Assigned Reading: Genesis 22-24; Psalms 46-47
Chapter 46: Where do we find our refuge – our strength? In Job 12, we are reminded of this essential truth –
To God belongs wisdom and power; counsel and understanding are His… To Him belong strength and insight; both deceived and deceiver are His (Job 12:13, 16).
The psalmist knew where he could find some really good strength. The kind that keeps one going and seeking God – no matter how many trials came their way. I want this kind of faith, where it doesn’t matter what happens – because they chose to trust the Lord Almighty and did not waver from faith to utter fear of what may come. The Lord, our God, is great, and we can know Him – experience Him – on an incredibly intimate level. Our strength and refuge comes solely through trusting in the Lord God Almighty and coming to know His Son Jesus Christ!
Chapter 47: As we approach our new president’s inauguration, we are reminded that earthly kings and presidents are no match for God. The God we serve reminds us that every single one of us belong to Him, and His power is more important than anything else. God is over all. God is soo worthy of all our praise and devotion. God raises up leaders, and tears them down. When nations disassemble, God is still the reigning champion of the world. Jesus Christ is our King!
He chose our inheritance for us, the pride of Jacob, whom he loved… Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises (Psalms 47:4, 6).
Abraham was tested, to see where his allegiance was: Did Abraham have a bigger love for his son Isaac or God? This would be a difficult thing, for any of us, but especially so for Abraham – knowing how many years they (Abraham and Sarah) waited to have a child of their own. This was quite possibly the most difficult worship session and act of obedience that Abraham would have faced in his lifetime.
Abraham’s faith was abounding, and grew even with this act of giving his son, Isaac, to God. Abraham showed he withheld nothing in his life from God – our heavenly Father.
In our own lives, what are we withholding from our relationship with God through Jesus Christ?
Our faith is determined by what we are willing to give God. When His strong, yet small with our heavy list of earthly distractions, voice calls us to give Him something, we learn much by our willingness to surrender to God. Perhaps, the Holy Spirit is prompting us to visit our neighbor or to go on a mission trip. We learn a lot about our faith in Jesus Christ, in these moments.
As I listen to these chapters, we learn about a man of integrity. While he slipped and fell in his decisions, he did not take advantage of others. He willfully paid the asking price for a place to bury his beloved wife – Sarah. Westley’s notes show us the heart of both men in chapter 23.
The land is worth four hundred shekels of silver — About fifty pounds of our money, but what is that between me and thee? – He would rather oblige his friend than have so much money. – John Wesley (on verse 15)
Abraham’s integrity passed down to how he chose a wife for Isaac. Here is where we find the concept of courting. Abraham’s servant became his hands and feet, to find a suitable wife for Isaac. This would a woman who would have had a similar background as Isaac – in terms of their faith in the One True God.
Abraham, his father, initiated the search of finding a wife for his son. It wasn’t that Isaac would have been unwise in his decision. Rather than being a trait of tradition, such a courtship reflected Abraham’s deep love for his son – Isaac
This courtship is even a picture of how God leads us to His Son Jesus Christ out of His abundance of love for us!
At the time, Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah and he loved her deeply. Abraham’s legacy would impact Isaac and the way he lived.
Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah daughter of Bethuel the Aramean from Paddan Aram and sister of Laban the Aramean (Genesis 25:20).
What a joyous moment this must have been. Isaac was alone for forty years, and now has met his wife. The one he would live with and do life with, as they worshiped God.
Isaac brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah, and he married Rebekah. So she became his wife, and he loved her; and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death (Genesis 24:67).