Wednesday, March 23, 2016

PRAYERS OF THE BIBLE SERIES: THE BOOK OF GENESIS #4

THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND
He said, “O Lord Godhow may I know that I will possess it?” (Genesis 15:8)
This very short prayer packs one of the biggest punches in history. We all know what became of this direct promise to God, not so much to Abraham as a mortal man with limited years to live, but to his seed and the vast array of his descendants. God had previously promised Abraham (Abram at the time) many descendants, which included those grafted into the Kingdom among the Gentiles (us) who believe in Christ and the Promise. Now, the Creator promised His servant the Land in which his untold millions of descendants would live.  As history records, both secular and Biblical, this land was Canaan, the pagan lands first settled by the wayward cursed grandson of Noah.

In this prayer, Abraham asked God one question "how may I know that I will possess it?" This answer was not for the man from Ur of the Chaldeans to know! The answer to this prayerful and thoughtful question was "bring Me a sacrifice"!

Now anyone who has been walking with the Lord for any good period of time, knows not just His sense of Humor, but HOW He answers our questions and prayers. Remember, His Ways are not our ways and while we may question "why" He may choose to respond (or not respond) the way He does, we must remain humble and grateful that He even responds to us. God owes us nothing but His wrath against our sin and it is only when we understand His mercy, grace, long-suffering and compassion that we will grasp why He answers one short question with the command to go get a sacrifice for Him.

He says in verse 9 "Bring Me a three year old heifer, and a three year old female goat, and a three year old ram, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” 10 Then he (Abraham)brought all these to Him". Our Heavenly Father may guide, direct or command us to do something completely out of our comfort zone when our puny minds are set on one-directional responses for our immediate gratification. I remember a time when I was very down, if not depressed, over a matter and felt led to go help serve dinner at a Christian homeless mission. Lo and behold, with my mind being occupied doing things for somebody else and seeing the love through hungry eyes of the wonderful residents of that home, my troubles did not seem so bad afterwards, and all my self-pity was gone.

Let us remember when God does this, there is always a reason. God does not waste time like us or utter useless words. He answered a question about His Timing about His own generous plan with a lesson for Abraham on godly patience.  It was not an unfair question. Abraham had been wandering in the desert, it seems, and getting in skirmishes with kings etc. so it was entirely understandable that he wanted a place to plant his large contingent of employees and family. 

In the final analysis, ours is not to ask or reason why but to place our complete Faith and Trust in the One Who called us by His Grace. He has so many good things, plans and thoughts for us that if we just hold on, do not lose our minds or place and rely fully on Him, through pray and fellowship with Him, we can never go wrong. This is the absolute loving and awesome God we serve. Amen.

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