Adventures with Abraham (Genesis 12-25)
Have you ever seen Jesus with the eyes of faith? Behold the Son of God. Fix your eyes upon him. Gaze upon his beauty. As the song says, “Look full in his wonderful face and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of his glory and grace.” Those who look to him will never be disappointed and like Abraham of old, they will rejoice and be glad forever.
In many ways we stand exactly where Abraham stood 4000 years ago. The people of God still die one by one. I still do funerals every year for people I know and love. Like Abraham, we too have not received the fulfillment of everything God has promised for us. And the point of Genesis 23 is still true today. We die, but the promises of God live on after us.
Our Heavenly Father leads us along the pathway of complete trust in him. Slowly but surely we discover that the things we thought we couldn’t live without don’t matter as much as we thought they did. Even the dearest and sweetest things of life take second place to the pleasure of knowing God. In the end we discover that he has emptied our hands of everything and then filled them with himself.
Peace never just happens. Someone has to go out of his way to make peace. That is why Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers”—not the peace-wishers or the peace-hopers. In a world torn by strife and fueled by hatred, we need Christians who will step into the breach as true peacemakers.
God will be no one’s debtor. You’ll never regret anything you give up for Jesus. Not in this life or in the life to come. But the saddest people in the all the world are those who cling stubbornly to what they have because they dare not give it up for God.
Are there hidden areas of your life where you have harbored sin in your heart? Have you coddled sinful tendencies and made excuses for sinful habits when instead you should by the Spirit put to death the deeds of the flesh? If we are not ruthless with ourselves, we stand in danger of doing exactly what Abraham did.
Sodom still lives today—not just outside but on the inside. There’s more than a little Lot in each of us. What he did we can all too easily do ourselves. We can follow Abraham or we can go the way of Lot. If we forget his story, we will almost certainly repeat his mistakes.
Don’t mistake God’s patience for unconcern. He destroyed Sodom! He will one day cast you into Hell. Your only hope is to turn from your sin and cast yourself on Jesus Christ for mercy to forgive your many sins. His blood can save, but even Christ’s blood is of no avail unless you trust him with all your heart.
What do you believe deep in your heart? Is there anything to hard for the Lord? Anything in your life so big that he can’t handle it? You already know the answer is no, but I’m asking it in a different way. What problem seems so impossible that part of you doubts that God can take of it?
In whom are you trusting to take you to heaven? After all, salvation is not a what; it’s a who. The issue is your relationship to Jesus Christ. Let me give you five simple words that can take you all the way from earth to heaven. Here they are: Only Jesus and Jesus only. Only Jesus can save you so put your trust in Jesus only.
We like strength, God chooses weakness. We like wisdom, God blesses the foolish things of the world. He loves all the Hagars of the world.
Can God be trusted? More and more I am convinced that this is the fundamental question of life: “Is God good and can he be trusted to do what is right?” If the answer is yes, then we can face the worst that life has to offer. If the answer is no, then we’re no better off than the people who have no faith at all.
In the day of battle you only have two options. You can fight or you can flee. Abraham was willing to fight and that’s why he won the victory. Our only hope is to turn our eyes on Jesus. Hebrews 12:1 exhorts us to fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. He faced the same battle and because of it, he went to the cross.
Lot won in the short run, but his victory didn’t last long. Abraham won in the long run. He got all the land anyway, and he also ended up with the Lord. God gives the best to those who leave the choice to him.
When the famine comes, remember that God has not abandoned you. He sends the famines of life in order to see if you will trust him even in the most difficult moments. We should say, “Here is another opportunity for me to trust God. I wonder what wonderful things he is going to do for me this time.” It’s not easy to say that. Sometimes it takes more grace to stay in the Promised Land than it does to get there in the first place.
God asks of us nothing more than he asked of Abraham: That we believe His Word and act upon it. You may say, “But my faith is weak.” I’m sure it is, but God is strong. If you will put your tiny life into God’s mighty hand, he will guide you step by step. If you say, “I can’t see where I’m going,” fear not. The All-seeing God has charted your course and he will lead you to the Promised Land. God is calling you. Will you say yes?