Sunday, August 12, 2012

Promise and Promiser

Promise and Promiser
August 13, 2012

Genesis 22:2   "Then God said, 'Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah.  Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering  on a mountain I will show you.'"

Way back in the earliest times of the Bible, a person's wealth was not nearly as important as having children, family, and heirs.  Children were seen as a huge blessing, not just physically, but also as a status symbol.  And if a person had more children, he was more likely to have money, since the children counted as free labor toward the family's prosperity.  They were also the ones depended upon to look after the aged.  When the father of the family died, all the possessions and wealth passed on to the younger generations.  Without heirs, wealth was useless, since there wouldn't be anyone to receive it once the patriarch died.  Children were critical to life and survival back then.

Abraham understood the importance of children in his time.  Recall that Abraham was one of the first true servants of the Lord, before most of the Biblical events took place and even before Moses received the Ten Commandments.  Abraham didn't even have a written word to help him understand the Lord Almighty, just his daily walk with God.  Abraham desperately longed for children but his wife was barren and well advanced in her years, far beyond childbearing years.  They prayed desperately for a child but none was given.  Finally, the Lord promised a child to them, a blessed heir who could carry on the family name and wealth.  Abraham and his wife were thrilled to welcome their first child, a son.  But the Lord asked Abraham to do something peculiar, to sacrifice his child, his promised child.  Abraham agreed, figuring the Lord was in control; Abraham wanted to honor the Promiser.

Abraham valued the relationship with the Promiser far more than he valued the Promise.  The Promise, in this case the most valuable thing on the face of the planet to Abraham, was nothing in comparison to who it was that made the promise--God.  Abraham had his priorities straight.  Despite finally receiving from the Lord that which he longed for his whole life, Abraham was still willing to give it all up for his Lord.  He was willing to give it all back to his God, if the Lord required it, since the Promiser was more important than the Promise.

We've all been given gifts and promises from the Lord, valuable things that we cherish in this world.  There are even things you'd die without, emotionally, if they were taken away from you.  But this is an opportunity to realize that none of it is as important as your relationship with the Lord, the One who has given everything to you, even those things for which you've waited your entire life.  Are you willing to give those things up if the Lord asked it of you?  How about your children or spouse; do you hold them so closely that they are more important to you than your relationship with the Lord?  What about your health or career?  If taken from you would you gladly count them as loss if it meant keeping a right relationship with the Promiser?  What is more important to you, the Promise or the Promiser?  If you are waiting on God for something, a promise yet fulfilled, realize that HE is still far more valuable.

Don't take my word for it; look it up: Gen 17-22, Matt 10:37, Phil 3:8, Heb 11:17-19, James 2:21

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