In this section, we see how God’s purposes play out at a high level, while man’s purposes, including Abraham’s, play out on an imperfect human level.
God uses Abraham’s imperfections for his purposes and God illustrates what unity with him really means. There are a total of 31 shades of unity with God in these chapters – this section is a textbook all by itself.
Unity with God, if we were to learn how to achieve it, means:
- God appears, but not always in a form we would expect (angels unaware)
- Passionate, humble intercession and prayer for believers in horrible surroundings
- An escape path from our sins
- God may remove us forcibly from risk if we ignore or disobey his prompting
- Judgment may be delayed until a weak but dearly loved soul is rescued
- God remembers us every moment of every day
- God may act through an unbeliever to protect one of his own
- Learn to laugh with the assurance of God’s power, not at his impossibilities
- Pour out our hurts while waiting for God to show the way
- Worship God on the spot when he resolves a problem
- God will test our loyalty, to make us stronger
- Some sacrifices are so big and important that only God can understand why
- Proceed cautiously, waiting frequently to see if God has a warning for the next step
- A sudden turn of events against us may have been necessary for God’s greater purpose
- Pay attention and obey his commands.
So, we strive to be like Abraham, who God blessed because he obeyed, kept God’s charge, his commandments, statutes and laws (Genesis 26:5).
But Abraham also had his moments of lack of faith, human indiscretions that led his family to follow the cycle of temptation, disobedience, and division. This is the pattern we are studying for clues to whether the church is on the verge of judgment similar to ancient Israel.
The cycle is as contagious as Ebola, just in this section!
Read about it in the failures of Lot, both his daughters, Isaac, Ishmael, Jacob, Rebekah, and Esau.
But be encouraged. God tested Abraham severely, perhaps as a result of all this human failure, asking him to sacrifice his grown son. Both Abraham and Isaac accepted God’s verdict so faithfully that God called out to stop, and God’s never-ending love poured out. In the end, Abraham was with the God of the living in heaven, honored by Jesus.
What is God asking us to sacrifice today to save the church, or America, from judgment?
Next time: Jacob and Esau to Joseph – Genesis 23 to 36 Read ahead!