Friday, July 12 2024

Reading Plans
Bible Order: Numbers 30–31
Chronological Order: Leviticus 24–25
Old Testament Only: Leviticus 25
New Testament Only: Mark 3:22–4:9

Daily Verse: Genesis 13:15  Genesis 13. 15

Bible Study

A Long Incredible Journey

Passage: Genesis 12:7

Continuing with chapter 12 of Genesis we discover some important facts about Abram. First we discover that Abram is 75 years old when he left Haran for Canaan. I’m afraid that modern American culture worships the cult of youth. We glorify the young and inexperienced. They are the idols we hold up for worship. There is even a long running show entitled “American Idol” which allows only singers under the age of 30. Athletes, models, movie stars, pop singers, even country singers today are all overwhelmingly young. Those of us who are older may have nostalgia for older entertainers but they are not the most sought-after, high earning individuals or groups. We even worship youth in politics. The media gets almost giddy when we have a first term president under 50 (i.e. John F. Kennedy & Barack Obama).

Running for re-election in 1984 against Walter Mondale, President Ronald Reagan was asked during a debate if at the age of 73 he wasn’t too old to be president. It was no surprise that question was asked by the moderator; the Mondale campaign had been trying to make the presidents age an issue for some time. The president’s response was one of the most memorable debate moments in American politics. Ronald Reagan said “I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I’m not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience.” Brilliant! Perfect! Even Mondale laughed.

Still, what is wrong with us? Perhaps what ails America is the fact that we put so many young, inexperienced people in positions that require perspective that only age and experience can provide. Today many people in their 70’s have been brainwashed to think that it’s all over, that their just taking up space until they stumble into the grave. No my friend, our elders have much to offer our society if only we had the wisdom and maturity necessary to see our need. Abram’s incredible adventure with God didn’t really get going until he was 75 years of age. He isn’t the first or the last character in the Bible to begin an epic journey in their seniority.

Chapter 12 is also the first place where we hear God say specifically to Abram that He is giving the land of Canaan to his descendants.

Genesis 12:7 ESV

“Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him.”

God will reiterate and elaborate on this promise to Abram several more times in Genesis but here is the first time we read of the promise. When God makes a promise don’t doubt it. God didn’t say “if you do x, y, and z I will give this land to your offspring”. He didn’t say “because you obeyed me I will give this land to your offspring”. Abram had nothing to do with God’s promise; he didn’t earn it, he didn’t deserve it; it simply suited God’s purpose to do so. God can, and does, use the most messed up, imperfect people to accomplish His will and His plan. Considering what He has to work with I guess that kind of goes without saying. The encouraging thing is that God’s promises depend upon Him not you. You and I both know that when all is said and done, any promises that stand upon your commitment and ability are dubious at best, while any promises that stand upon God’s commitment and ability are absolutely secure.

Finally, chapter 12 shows us that Abram was not a fine example of righteousness – at least he didn’t start out that way. Fearful for his own wellbeing, Abram told his wife Sarai to lie and say that she was his sister. He endangered his wife, he lied for personal gain, and he didn’t trust God to deliver on his promise. This is an epic failure; one he will repeat before too long. The heroes of the Bible are shown to us warts and all. None are perfect; all fail in righteousness at one point or another. Again, this is encouraging. God knows you aren’t perfect. God knows you are going to fail from time to time. He can still use you. He will still bless you if you will return to Him. When you submit your life to Christ you are born again as a new person, but like any newborn you must grow into your full maturity. Like a physical child, growing up takes a lot of time and there are a lot of bumps along the way. The important thing is that your Heavenly Father will see you through to the end.

Brother, like Abram, God has called you from your place of meaningless waiting to join Him on an incredible journey of blessing that will grow you into a spiritually mature man. It is a long journey with lots of bumps along the way, but if He can use and bless Abram, He can bless and use you too.

Have a blessed day!

Your brother and servant in Christ,

Bill

Dying to self, living to serve!

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