I woke up this morning looking forward to my Bible reading today!
Now that is a good feeling.
Todays reading was all about Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. In reading their stories I can't help but to be struck by some of their amazingly bad choices and just bad behavior. Examples are:
17:17 - When God tells Abraham, again, that he will have a son Abraham falls facedown and laughs!
18:10-15 - Sarah overhears God tell Abraham, yet again, that he will have a son and she laughs, then she lies about it!
19:6-8 - Lot offers his virgin daughters to the mob of wicked, lust-filled men outside his door in place of the angels who have visited him.
20:2 - Abraham once again says Sarah is his sister and lets the king take her into his palace, thereby putting the king and his people in great jepordy, not to mention other obvious things.
21:10 - Sarah, out of jealousy tells Abraham to send Hagar and Ismael away (which he does)
25:33 - Esau sells his birthright to Jacob...for some bread and stew!
(as it says in v.34b - so Esau despised his birthright)
26:7 - Now Isaac lies and says Rebekah is his sister! (This time the king catches him in the lie before he takes her as his wife)
27 - all of chapter 27 is about Rebekah convincing Jacob to trick his father (her husband) into thinking he is Esau so that Jacob can steal his father's blessing.
It is amazing to me that God would make his covenant with people of this type. Of course, what other type are there? They do have their good points as well:
17:23 - As soon as God commanded Abraham to circumcise every member of his household he does just that (on that very day...)
18:16-33 - Abraham pleads with God to spare Sodom and Gomorrah for the sake of the righteous living there (finally God agrees to spare it if he finds even 10 righteous, and it is so sad that there are not even that many...as we know since God did not spare them)
22:2-11 - Abraham is willing to sacrifice his only son at God's command...this does show a deep-seated faith, even though we see Abraham give in to fear and disbelief at times when it comes down to 'brass tacks' he is God's man.
And of course, through it all we just see the awesome grace of God for his people. Just a few examples are:
18:15 - Sarah was afraid when the Lord asked why Sarah laughed and she lied and said she did not laugh - the Lord simply says 'Yes, you did laugh.' - not 'You know what, nevermind you don't deserve a son' or boom...no more Sarah - just, 'yes, you did'; it seems to me that God had mercy on her 1) because he had plans that involved her and that was how he was going to do it in spite of her 'frailty' (of course, none of it took him by suprise) and 2) he knew she was afraid and was merciful to her because she was only human - he 'remembers that we are but dust', that is just so sweet to know!
19:16-22 - the angels are going to spare Lot and his family and give them opportunity to flee the destruction of the city - even pulling them by their hands when they hesitate instead of just leaving them - and they tell them to flee to the mountains but Lot pleads to be allowed to go to the nearest town out of fear and God in His mercy allows this. To me this just speaks volumes about how God is so gentle and loving with us in our weakness.
20:6 - God keeps Abimelech the king from touching Sarah - and thereby bringing judgement on him and his people - when he takes her as his wife after Abraham says she is his sister (for the second time)
21:1-2 - Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised. Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age. (That pretty much says it)
21:17-20 - After Abraham sends Hagar and Ismael away and they almost die in the desert God saves them himself.
24:67 - God brings Isaac a wife, just when he needs to be comforted after his mothers death. This verse is very sweet to me.
28:10-22 - Even though Jacob had just swindled his brother out of his blessing and had to flee for his life because Esau was so angry, God blesses Jacob in a vision and makes a covenant with him!
God is so great! The more I read the more amazed I am by Him, but also the more I realize I don't quite 'get'. I am so thankful that he is a gracious and merciful God and that He will work out His plan in my life in spite of my weaknesses and faults! Praise the Lord!
Jonathan Edwards resolution for today:
2. Resolved, to be continually endeavoring to find out some new contrivance and invention to promote the aforementioned things.