Tuesday, January 8, 2013

For Fear of Man

Abraham is known as the man of faith, yet his faith did not come all at once. He was human and had fears just like we have. Twice he got into trouble, once in Egypt and again with Abimelech, because he said Sarah was his sister, a half truth because she was also his wife. He feared what man would to him; but what would they do to Sarah? There was a selfishness in Abraham, who had not yet become the fullness of a man of faith. I like the way the Bible doesn't hide the defects in the great men of the Bible. The LORD would bless Abraham even when it was not earned. This is the grace of God.

Gen 20:9 Then Abimelech called Abraham, and said unto him, What hast thou done unto us? and what have I offended thee, that thou hast brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin? thou hast done deeds unto me that ought not to be done.
Gen 20:10 And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What sawest thou, that thou hast done this thing?
Gen 20:11 And Abraham said, Because I thought, Surely the fear of God is not in this place; and they will slay me for my wife's sake.
Gen 20:12 And yet indeed she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife.
Gen 20:13 And it came to pass, when God caused me to wander from my father's house, that I said unto her, This is thy kindness which thou shalt shew unto me; at every place whither we shall come, say of me, He is my brother.
Gen 20:14 And Abimelech took sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and womenservants, and gave them unto Abraham, and restored him Sarah his wife.
Gen 20:15 And Abimelech said, Behold, my land is before thee: dwell where it pleaseth thee.
Gen 20:16 And unto Sarah he said, Behold, I have given thy brother a thousand pieces of silver: behold, he is to thee a covering of the eyes, unto all that are with thee, and with all other: thus she was reproved.
Gen 20:17 So Abraham prayed unto God: and God healed Abimelech, and his wife, and his maidservants; and they bare children.
Gen 20:18 For the LORD had fast closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech, because of Sarah Abraham's wife.
Gen 21:1 And the LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken.
Gen 21:2 For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him.
Gen 21:3 And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac.

Satan had tried to corrupt the promised seed that would come from Abraham and Sarah. Sarah gave the Egyptian handmaid Hagar to Abraham to make a son, but Ishmael was not the son of promise, coming from both Abraham and Sarah. I see the devil putting fear in Abraham's heart, to put Sarah at risk of becoming pregnant from these Gentile kings. God prevented this from happening and even blessed Abraham and Sarah with much wealth. The time did come for the miracle birth of a child from Abraham and Sarah, who was past childbearing age. Isaac was born, the promised seed from whom all the tribes of Israel and the promised seed Jesus would come. Jesus was legally the seed from Abraham, whose Father is God Almighty.

God tested Abraham one more time telling him to sacrifice Isaac, his only begotten son of the promise. Abraham by faith was willing to obey God, but God by grace provided a male sheep for a sacrifice. He provided a sheep for us too, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Come to Jesus to receive the blessings of God and eternal life. Faith is required, but not perfection. We grow step by step to be more like Jesus until we are with him in glory. Be faithful as the apostle Peter learned to be faithful even when he was commanded by men of authority to not preach the gospel of Jesus.

Act 5:29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.

God will bless you as you trust in him.

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