Abraham came to mourn and weep for his wife – his dead.
Her life and marriage were far from easy and far from perfect.
Yet God remembered her faith…
Faith in God’s promises, even though she died without receiving them, she saw them in the distance.
She was persuaded that God would fulfill all He promised.
She welcomed those promises with great pleasure.
She repeated those promises to herself and God, knowing that her life was temporary on this earth but eternal in God’s city.
Her faith declared plainly that she was intensely seeking the Father’s-Land.
She stretched out for a better, that is, heavenly land.
This is the kind of faith that does not shame God.
God is not ashamed to be called Sarah’s God.
In Jesus, not only is He unashamed of us, He is making ready a city for us to dwell with Him.
(Isa 51:2; Deut 18:4; Lev 23:10; 1 Cor 15:20, 23; Jam 1:18; Rev 14:4; Rom 8:23, 11:16; 2 Cor 1:22, 5:5; Eph 1:14; Heb 2:11, 12:22, 13:14; John 14:2; Rev 21; Isa 41:8; Ps 105:42)
(2 Sam 7:11-16; Ps 89; Dan 9; Gen 12:3; Rom 5:14; 1 Cor 15:22, 45; Gen 38; Josh 2, 6; Heb 11:31; Jam 2:23; Ruth; Deut 23:3; 2 Sam 11:1-12:25; 1 Kgs 1-2; Gen 21:12, 25:23, 28:13, 49:10-11; Isa 7:14; Mic 5:2; Hos 11:1; Jer 31:15; Isa 53:2-3; Ps 78:49)
Genesis 22 is the climax in the account of Abraham’s life and faith.
God tested Abraham.
The test revealed Abraham’s faith - his unhindered love for, and obedience to, God.
God’s response to Abraham was, “Now I know that you fear God.”
Through examining Abraham’s relationship with God, now I know what “the just shall live by faith” means.
Now I know that God will test me - repeatedly.
Now I know that God has a plan - His will is to bless; He speaks so that I will trust; He acts to fulfill what He speaks.
Now I know that God is with me - in every place, in every circumstance, I am not alone.
Now I know that the Word of God is all about the Word of Life - Jesus.
Now I know that God will provide - in His way, in His time.
Now I know that I fear God.
God is with you.
Before you knew it, He was there. On that mountaintop, He was there. In that pit, He was there. In the normal hum of life, His is there. Whatever will happen in the future, He will be there. He is the Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come! Always present.
God was with always Abraham – and Sarah, and Isaac, and Hagar, and Ishmael.
God is with you – always.
“Our Father, we know that You are present with us, but our knowledge is but a figure and shadow of truth and has little of the spiritual savor and inward sweetness such knowledge should afford. This is for us a great loss and the cause of much weakness of heart. Help us to make at once such amendment of life as is necessary before we can experience the true meaning of the words ‘In Your presence is fulness of joy.’ Amen.” – A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy, 74
The incident in Genesis 20 reminds us, once again, that no believer in God is perfect in their thoughts and behaviors. Sometimes integrity is missing in the midst of faith.
We are also reminded that not everyone who does not believe in God is as depraved and wicked as those in Sodom. Sometimes integrity is found in the midst of unbelief.
But God remains incorruptible, sound, complete, unimpaired, undivided - the definition of integrity.
What He has said, what He has spoken, will be performed at His set time - always.
(Ps 25:21, 26:1, 41:12; Pr 2:7, 10:9, 29, 11:3, 13:6, 20:7; Rom 11:29; Ac t 27:25)
Everyone and everything you know is going to be destroyed.
Escape for your life!
That is a the warning the Bible consistently proclaims from Genesis to Revelation.
Everyone and everything is subject to the repercussions of rebellion against the God who made it all.
In His grace and mercy, He consistently warns those He created in His image: I have provided the way of escape from the punishment that is coming. Escape to My Son, Jesus. Believe in Him. Believe that He came from Me. Believe that He died for all sin. Believe that His death removes you from My wrath towards all sin. Believe that death has no power over Him. Believe that He rose from the grave and has returned to Me. Believe that He is coming again. Believe that when He comes, He will receive all those who believe in Him into Our eternal presence. Believe that when He comes, He will banish all those who do not believe in Him into the eternal lake of fire and brimstone.
We have been warned. We have been shown the way of life and of death.
Escape for your life!
Flee to Jesus.
(Jude 7; 2 Pet 2:6-8; Rev 14:10, 20:10, 21:8; Mat t 10:15, 11:23; 1 John 2:15-17; Luke 17:28-32; Ps 11:6, 75:8; Deut 23:3-6; Ruth 1:4, 4:18-22; Mat t 1:5-6)
God is the Judge.
As Judge, He sees perfectly.
As Judge, He is always righteous and just.
As Judge, He distinguishes between the righteous and the wicked.
As Judge, He delivers the righteous and He destroys the wicked.
In Genesis, we have seen God as Judge with Adam, Eve, the serpent, Cain, the people of Noah’s age, the people of Babel’s age, and now, with Lot and the people of Sodom.
As Judge, He declares that the people of Sodom are exceedingly wicked and sinful against Him – that their sin is very grave. Here, we are exposed to their violent homosexual desires. Ezekiel 16 reveals not only their abominations, but their pride, fullness, idleness, and injustice. God destroys Sodom.
As Judge, He declares Lot as righteous. God delivers Lot.
However, the people of Sodom left many marks upon Lot and his family.
(Eze 16:49-50; Jer 23:14; Isa 5:7; Ex 3:7, 22:21-23; Ps 146:8-9; Deut 16:18; Lev 18:22-24, 20:13, 23; Rom 1:26-27; 2 Pet 2:6-8; Jude 7)
Jesus of Nazareth declared, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”
Those who believe in Jesus are said to be, “of the Way.” Essentially, we are of Him – we are one with Him, we are in relationship with Him.
The Way is proclaimed to be the way of the LORD, the way of righteousness, the way of peace, the way of salvation, the way of escape, the way of truth, the way into the Holiest of All.
The LORD singled Abraham out to keep, and instruct his descendants to keep, the way of the LORD.
The way of the LORD demands loyalty, trust, obedience, and to look to the LORD’s provision in Jesus, the Way.
(John 14:4-6; Acts 9:2; Matt 3:3, 7:13-14, 10:5, 21:32; Luke 1:79; 1 Cor 10:13; Heb 9:8; 2 Pet 2:2; Rom 4:11; Gen 12:7, 15:6, 18:19, 22:14; Job 31; Ps 33:5)
“Allegiance to God means to condition the entire range of human experience by the awareness of His presence and in response to His demands.”
From the beginning God has been revealing Himself to those whom He created in His image.
As He has revealed Himself He has given promises, confirmations, and demands.
If He is our God, we are to live our lives in the knowledge of His presence and in His perfection through faith in Jesus Christ.
As for Him, He can and will do all that He has promised.
As for us, we can and will – only in Jesus – do all that He has demanded.
Who He is causes us to humbly fall before Him in awe and submission.
What He demands causes us to respond without hesitation.
Today is the day.
(Ex 6:3; Isa 62:2; Rev 2:19, 3:12; Rom 2:28-29; Gal 6:12-13; Eph 2:11; Phil 3:3; Col 2:11; Lev 26:41; Deut 10:16; Ex 6:12, 30; Jer 6:10; Acts 7:51; Lev 20:1-6)
What name would you attribute to God?
How you answer depends on what you see.
Sarai saw her barrenness. She saw no children. She saw a slave girl she could use to get what she wanted. She saw God as One-Who-Holds-Back.
Abram heard the voice of God. He chose to obey the voice of his wife. He saw God as One-Who-Needs-Help.
Hagar saw those who owned her. She saw an opportunity to be elevated. She saw humiliation.
Hagar also saw the Angel of the LORD who found her, called her by name, directed her, and gave her a promise.
As an “expression of her personal discovery at God’s self-manifestation” she gave God a name: You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees.
What you see can cause you to attribute false names to God – “assuming God is other that He is.”
“In Christ and by Christ, God effects complete self-disclosure” – “by revelation [He has] declared certain things to be true of Himself.”
See the Truth.
(Heb 6:12, 10:35-36; Gen 11:30, 13:14-17, 15:2, 3:17; Ex 15:22; Gen 29:32; Ex 4:31, 3:7; D t 26:7; Gen 24:62, 25:11)
Our response to this word should be to cast it away from ourselves and to take courage in the Lord.
He is our Protector.
He is our Reward.
We are to look to Him in stable, confident faith – believing that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
This faith is in Jesus Christ and in the promises that He has obligated Himself to perform.
This faith is the righteousness of God which is given to us by grace.
(Ps 3; 2 Cor 8:9; Heb 11:6; Rom 4; Jam 3:14-26; Neh 9:7-8; Num 25:6-13; Ps 106:30-31; Jer 34:17-20; Deut 9:4-6; Lev 18:24, 20:23; Ex 13:21-22, 19:18; Isa 4:5; Ac ts 7:6; Ex 6:14-27, 12:40; Gal 3:15-17; Gen 12:4, 21:12, 47:9)
You may have heard of the term give-and-take regarding balance in relationships. This is not the case with God Most High.
In this chapter we see a lot of taking by force and demands to give.
We also see clear pictures of what God has given – Himself.
There are some things we must give up so that we may take hold of the things God has offered.
(Deut 2:8-21; Eph 1:7; Ps 110; Heb 7; Luke 22:14-23; 1 Cor 11:23-34; Ps 78:35; Deut 14:22-29; Num18:21-32; 2 Cor 9; Isa 62:8; Dan 12:7; Rev 10:5-6)
By faith Abraham obeyed.
His attitudes and actions may not always have been perfect, but his faith was continually in process as he journeyed through life with the LORD.
In these chapters we follow him from one tree to another. Moreh means “teaching.” Mamre means “strength.”
God was always with him. He repeatedly called upon the name of the LORD and built multiple altars to the LORD along the way.
The LORD blessed Abraham greatly, but that did not mean that his life was free from issues. The surrounding culture was often terrible. The necessities of life were sometimes lacking. Decisions had unknown consequences. Family relationships were occasionally tempestuous.
Such is a life of faith.
Abraham’s faith teaches us many things about our Lord and ourselves. As we apply the lessons learned we will be led to strength in the Lord.
(Heb 11:8; Deut 16:18; Gen 20:13)
The LORD turned His attention to an individual for the benefit of all.
Abraham was a man who served other gods. He was a man who, with his wife Sarah, sat in barrenness – not only that of being childless, but that of a spiritual wilderness. He was a man to whom the LORD revealed Himself and called unto Himself – out of barrenness into blessedness by faith.
To each of us the LORD declares, “Get out!” In the gospels Jesus communicates the same thing when He says, “Repent!” At the same time, He declares the “to” – the goal, the finish, the end.
Faith is in the middle. It’s our “–” and our “…”. This is Jesus’ command to, “Follow Me.” The “to” is, “I will make you,” “I will show you,” and “I will bless you.”
The gospel was preached by God to Abraham: “In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
Those who are of faith in Jesus are blessed with believing Abraham.
( Jos 24:2; Ac ts 7:2-4; Heb 11:8-10, 13-16; Isa 41:8, 51:2; Ps 105:42; 2 Chr 20:7; Gal 3:8-9; (Abraham) John 8:33-59; Rom 4:1-16, 9:7; Gal 3:6-29; Heb 2:16, 6:13, 7:1-9)