Sunday, June 2, 2013

Do It Quickly

Do It Quickly
June 3, 2013
Genesis 17:23  "On that very day Abraham took his son Ishmael and all those born in his household or bought with his money, every male in his household, and circumcised them, as God told him."

Abraham was a man who had great faith.  While he was not without sin, his life was a representation of a very godly man.  The Lord loved Abraham and He even appeared to Abraham in physical form on several occasions.  Abraham had an amazing relationship with the Lord and it was marked out by obedience to odd requests from the Heavenly Father.  Everyone remembers the off-the-wall request by the Lord to have Abraham sacrifice his second son, Isaac.  Seldom do people remember another more bizarre request, years before that.  Roughly a year before Isaac was was even born, the Lord appeared to Abraham when he was ninety nine years old.  The Lord told Abraham to circumcise himself, his thirteen year old son, Ishmael, his servants, and all the other men in his household and staff.  OK, this is possibly the most bizarre request the Lord ever made of anyone in the Bible.

The Lord was telling, not asking, Abraham to take a razor sharp knife, expose the most sensitive part of his body, and fillet his flesh away from himself.  No one had ever done this before.  Regardless of how you feel about the topic of circumcision, it was a directive from the Lord to Abraham at that time.  And what does the Bible say was Abraham's response?  Nothing.  Abraham didn't give a response to the circumcision; he simply obeyed the Lord and did as directed.  The more amazing thing is Abraham's timing in this obedience.  Abraham did it quickly.  He obeyed and circumcised everyone that very same day.  What a testament to Abraham's faith and relationship with the Lord.  Abraham didn't complain, he didn't debate, he didn't even hesitate.  He pulled out his sharpening stone and went to work without modern day narcotics.  He immediately performed the surgery on himself AND convinced the other men to do the same.

If it were you or me, we'd pray about it a while; there is no way any one of us would take this action on the very same day.  Before making such bold steps, we'd ask the opinion of others, form a think-tank style committee, maybe ponder it for a month or two, read up on it, weigh out all the options.  There is no way we would do it quickly.  We are accustomed to the Lord being patient with us so we use that to our advantage, to draw out what we think we do not want to do because it will be uncomfortable.  We ramp ourselves up to the task to build our courage.  We form our own version of the task to make the pill easier to swallow, to fit into our way of doing things.  Not Abraham.  He was no holds barred.  He just did it and did it quickly.  Even when the Lord told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, he acted quickly, without debate. The Lord appreciates this kind of obedience.  The Lord loves this kind of obedience.  Future blessing came as a result of Abraham's immediate obedience.

It brings honor to the Lord when we obey Him immediately, without hesitation or debate.  This isn't something you and I do very often, obey Him on the spot.  This frustrates the Lord, similar to when your employees or children take a great deal of coaxing to honor your wishes.  Yes, the Lord is patient but it is far better to not test the patience of the Lord.  If you are going to obey, you might as well do it quickly.  It is never to your benefit to disobey the Lord, so why not simply do it without hesitation.  Your life would probably go so much better for yourself if you just did it quickly, the same day, without questions or needing a reason.  Even now, the Holy Spirit is possibly prompting your heart or reminding you of something you've been asked to do, but have put off from doing quickly.  The Lord would ask you to obey this very day.

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  Genesis 17, Genesis 22:17-19, Genesis 26:4-6, Exodus 19:5, Lev 18:4-5, Deut 4:30, Deut 6:3, 2 Thess 1:8, 1 Peter 3:6, 1 John 2:5

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