January 7, 2016
Dear FCC Family
Today is day 7 of our most excellent adventure through the Bible. Our text is Genesis 22-24.
In which God asks no less than He asks of Himself…
In Genesis 22 God asks Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. God is testing Abraham. It’s an odd thing that in modern day America we think God is somehow out of line for testing us. We’re all about Him giving us blessings, but God taking? Not so much.
I was listening to a panel discussion with Pastor John Piper about worship and he referenced a song with the lyrics “He gives and takes away, He gives and takes away”. Piper said he thought it was good for people to sing, even if they didn’t really believe it, because at least they were being introduced to the concept. He said that what most people really believe, and sadly what most Churches are teaching is “He gives and never takes away. He gives and never takes away.”
Yet we are reminded of Job’s wise words through tears, “The Lord giveth, and the taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord.” ~ Job 1.21
As Abraham and Isaac go to the place of sacrifice Isaac asks “Where is the lamb?”
Abraham answers “God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” (Genesis 22.8 NASB).
Indeed He has, in His own Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, whom John The Baptist called “The Lamb Of God Who Takes Away The Sins Of The World”
Remember when John the Baptist saw Jesus and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the World!” (John 1.29)? This text is sort of why, along with thousands of years of the Levitical sacrificial system, that the whole Lamb Of God thing makes sense.
ANYWHO, God stops Abraham in the nick of time. He was just checking to see if Abraham would.
Hebrews 11 says of Abraham in this moment: 17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, 18 of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” 19 He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.
Yes, God’s people have always been Resurrection people.
Sarah dies at 127.
Abraham weeps for her, for which I am glad, because that is how it should be. As we read the Bible we are often tempted to call these people “characters” as if this were merely a story. Abraham was a real man, who loved a real woman.
Doesn’t it touch your heart? In verses 2-3 Genesis says Abraham mourned and wept and rose from “his dead”. He loved her, after all.
Abraham buys a field with a cave on it, and buries Sarah inside.
Abraham is old. But not too old to play matchmaker!
Abraham sends his most trusted servant back to his homeland on a wife hunt for Isaac. No pressure.
The good ‘ol days of arranged marriages.
Abraham does not want Isaac to marry a Canaanite, nor an Egyptian, as his other son, Ishmael had done.
So it was that the old servant traveled far away with his camels and as he traveled he devised the ultimate wifey test: Whoever gave him and his camels a drink of water would do just fine.
Thankfully, the Lord in His sovereignty decided to bless this test, for God sends Rebekah, and she is one fine virgin (Genesis 24.16) from Abraham’s family… which is what Abraham wanted.
Nobody asked Isaac. What did he know about anything anyhow?
Verse 21 shows us that “Creepers” have long been among us.
“Meanwhile, the man was gazing at her in silence…” (Genesis 24.21 NASB)
v. 47 NOSE RING!
v. 58 They actually do consult Rebekah on the whole affair… which means the Bible is not quite the caveman book its detractors would have you believe.
Rebekah goes back to the promised land and marries Isaac.
So, ladies, if a guy with a gold nose ring asks you for a drink of water… who knows where it may lead?
Thanks for reading with me!
After Darkness Light,
~ Pastor Evan