Genesis 11: 1– 13: 4 Matthew 5: 1-26 Psalm 5: 1-12 Proverbs 1: 24-27
2 “ I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
Today’s readings include the tower of Babel, Abram’s leaving his home and going, well only God knows where and the beatitudes. Interesting stories, but I am struck by the faith of Abram. He is living well and he hears God tell him to, “GO”. He isn’t really sure where or how, but he goes. He makes some mistakes along the way, but still, God blesses him. Why?
I have always had my doubts about the part of the story where Abram lies and effectively gives his wife, Sarai, to the Pharoah in order to save himself. The part where he tells Sarai to tell Pharoah she is his sister. This doesn’t bode well for Abram. He comes off looking like a narcissistic fellow.
But God uses him, after all, Abram did listen to God at the start of his journey. But as I read the account in Genesis, I don’t hear him asking God for guidance when he reaches Egypt and decides to take matters into his own hands. He is banished from a pretty good thing once the Pharoah discovers the truth.
Years ago I ventured out into faith and entered into ministry work full time. I really did pray and seek God and after much counsel, I decided I would take a “leap of faith” and become a full-time ministry worker. I didn’t know what I was doing so I had to rely on God and those he put around me. Things went well, so well that I became a sought after commodity.
I decided to see what I was worth on the open market, so to speak. I put out a resume on a Chrisitan youth worker sight and was pleasantly surprised when I received several phone calls from prospective employers, also known as churches. Melissa and I settled on a church in Nebraska: it was big and bold and they courted me. They wanted me and offered me a lot more money and a position I couldn’t turn down. The problem was I didn’t seek God or ask the questions I should have asked when we visited them. Had I done these things I would have spared me and my family a lot of heartaches.
After less than a year the backbiting, arguing and many disagreements over Scripture, I decided to leave. When I discussed my departure tears flowed and promises were made to “take care of me and my family”, none of this happened which led to a great deal of anger and bitterness. Why God? That was a constant question on my mind, but as I look back, I never consulted God in a truly authentic way.
However, God used it for good and shaped me and molded me in a way I could have never experienced without my time in Nebraska. But if I had sought God perhaps my path would have been different and I could have been more effective in my ministry. My takeaway from Abram’s story and mine is to seek God the entire journey, not just at the beginning, saves a lot of misery.
That’s what I think, until next time, peace.
Tyndale. The One Year Bible NIV (OYB: Full Size) (Kindle Locations 943-949). Tyndale House Publishers. Kindle Edition.