I took a plane ride this past week which gave me time to just sit and read. In the course of reading the scriptures listed in my daily devotion, I just kept reading and it opened my eyes to some new theories. The total passage of what I read was Genesis 14-17. Let me summarize the chapters before we begin this blog:
Genesis 14 – In this chapter, numerous kings are fighting and in the process Sodom and Gomorrah is overrun. When this happens, Lot (Abram’s nephew) is captured. When Abram hears of this he takes 318 servants and goes after him. He ends up rescuing Lot. Melchizedek king of Salem brings him bread and wine (which Abram gives back 10% of). The king of Sodom comes to Abram and says “give me the people and you take the goods”. But Abram refuses the “reward” replying with “with raised hand I have sworn an oath to the Lord, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, that I will accept nothing belonging to you, not even a thread or a strap of a sandal, so that you will never be able to say, ‘I made Abram rich.’ I will accept nothing but what my men have eaten and the share that belongs to the who went with me…”
Genesis 15 – In this chapter, the Lord makes an agreement with Abram. The Lord says to him, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward”. Abram is promised a child from the Lord, a true son of his own blood as his heir. The Lord also promises beyond the very thing Abram brings up and promises to give him “offspring” greater than the count of the stars.
Genesis 16 – Everyone is pretty familiar with this story. Abram and Sarai couldn’t conceive (and even though the Lord had already told Abram he would have a true heir) Sarai gave Hagar, their servant, to Abram as a wife. She become pregnant and then Sarai regretted her decision. Hagar ends up running away and is met by an angel of the Lord – with a message that isn’t very happy. Abram was 86 when Ishmael was born.
Genesis 17 – This chapter opens up stating Abram is 99 years old and the Lord is confirming the covenant He made with Abram. God gives Abram and Sarai name changes to Abraham and Sarah. He talks in great length about his covenant with Abraham and gives details on what Abraham is to do from this point forward. He also confirms his promise to give him a true heir and Abraham laughs. God explains he is to name his son Isaac, and discusses the blessings of each child. The chapter concludes with every male, whether by blood or bought, getting circumcised.
I thought I was going to be able to get everything down in one blog, but clearly, even writing this, the Holy Spirit just keeps showing me things. So this is going to be a 5 part blog. I’m sorry – I know I hate things like this too – but there’s just too much to write down and take in for one blog. I do hope the things the Holy Spirit has shown me will somehow bless you. It’s amazing to me how I can be reminded everyday of just how little faith I have sometimes. When you read these stories, it’s easy to push them off as literally, just stories. But I challenge you to go through and read chapters 14-17 of Genesis so they are fresh on your mind. As you read, put yourself in Abram/Abraham’s shoes and really think about what you would do in those situations. How would you react? Would you make the same decisions? I think what you will realize will make you really stop and think about where you are in your walk of faith. This blog is called “Facing Faith” for a reason. It’s not easy. It’s scary. It’s not the picture perfect, easy to walk path some christians make it out to be. So let’s get dirty and talk about the real stuff. Be on the look out for part 2. I’m not rushing this process so it might be a little bit in between. Thank you for always reading what the Lord tells me to write. I feel like an idiot sometimes – but I do it anyways. That’s me, facing faith.