Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 November 2013 Genesis 22:18

Genesis 22:18.    And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.
 
Aye mih people, it’s Friday morning, and I hear you loudly shouting ‘TGIM! Thank God it’s Friday! The weekend is here, and no more work for two big days! Pappy oh! That means it’s party time!’
 
But hold on a minute mih people, that’s the way the world looks at it. True followers of Jesus ought to look at it in a different light though; the light that our Friday Chant extols. So please let’s chant our Friday Chant instead, so that we can bring the right attitude, the correct perspective to the wonderful weekend ahead of us.
 
All together now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’
 
Now that, my Friends and fellow believers is more in keeping with what our response to the weekend ought to be! And the time has come to turn to our Bit, the same one as yesterday: ‘And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.’
 
We saw yesterday where the Lord commanded Abraham to go to the land of Moriah and sacrifice his son Isaac as a burnt offering. No doubt Abraham experienced great internal stress, since the Lord’s command deviated substantially from His promise to make him the father of many nations through Isaac.
 
However, on the outside, Abraham remained calm and did what the Lord commanded. And when he was about to slay Isaac, the Lord stopped him, then provided a lamb for the purpose, and in honour of the Lord’s faithfulness, Abraham called the place Jehovah-jireh (the Lord will provide; for He did indeed provide in Abraham’s time of want. (Gen.22:1-14)
 
Now that whole episode makes me wonder what effect it had on young Isaac. How he must have fretted eh, especially after asking his father about the animal to be sacrificed, being told that the Lord would provide one, then having his father bind him upon the altar to use him as the sacrifice. (Gen.22:7-8)
 
The Good Book doesn’t say anything about it, but one way or the other, it must have had a great impact on Isaac, a mere youth at the time. But that unselfish act of Abraham must be considered as one of the greatest acts of faith ever shown by a believer, especially in those first days when the Lord was trying to put His chosen people together.
 
The Lord must also have been greatly moved, for as the Good Book tells it: ‘And the angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son:
 
That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed (descendants) as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the seashore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.
 
So Abraham returned unto his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beer-sheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beersheba.’ (Gen.22:15-19)
 
Yes Friends, that’s the magnanimous, ever-faithful God that we serve! When we are faithful to obey His commands, especially those real deep, soul searching one, He honours us superbly! You can certainly see why He eventually made Abraham the father of many nations; his faith and trust were exceedingly great!
 
Now here are some relevant thoughts on the situation from the scholars. ’22:1-14. God did tempt Abraham: The word tempt is better rendered as “proved or tested.” God does not tempt anyone with evil (James 1:13), but in certain instances, He does test, try, or prove us (James 1:2; 1 Pet 1:6-7). Therefore we must assume that the command to sacrifice Isaac was not evil. God knew what He would do in the end. He had no intention to permit the murder of Isaac.
 
The reason God prohibited the Israelites from following the example of the Gentiles who offered their own children as sacrifices to their gods (Deut.12:31) was that such monstrous deeds were in contradiction to the character of the true God. Abraham’s faith was being tried. This was the entire purpose of the episode.
 
Moriah was in the general area that included the hills on which Solomon later built his temple in Jerusalem (2 Chr. 3:1) The journey was about 50 miles. God will provide is a phrase that would be immortalized in the name of the place in verse 14.
 
Now I know that thou fearest God indicates that God was certain that Abraham feared (reverenced) Him more than anyone else, since he was willing to offer Him his son. So God provided a ram as a substitute for Isaac. (cf. John 1:19)’  
 
Ah my brethren, our great God does move in mysterious ways, but He’s never reneged, or will He ever renege on any of His promises! That’s the point that we’re trying to make.
 
He promised Noah a rainbow as a token of His covenant, and even to this day, thousands of years later, the beautiful rainbow of God’s promise still graces our skies every so often.
 
Likewise Abraham, though he experienced a lot of negatives on his journey of faith in and for God, today, most of the world, Jews, Christians and Muslims are all considered descendants of Abraham through Isaac, Jesus and Ishmael respectively. 
 
Wow! The Lord indeed kept His awesome promise, making him a father of many nations, and his heritage known around the world. That just goes to show my people that we can faithfully trust the God of Noah and Abraham to keep His promises to all and sundry, without any exceptions.
 
So Friends, if the Lord is talking to you today, please listen closely, then do as he asks. You’ll cause yourself less problems in the long run, for if He really wants you, He’ll eventually get you, the hard way. I can tell you that from personal experience.
 
So whenever he comes a-calling, just say, ‘Yes Lord! How high Lord?’ And then jump to it. That’s wisdom at its zenith. Much LOVE!
 
…as per Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley)…the wisest move we can ever make…is simply to obey God…and leave all the consequences to Him… 
 
P.S. Yes Friends, I know it’s a tad long, but I just wanted to finish the messages on Abraham’s promise today. So please bear with the ole fella, since it’s all for your enlightenment and edification. (smile) Much LOVE!
 
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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