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Its All About Relationship

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January 2013
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cropped-3809557897_84acffa8d3_o.jpgToday’s Bible reading: Genesis 20-22; Matthew 7:15-29; Psalms 9:1-12; Proverbs 2:16-22

Today we see Abraham make the same mistake he made a couple of decades before. How many of us have made the same mistake more than  once? Everyone. Abraham is no different. Once again he introduces his wife as his sister.

Abraham had a lying problem. But a lying problem is just a symptom of having a trusting problem. Abraham didn’t quite trust God at this point in his life. As he demonstrates in verse 11, he feared men more than he trusted God. God had just promised him that he and his wife, Sarah, would have a son together. Yet rather than relying on God because of His promise, Abraham relies on himself in spite of God’s promise.

In Genesis chapter 22 we read the very famous story of God calling Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. This happens after Abraham’s previous lies so it seems that Abraham has grown in his faith and trust of God since then. God tells Abraham to sacrifice Isaac and Abraham begins the preparations “the next morning”. He didn’t hesitate. His quick response demonstrates obedience, which is nothing more than trust.

I wonder what Abraham was thinking as he and Isaac walked. God had fulfilled His promise to Abraham and Sarah by giving them Isaac in their old age. God had also promised that Abraham would be the father of countless people (as many as the stars in the sky) through Isaac. Was Abraham expecting that God would raise Isaac from the dead? I don’t know. I hope to ask him when I see him in heaven.

Notice the interesting parallels between Isaac and Jesus:

  1. Both Isaac and Jesus carried the wood that would be used to kill them
  2. Isaac’s journey was 3 days during which he was good as dead; Jesus was dead for 3 days
  3. Both were released from death on the third day
  4. The birth of Isaac and Jesus both fulfilled long-awaited promises and were essentially impossible (one born to a barren woman, the other born to a virgin)

In Matthew we read another sobering verse from Jesus (pretty much everything Jesus said was sobering). In verse 22 he tells us that on judgement day many people will point to their deeds as reasons why they should get to enter heaven. But Jesus will reply “I never knew you”. Its all about relationship with Jesus. Having a relationship with Jesus is what qualifies a person for heaven. Nothing we can ever do can open that door for us.

When I was reading Psalm 9 today I couldn’t help but read it with two minds. I found it easy to see how people can read some of the Old Testament and conclude that God is revengeful. But a careful reading (and sometimes multiple readings) will reveal that God is loving and deeply concerned about each of us. Coincidentally (or maybe not) I was listening to a sermon podcast this morning by Andy Stanley of North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, GA in which he said that when trouble comes in our lives “God isn’t trying to get you back, He’s trying to win you back”. Everything that God causes or allows in life is because He loves us.

I like Proverbs 2:20. We should follow the good examples people set for us. We shouldn’t do something we know is wrong simply because others do it. These people should not be role models for us. Look around for positive role models, learn from them, then do the same as they do. It is of no benefit to obtain through less than honest means, as we learned in Proverbs 1:19


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