Sunday, August 3, 2014

Instincts in Action


 Picture from a plaque in my Grandmother's kitchen.
This week we want to look at Abraham’s relationship with God and his family and the effects of that relationship.  Remember your observations from a chapter certainly do not have to be the same as mine. That’s why I welcome your comments and discussions. God shows us all different things for our place and time and expects us to share to help others to grow.
Genesis 20:17,18   In Abraham’s travels, he tells Sarah to say she is his sister so other kings won’t kill him and take his wife. He was willing to let Sarah be used in an adulterous situation to save his own skin. Self-preservation is a natural instinct. In the case of Abimelech, God caused his royal household to be unable to bear children. This was serious business. The nation was essentially dead without an heir to the throne. I wonder what plans for self-preservation we as Christians have that might be causing the downfall of our own nation? Matthew 6: 33
Genesis 21:22  Abimelech saw God in Abraham’s life and it caused him to have respect for God even though he chose not to worship God. Abimelech probably thought making a deal with Abraham would give him clout with God. Abimelech followed his natural instincts for self-preservation as well. God would have us dwell with all men peaceably so Abraham agreed to the deal. Romans 12:18
Genesis 22:9 There is so much in this chapter. Isaac had learned what was needed for worship; wood, fire, a lamb. He had obviously been a part of worship. Imagine yourself as a strong teenager and your father is over a hundred years old! Would you let him bind you and lay you on wood to be slaughtered and burned for an offering? Our natural instinct would be to break and run from a crazy old man. But, Isaac trusts his father. He understands the meaning of the burnt offerings. God was working in his heart as well as in Abraham’s heart to create the picture of Jesus and God the Father.
Genesis 23:17 Machkpelah, a double cave, a cave within a cave, was the place Abraham chose to bury Sarah. It was a beautiful place, a field and trees and a cave, cool and peaceable. Here was a place Abraham could come and visit and know that one day his son would place him here in this peaceable place with the wife he loved. That natural instinct of the love and commitment of a husband for his wife took over even in death with the best place regardless of the price, for the one he loved. Christ loved us so much He provided the best place for us even though the price of His sacrifice was great. Ephesians 5:25
 We see the examples both good and bad that Abraham set for his wife, his son, and the neighboring peoples. Sometimes the natural instincts of self-preservation got in the way. Sometimes the honoring of a father and God over-rode those natural instincts. What examples are we leaving for our families and neighbors that they might choose to worship, honor, and serve the true God? Deuteronomy6: 5-9
Lord Jesus may we honor You with our hearts, our minds, and our strength, teaching these things to our children and showing the example to all we come in contact with that it might become our natural habit it not instinct to lift up the name of Christ in all our lives. In Your name we pray. Amen

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