Today’s abiding texts are Genesis 10-22 and Matthew 6:19-34.
Genesis 20 records horrible behavior from Abraham who lies about Sarah, calling her his sister to save his own skin (so he thinks). God reveals this lie to an unbelieving ruler who confronts Abraham in his sin. Abraham confesses, and despite his actions, God continues to keep His Covenant promise by blessing Abraham through this episode. Strange! Genesis 21 records the birth of the promised son, Isaac, as well as God’s protection and provision for Ishmael and Hagar because of their relationship with God’s covenant partner, Abraham. In Genesis 22, Abraham rises to the faith challenge and is willing to sacrifice his son-of-promise: “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son” (Gen 22:8). Finally in Matthew, we read about trusting in God’s promise of provision.
What is God’s Word saying to me?
It reminds me of something a biblical scholar once told me about the Bible: “There are no heroes in the Bible except for Jesus.” True that! God blesses Abraham, regardless of Abraham’s actions. God is merciful. God is faithful. God keeps his promises.
What am I going to do about it?
I am challenged to take on the attitude and posture of our God in treating others – no matter their faith posture or their actions. For me, this means consciously reminding myself that God loves each person and desires mercy and blessing for them, no matter what their behavior. And that’s good news – it’s great news – for me, and for you! What an absolutely remarkable God we have! And I wish to treat others as God in Christ has treated me.
So ends my sabbath this week. May you know God’s great mercy and blessing in your week ahead. Here’s a great verse from today’s text to rest in: But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well (Mt 6:33).