Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Genesis 25-26 The LORD's kindness and faithfulness

From Genesis 25-26

Gen 25.1-11; Story; Abraham dies and is buried
Gen 25.12-18; Story; The Generations of Ishmael (Abraham's son from Hagar)
Gen 25.19-28; Story; The Birth of Jacob and Esau
Gen 25.29-34; Story; Esau sells his birthright
Gen 26.1-5; Story; God renews his promises to Abraham's offspring
Gen 26.6-11; Story; Isaac pretends Rebekah is his sister
Gen 26.12-22; Story; Isaac prospers under the Lords care
Gen 26.23-25; Story; Isaac calls upon the name of the LORD
Gen 26.26-33; Story; Abimelech makes a covenant of peace with Isaac
Gen 26.34-35; Story; Esau takes a foreign wife

Passage and comments
Isaac is alone with his wife and children. His father and mother have passed away. But God is keen to continue in relationship with Abraham and his offspring.
[2] And the LORD appeared to him [Isaac] and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; dwell in the land of which I shall tell you. [3] Sojourn in this land, and I will be with you and will bless you, for to you and to your offspring I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath that I swore to Abraham your father. [4] I will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and will give to your offspring all these lands. And in your offspring all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, [5] because Abraham obeyed my voice and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.” (Gen 26:2-5)
We can quite often overlook the gracious ways the Lord speaks about his people. The text says;
1 Abraham obeyed the LORD’s voice
2 Abraham kept the LORD’s charge
3 Abraham kept the LORD's commandments
4 Abraham kept the LORD's statutes
5 Abraham kept the LORD's laws

The LORD is kind to speak of Abraham this way. How do you speak of others? Are you kind like the LORD? Or overly critical and judgmental? Something I need to consider as well.
Another phrase that stood out to me was within this passage;
[23] From there he went up to Beersheba. [24] And the LORD appeared to him the same night and said, “I am the God of Abraham your father. Fear not, for I am with you and will bless you and multiply your offspring for my servant Abraham's sake.” [25] So he built an altar there and called upon the name of the LORD and pitched his tent there. And there Isaac's servants dug a well. (Genesis 26:23-25)
The LORD said to him, 'Fear not, for I am with you'. Encouraging words from a faithful and kind God.

Story of Jesus
Only Jesus was perfectly without sin. So while the passage I have quoted praises Abraham ongoing practice of obedience, it not not necessarily mean he was sinlessly perfect. I would like to point to Jesus who is the primary example of obedience and faithfulness. But not only as an example, but the instrument through which people find forgiveness of sins, new life and the power to live as Abraham did. Today and life in the age to come.