Approaching Sunday

Filter By:

God Remembered Abraham

The end of Genesis 18 shows God conversing with himself about what to do about Sodom and Gomorrah’s wickedness. In these verses, part of God’s character is revealed. We can see that he is Abraham’s protector and intends to keep his promise to Abraham of making him a great nation.  God also exposes his plan to destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because of their sins. This shows us how serious God is about sin, which is exhibited multiple times throughout Scripture, as it is written in Leviticus “Be holy because I am holy.”  Reading through Genesis 18:20-21 we know God’s plan, and we witness Abraham praying and asking God to save Sodom rather than destroy it if he finds at least ten righteous people in the city. As Abraham intercedes for them, he is appealing to God’s characteristics of mercy and righteousness. Verses 22-33 expose Abraham’s prayer of petition, but notice how he is not counseling God. He is humbly yet boldly approaching God and asking for lives to be spared.

Abraham’s prayer is consistent with God’s will. God doesn’t want to destroy those whom he’s created, but he also is determined to remove sin from the world. Like Abraham, we can also pray God’s will. It is a good and right thing to seek God’s provision through prayers of petition, but we must make sure we are asking for God’s will to be done. As Jesus taught us, “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.”

God’s promise to be faithful to Abraham and guide his path of righteousness is true for us today. Abraham is called our Father of Faith because he believed and trusted God’s promises. He demonstrated how to pray, which requires us to know God on an individual and intimate level, which will allow us to understand his character and his will. Abraham uncovers how to intercede and ask for God’s will to be done. Jesus also validated this when he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. In his gospel, Matthew records Jesus being sorrowful to the point of death, but he persisted in prayer. I imagine Abraham felt sorrow for those in Sodom and Gomorrah because some of the residents there were the men, women, and children whom he had journeyed with out of their homeland and through Egypt. In prayer, Abraham asked that if ten righteous men were found, God would spare the city, but not even ten were among them. Therefore, the city had to be demolished. However, “God remembered Abraham” and rescued his nephew, Lot, from destruction. Again, God demonstrated his faithfulness to Abraham by sparing his loved ones. God also wants to spare the ones we love, but how can he save them if we do not share the love and truth of Jesus with them?

Through studying scripture, God reveals his character to us. Through spending time in the Word and prayer, we build a relationship with God. Although these events in Scripture took place centuries ago, it’s applicable to us today. It may be uncomfortable to read and challenging to comprehend the abundance of wickedness displayed by those living in Sodom and Gomorrah, but our culture is not much different. God still calls us to walk in righteousness, and he still plans to wipe out sin. We can look to Abraham and Jesus for guidance on how to presently respond through prayer. Both men sought God’s will, and God’s will was done.

 

Posted by Laura Rogers with

What a Difference 9,125 Days Make!

 Perhaps you have heard the saying, “what a difference a day makes.”   Or you may remember Annie singing to us that “the sun will come out tomorrow.”  There are many clichés that we throw around to encourage one another not to give up.  But I must admit that sometimes one day doesn’t seem to make a bit of difference.  What about 9,125 days?  That is 25 years.  Stop for a moment and consider what you were doing 25 years ago.

               Our journey with Abraham began in Genesis 12.  There God promised Him that He would make of him a great nation.  Now as we come into Genesis 18 it is 24 years later, and Abraham is far from fathering a great nation.  His only son is Ishmael, and God was clear that the blessing would not come through him.

               Three visitors come to see Abraham in this chapter, and one of them is the LORD.  (Yes, Jesus makes an appearance here in the Old Testament.  This is called a Christophany.)  The LORD says to Abraham that He will return in about a year, and Sarah will have a son.  If this happened today, “LOL” would be broadcast all over social media!  Both Abraham and Sarah laughed out loud.  You would, too, if you were nearly 100 years old and unable to have children.

But God was faithful to His promises.  God will always do what He says He will do.  Twenty-five years passed by the time God’s promise was fulfilled for Abraham to be the father of the nation of Israel.  But it happened just as He said it would.

               Twenty-five years ago, I had just graduated from college, and I was ready to make my mark in the world.  In that time, I have been married.  I have had a child who is now a teenager.  I have owned a small business.  I have received my Master’s degree.  My husband and I have known what it is like to question whether or not we will be able to make ends meet, and we have been blessed beyond our wildest imaginations.  I have questioned whether Christianity is even worth the trouble, and as a result, I have come to have a closer relationship with Jesus Christ than ever before!

               In short, I have learned that God will do what He says He will do.  It may not be tomorrow.  It may be a dozen tomorrows…a hundred tomorrows…or 9,125 tomorrows…but God will do what He says He will do.  The story of Abraham and Sarah in Genesis 18 gives us an example of this.

Like them, we must live by faith.  This is where the picture gets a little fuzzy in today’s culture.  How does one “live by faith”?

It is clear in this story of Abraham and Sarah that God does not act because of our faith.  Abraham and Sarah did not have a son because of their incessant prayers of faith.  They did not simply believe and receive.  The LORD Himself stood before them and proclaimed God’s promise, and they both laughed!

Living a life of faith is choosing to live each day to glorify God.  It is living blamelessly by choosing to do what is right.  And we do this because of what God has done, believing that He will continue to do what He says He will do.  Abraham and Sarah made their share of mistakes, but through their 9,125 days, they continued to choose to follow God.  They sought to live a life that would glorify Him.  He would fulfill His promises…period.  They had to believe…period.

We must live by faith…PERIOD.

Posted by Bethany Lay with

12345678910 ... 7475