First things first, we’ll be moving on to Genesis chapters 26-29 this week. We are officially half way through at this point. Crazy! That means that summer if half gone and it just gets busier for me from this point on, oh my!!
Secondly, the head count. I only received one email informing me of participation for our book review. If I count those who have already let me know that they are involved we should have approximately 10 people involved in reading along with BRF. :)
Now for my review on this weeks reading. There are 3 things that I’ll touch on very quickly because there really isn’t time for any more. :)
Just like in Judges I keep getting reminded that God is gracious. Even when we sin and get ourselves into really messed up situations He is still in control. When I thought about Abraham lying about Sara to Abimelech and her becoming the wife of another man I was surprised at God’s control. I shouldn’t have been but I was. Abimelech took Sara for his own and he must have had her there a long time for all of the people to realize that no one was able to have children. I would think that would have to be pretty much a year or so, am I wrong? That’s a long time for Abraham to have Sara gone and be thinking that she was in the arms of another man because of his sin again. That would have been horrible. But even though everyone thought she was under the control of Abimelech they were all under God’s control. I love that verse 20:6 where God says to Abimelech "…For I also withheld you from sinning against Me; therefore I did not let you touch her." That is a verse full of hope for me! All those times that I have made mistakes and chosen the wrong path can pull me into the depths of despair. Thinking about all those times in the future that I might mess up and what it may cost me and those I love can be very stressful. Thinking about my children and what may happen if I don’t train them exactly as I should, it’s scary to think of the consequences they may have to face because of sin. Then I read a verse like this. Even in our sin God is in control and will not allow certain things to happen if He wills it.
Also in this part of the story the fact that not being able to bear children was like a punishment is so contrary to the way of thinking these days. It used to be that the more children you had the more blessed you considered yourself. Nowadays we look on it as a burden if we have to many. It’s just another one of the many ways we have fallen short of the life God intended for us. We are so off the mark. :(
Now for the sacrifice story that I’ve heard a billion times or more. I finally got it, I think. :) It was after many years, a lifetime really, of making mistakes and learning trust issues with God that Abraham was brought a big test. To sacrifice his own son in whom God promised so much blessing and he loved so much, this was the ultimate insane test to me. I had heard that this story signified salvation but didn’t give the whole thing much thought, but I did this week. So Abraham was commanded by God to kill the son he loved for Him. I’m sure Abraham was totally confused since God wouldn’t be for human sacrifice and it was through Isaac that God’s promise came. But Abraham obeyed, I’m impressed. He took all he needed and his son and headed up the mountain to follow through. He got to the full point of obedience and ultimate sacrifice and then God stepped in.
It hit me just what this could mean. It’s not enough for us to offer all we have. Obedience and sacrifice don’t count for anything until God provides the sacrifice himself. He provided His own sacrifice so many years later. We , just as Isaac, should have been placed there to have our own blood shed, God actually demands it. But for those who come in faith there is that perfect ‘ram’ in the thicket to take our place. What a perfect picture of salvation. Cool.
Okay, so I have 4 things, there’s lots in here okay!? :) In Chapter 24 when Abraham sends out his servant to find a wife for his son, I learned something from how he handled himself. The servant was obviously someone that Abraham could trust with a biggy like that. And once the servant was on his own he didn’t rely on his own intuition to search out the perfect lady, he asked God to show him in a very specific way. He wanted to know it was the right women by the girl coming and offerring not only him a drink but his camels also. To have a lady come out to give you water is nice but it would have been A LOT OF WORK to water all the camels! They take a lot of water and if she offered to do something like that it would be obvious that God was working there. What I liked about the servants story was that after asking a specific thing of the Lord he "..wondering at her, remained silent so as to know whether the Lord had made his journey prosperous or not." 24:21. I love it that he didn’t just take it for granted that she was the one because she offered, he waited to see if she would actually do it and complete it or he was going to start looking again. A lesson to me to be careful in seeking the Lord’s will because He will answer and let me know, and also to be the kind of woman Rebekah was. She obviously wasn’t lazy. :)
Don’t you love the story of Isaac and Rebekah? A love story of faith, trust, and love. "Then Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent; and he took Rebekah and she became his wife and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death." 24:67 After waiting to see what kind of woman his father trusted the servant to bring back and leaving it all in the hands of God, he loved her. I love it. If only it could have been a ‘and they lived happily ever after’ story. But as we’ll find out in the next few chapters they too had there share of mistakes too.
So now it’s your turn to add your name to Mr.Linky. What did you learn and find interesting in Genesis this week? :)