Thursday, January 17, 2013

January 17 – Genesis 16-18

Today’s reading comes from Genesis 16-18. Before reading I invite you to pray and asked God to speak to you as you read his word.

God has made a promise with Abram that he is going to bless all people on earth through him. Abram’s wife Sarai looks at Abram’s age and her age and realizes that they are both past child bearing years, especially herself, and they have no kids. How is this promise supposed to play out? So they take matters into their own hands and Sarai gives Abram her maidservant Hagar and a child is born.

What I love about this story is the imperfect people God used. We read a list like Hebrews 11 … the great faith chapter of the Bible … and we see a list of people’s triumphs, and we get this idea of how great and “perfect” they were. When we go back and read their actual stories as it played out year by year we see they were flawed people. What I love is God used people just like you and me, people who had flaws.

So what have you done in your life that says you are not good enough … Did you sleep with your wife’s maidservant and get her pregnant? Probably not, but Abram did, and he still became the father of the Israelites … Jesus still comes from his family tree. Did you doubt the voice you heard from God and laugh like Sarah did? She still became the mother of Isaac in her old age. No matter the wrongs you have committed, no matter the pains you bear, God can still use you in a powerful way. His story is full of imperfect people being used by him. Remember, if you belong to Christ, if you have been buried with him in his death and been resurrected with him through baptism, your sins have been forgiven, you are a new creation in Christ, and he has big plans for you.

I think this is best illustrated with the way our reading today concludes. Abraham is talking with God himself represented in the Angel of the Lord. The discussion is about the pending destruction to Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham is brave before God and request that life be spared for various levels of righteousness. We see that God has compassion, love, mercy, and grace for the people. It shows that his ultimate desire is to see people’s lives saved not destroyed. His desire is for you, that is why he sent his son to die so that mankind could find salvation. Sure he hates evil, but he has paid the price to wipe out evil. He is loving, gracious, and kind. Allow that to work in your life! There is power in grace!

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