiritual concerns.  We have the joy of the Promised Land; we can be a blessing to others by sharing our faith; we can be secure whatever the future holds because we know who holds the future!  Abraham indeed is the father of nations...the Jewish nation, the Christians and even Muslims trace their founding back to Father Abraham.  As we walk through the coming pages of scripture, we will see how God has worked out the promises to Abram and we will trust more and more in His faithfulness to us!

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