Skip to main content

Through the Whole bible: Genesis 18

Genesis 17 was yesterday's focus of Through the Whole Bible. In an earlier post, I had addressed some of the other factors of that chapter. I've also preached on both Genesis 17 and 18 which you can find at that link.

Today, the focus is on Genesis 18 (Link). There are a couple of factors to consider in this chapter.

The first is this: God provides for the fulfillment of His promises, and oftentimes that provision is different from what we might expect. How that comes forward into your life is likely different from how it came forward for Abraham and Sarah.

For example, you're not going to be the father of the Hebrew people. That job is complete: Abraham got it. It is also likely that you're not going to father a child at age 100. In point of fact, given life expectancies these days that would be quite reckless and dangerously close to violating the biblical principle of parenting your children responsibly.

Yet, with all the appropriate nods to the wisdom found in Scripture regarding life and work and such, we still have to address the example of Abraham and living by faith. Here God tells Abraham specifically when the child will be coming. Sarah, meanwhile, laughs at the idea. Laughs. Abraham had finally accepted that God could do this in the last chapter, but here it really hits home for Sarah.

She's the one who will be doing much of the work, anyway. The idea sounds just like nonsense to her.

What idea sounds like nonsense to you? Being a missionary? Being okay with your kids being missionaries? Staying in that annoying job to share the love of Jesus with the people around you?

Generally we find the commands of God to be easy at one level, but filling out our whole life in obedience ends up being too "hard" because of some obstacle that we see. That obstacle, though, is invalid on its face: if God gave the command then He will provide the guidance and substance to obey it.

It may not be obvious: if the command is to go and tell and your heart is for going and telling in a foreign nation, you may have to adjust how you get there. After all, just because one missions agency won't send you doesn't mean you shouldn't go. Just because one door is locked does not mean that another door does not exist.

Read the whole of the Bible and follow the guidance God has given there. Pray for whatever wisdom you lack (see James 1) and then trust and act.

The second part is this: you will not offend God by pleading for mercy for others.

That's an important consideration for us as we strive with living in a non-Christian culture. Which we do and always will, until the Millennium comes, so we might as well get used to the idea. Living around people means living around those who likely deserve God's judgment.

Truly we all deserve God's judgment. It is simply that some have come to Christ for forgiveness and others need to do so.

Our time, then, ought to go into pleading with God to withhold that judgment so that more have time to seek His mercy. I fear that too often, our efforts are for God to bring that judgment sooner instead.

Which is wrong. Let us plead that, on account of a few that are near to the faith, God would withhold judgment that more would come to faith!

Doug

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…

Curiosity and the Faithlife Study Bible

Good morning! Today I want to take a look at the NIV Faithlife Study Bible. Rather than spend the whole post on this particular Study Bible, I’m going to hit a couple of highlights and then draw you through a few questions that I think this format helps with.



First, the basics of the NIV Faithlife Study Bible (NIVFSB, please): the translation is the 2011 New International Version from Biblica. I’m not the biggest fan of that translation, but that’s for another day. It is a translation rather than a paraphrase, which is important for studying the Bible. Next, the NIVFSB is printed in color. Why does that matter? This version developed with Logos Bible Software’s technology and much of the “study” matter is transitioning from screen to typeface. The graphics, maps, timelines, and more work best with color. Finally, you’ve got the typical “below-the-line” running notes on the text. Most of these are explanations of context or highlights of parallels, drawing out the facts that we miss by …

Foolishness: 1 Corinthians 1

In Summary: 1 Corinthians opens with the standard greeting of a letter from the Apostle Paul. He tells who he is with (Sosthenes) and who he is writing to. In this case, that is the “church of God that is in Corinth.” He further specifies that this church is made up of those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be saints. 
He then expresses the blessing/greeting of “grace and peace” from God. From there, Paul reflects on his initial involvement with the Corinthian people and the beginning of the church. After that, though, there are problems to deal with and Paul is not hesitant to address them. He begins by addressing the division within the church. Apparently, the church had split into factions, some of which were drawn to various personalities who had led the church in times past. There is no firm evidence, or even a suggestion, that Paul, Cephas, Apollos, or anyone else had asked for a faction in their name. Further, the “I follow Christ” faction may not have been any le…