Monday, October 27, 2008

Genesis 22:15-19 Abraham's amazing investment!

Genesis 22:15-19: Then the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven, and said, “By Myself I have sworn,” declares the Lord, “because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son, indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your descendants as the stars of the heavens, and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. And in your descendants all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” So Abraham returned to his young men, and they arose and went together to Beersheba; and Abraham lived at Beersheba.

After God tested Abraham and he was found worthy, the angel of the Lord calls him a second time and tells him “because (he) has not withheld his only son from God, He will greatly bless (him).” And furthermore, He repeats the blessing He had shared in Genesis 15 that his descendants would greatly multiply like the stars in the heavens. This time one other comparison -- that of his descendants being as many as the grains of sand on the seashore, is added. Clearly God wanted Abraham to know that he will be blessed in his legacy. And why? Because he was willing to offer to God the one son that he had, God will honor him with millions of descendants. What an investment that was!

And then the angel of the Lord makes a most interesting comment. He tells Abraham his descendants “will possess the gate of their enemies”. Try saying that to someone you know today and see what kind of reaction you will get. What does that mean? I believe it means that Abraham’s descendants will achieve both physical and spiritual victories. They will be able to defeat their political enemies as well as their spiritual ‘enemy’. And because that will be the case, through Abraham’s offspring, all the nations of the earth will be blessed. And just think, this all started because one man of faith obeyed God’s voice. As I consider the various places that God has placed you and me in this world, at this time, I just think of what could be accomplished for the good of the world and for the Kingdom of God if those of us in positions of responsibility were to totally and unconditionally obey God’s voice. How different things would be.

As I think about the missionary organization of which God has entrusted me with its leadership, I realize how important it is for me to hear God’s voice and then to obey it. That is my prayer for my ministry and I hope it is your prayer for your life and ministry as well.

Rejoicing in not having to sacrifice his son and in hearing more details of his blessing to come, Abraham goes down from the mountain with Isaac, meets his young servants waiting for them, and all return to Beersheba where Abraham continues to live. Life can now go on with the knowledge that God is indeed for, and with, Abraham and his legacy is secure. God tested him and Abraham passed. May we all do as well and live with the same knowledge that Abraham carried in his heart and mind as he returned home.

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