Saturday, July 22, 2017

Genesis 26

In time of famine, the Lord was with Isaac. It tells that if God is engaged with us, and we are where He would have us to be, nothing can prevent us to receive His blessings and comfort. The obedience of his father Abraham to God's divine command was the evidence of that relationship (v5). Same thing with all Christians, Jesus is the object of our relationship with God, for without Christ's perfect sacrifice at the cross, our works are unacceptable to God. "She is my sister," Isaac said to Abimelech. Is it not history repeat itself? But with the help of God, we can be redeemed from the curse of the past in Christ Jesus. And as a result of redemption, God prospered Isaac's labor, and continued prospering him, until he became very prosperous (13). This is the evidence that God's covenant with Abraham that had been renewed and confirmed to the next generation. Blessed to be a blessing! It is true that there are hindrances and struggles along the way, like what happened to Isaac's servant concerning the wells, but in God's sovereign will, still He is faithful and gracious, and His time to show Himself so is, when were are most disappointed by men. God bless.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Genesis 25

Abraham married another woman, Keturah, and bore his children. He lived 175 years, one hundred years after he first came to Canaan. Abraham is dead but his faithfulness to God continued as triumph of faith. The Bible didn't neglect to mention the 12 sons of Ishmael, as it had been prophesied by the Lord (17:20). Isaac was 40 when he took Rebecca as wife, and was 60 when Esau and Jacob were born. Though spent many days of waiting, the fulfillment of God's promise is always sure. When she was pregnant, she asked the Lord about the strange feeling inside her. God told her that twin shall be born, and the older shall serve the younger. As the boys grew up, one was father's pet, and one was mother's darling. And at the time of testing, Esau failed the test by selling his birthright to his younger brother. He ate, drank, and satisfied his appetite, but carelessly rose up and went his way, without any serious thought on the bargain Jacob made for giving up his birthright. Birthright is grace of God, and when we neglect the grace that God gave us, we are despising Him as bestower of all that we have. God bless.


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Genesis 24

This chapter told the story of the marriage of Isaac and Rebecca. It tells that the wife of Isaac was from the same family of Abraham, not a Canaanite woman. Rebecca was a daughter of Bethuel, a relative from Nahor, Mesopotamia, where Abraham had been called by God (Gen. 12). Abraham remembers that God had brought him out of the land of his birth, and prospered him in his new hometown, and therefore should not bring Isaac back there again. It shows that God will cause our lives to end with comfort, in which we sincerely aim at His glory. The servant sincerely prayed to God for right direction and success. He asked for signs, and the Lord granted his requests. Truly, our lives are in God's hand, Rebecca answered the character that he sought for in the woman that would be the wife of Isaac. This story was told very particularly, showing that God's providence is in the common events of human life. At the end, the servant thankfully acknowledges God for the good success he had met with. When a person enters into a new life condition, God's people should commend them by prayer to the blessing and grace of our Lord. God bless.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Genesis 23

Sarah was 127 years old when she died in Hebron in the land of Canaan, and Abraham mourned and wept for her. Abraham purchased a piece of land in Machpelah for 400 shekels of silver, and buried his death, in the field deeded to him by the men of Heth as a burial plot. The Bible is the Deed of Sale, a legal document proving that the land was bought for a price. Abraham rendered respect to the princes of Heth, although of the ungodly Canaanites. Though all the land of Canaan was given by God to Abraham, yet the time of possessing them is not being come. At this time, this burying place was the only piece of land which Abraham possessed in Canaan. His family was a nomad, a pastoral tribe, moving from one place to another. Abraham was contented to be a pilgrim and foreigner in this world while he lives, after all, his main concern was his eternity with God, a heavenly city whose builder is God. God bless.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Genesis 22

God tested Abraham, and testing in man's life tends to show the disposition of the hearts, whether true or untrue. This time, God told him to offer his only son Isaac as a burnt offering in the land of Moriah. It means Abraham shall kill Isaac as a sacrifice, kill him with solemn ceremony, the way his neighbors offered their firstborn sons to their gods. Abraham obeyed the Lord without question, and traveled three days. Then he said to his servants, "We will come back to you" (v5). This shows that Abraham expected that Isaac shall rise again and would return with them. As they went, Isaac asked: "Where is the Lamb?" After the trial, God did not provide a lamb, but a ram instead, because the Lamb of God shall be provided in God's perfect time. Abraham obeyed the Lord fully, and as a result, God renewed the covenant of blessing and the Seed that will blessed all the nations of the earth. Obedience is the result of faith. Abraham was not justified by his readiness to obey, but by his faith to the promised Seed that will blessed the whole world. The focus is to the Seed, Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. God bless.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Genesis 21

God is always reliable, and faithful to His promises. Sarah became pregnant, and gave birth to a son,  Isaac. Abraham was 100 years old, and he circumcised his son eight days after he was born. When God gives us the mercies we began to despair of, we should remember our sinful distrust of His power and promise. Answered prayers might be delayed, but God never forgets His promises to His people. As to Ishmael, he began to oppress and mock the son of the covenant, and for that reason, he was removed from the presence of Isaac, the son of the covenant, lest he corrupt the manners or take the rights from Isaac. If Hagar and Ishmael had behaved well in Abraham's family, they might have continued there; but they were justly punished. Nevertheless, God made a promise to bless Ishmael being a child of Abraham. And the two went and lived in the wilderness of Paran, part of Egypt. It is wise to connect ourselves with those who are blessed by God, as Abimelech did with Abraham. But we must show kindness who had been kind to us. God bless.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Genesis 20

God spoke to Abimelech and told him the danger of death for his sin. But Abimelech pleads ignorance, because he knew that he had been cheated into a snare by Abraham. A sinner will always commit sin, and every sinner is a deadman, but an honest person will always be honest, and God knows their honesty and will acknowledge it. If we had done wrong ignorantly, that will excuse us, but if we persist to commit sin, we shall certainly receive the consequence for the wrong which we had done. Abraham knew the crooked ways and policies of Abimelech, and for that reason, he told him that Sarah was his sister, daughter of his father to other woman, which was also true. This story tells that in time of temptations and troubles, God is here with us. But we need to use our wisdom too and the word of God, in order to escape the effect when we yield to commit sin. Though our Lord will rebuke us if we commit sin, yet He will pardon and deliver us, and give us favor in the sight of men when we humble ourselves. God bless