Monday, January 4, 2016

Monday, January 4: Genesis 12-15 by Pamela

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Genesis 12-15

Scripture: Genesis 12: 12 & 13 12 and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me, but they will let you live.13 Say you are my sister, that it may go well with me because of you, and that my life may be spared for your sake.” 

Observation: Abram trusted God to leave everything and go where God told him to.

We read in verse 1 & 4...
verse 1: Now the Lord said[a] to Abram, “Go from your country[b] and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. 
verse 4:  So Abram went, as the Lord had told him

God said "go" and Abram "went".

Even with Abram's trust that God would lead him, Abram had doubts to God's protection along the journey. Abram asks Sarai to lie to protect (what he feels to be in danger) his life.

Application: How often do we too trust God with big things but not fully believing He has everything in control? I know in my own life, I can know in my heart that God has a plan and a purpose for my life but the day to day busy-ness can prompt me to forget that. I can become anxious and worried about what the future holds. I can be tempted (just as Abram was) to try and help God by adding in my own ideas instead of relying on God fully.

I also think that sometimes that I can be distracted by the same surface attractiveness like Lot was.

10 And Lot lifted up his eyes and saw that the Jordan Valley was well watered everywhere like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, in the direction of Zoar.

I don't always see what lies beneath just like Lot failed to see the evilness of the people who lived in the lush attractive land. Lot didn't, and couldn't, see that one day that Sodom and Gomorrah would be destroyed. Sometimes the attractive things in my life cloud my judgement and prevent me from seeing just how destructive they can be. Worry. Anxiety. Fear. Usually these feelings are rooted in something superficial and they take away my reliance on God who can take care of every worry, relieve all my anxiety and calm every fear.

I need to grab hold of God's promises just as Abram did. God always keeps his promises. I don't need to lie or make things go my own way because God already has it all under control. If God tells me to "go" then I want to be ready to go wherever He leads.

Prayer: Dear Lord. I fall short of fully trusting and believing in Your plan. Help me to remember that You are in control and that fear and worry don't have to consume me. Remind me often that surface appearances are not always what they seem. Thank you for staying the same yesterday, today, and always and taking care of our every need. Amen.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Genesis 16-18


Conrad said...

The first verse we read in today's passage stood out to me too. Not only did Abram go when and where God told him to, but he had no idea where he was going.

A leap of faith and trust in God that I would like to have in my life.

Emma Reimer said...

6 And Abram believed the LORD, and the LORD counted him righteous because of his faith.

Abram was old, but he still trusted in God and had faith that He would give Him a son, just as He had promised (I wonder if Abram was reminded of that promise every time God put a rainbow in the sky?).

Nathan Reimer said...

When Abram gave Lot the choice of which land he wanted, Lot took a look and then took the best for himself. This reminds me of a trick we used on our kids when they had to split something (usually candy), one split it and the other picked. All eyes are then on the one who picks, will they pick the best for themselves or save the better piece for the other one? Just as Lot did, usually the one who picked then grabs the better half. Lot thought he picked the better half but ended up in trouble, Abram helped him out anyway. Do we let others pick first, which opens us up to getting the wrong end of the deal? And would we still help the other one out, after feeling taken advantage of?

TammyIsBlessed said...

We see in Abraham's life, how our choices can have far-reaching consequences, far beyond our knowledge at the time. When Abraham chose to obey God and set out from Ur, he had no idea that from that choice to obey would come the nation of Israel and the Messiah and Saviour of the world. By the same token, he also didn't always realize the serious consequences of his failure to trust God.

We also cannot know the far reaching consequences of our choices. May we choose to trust God and step out in obedience, instead of taking matters into our own hands and making foolish decisions out of fear or distrust.

TammyIsBlessed said...

I remember learning something really neat from a Ray Vanderlaan sermon I heard years ago.....

The covenant we see in this passage is confusing to us in the west, but very clear to those in the east. The process, called cutting a covenant, involved two parties who, after coming to an agreement on the terms, would cut animals in half and then take turns walking in the middle through the blood to seal the covenant, and to signify that if they broke the covenant they would pay with their life.

But, in this particular covenant, God walks through the blood both times, as symbolized by the smoking fire pot and a flaming torch, taking Abraham's place.

From 15:6 and 17:1-2, we see that Abraham's side of the covenant required his faith and his obedience - something that would impossible to do perfectly. Abram knew that he could never keep his end of the covenant - which would explain why he experienced such a dreadful and great darkness, a Hebrew colloquialism that means dreadful fear. He knew that if put so much as one toe in that blood, he was as good as dead. Instead, we see God Himself take responsibility for Abram's portion of the covenant and in that instant, Jesus Christ was sentenced to death. He would pay the price for Abram's (and our!) failure to keep the covenant. All the sacrifices later instituted by Moses were to be a constant reminder, to the people and to God, of God's promise. Those sacrifices were made every day at 9 and 3. It comes as no surprise that Jesus Christ's death occurred at exactly 3pm. The final sacrifice had been made, God had kept the covenant.

Isn't that amazing?

Greg Funk said...

What stood out to me is in 15:1 I am your shield
[1] After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward. ”

God assured Abram of safety and happiness; that he should for ever be safe. I am your shield, actually caring for him. The consideration that God himself is, and will be a shield to his people, to secure them from all evils, a shield ready to them, and a shield round about them, should silence all perplexing, tormenting fears.