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Genesis 16

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

MONDAY, AUGUST 7

SCRIPTURE: Genesis 16

By: Mitch Boles

You are probably going to read this chapter and think WOW, these are some messed up people! If you are thinking that, you are not alone and you are right. That is how I felt as well when I read this. Then I read it a second time, and a third time and a fourth. Every time I read it, I found myself being more and more like Hagar, Sarai, and Abram.

The chapter opens with Sarai being upset with Lord. She knows the promise that God has given Abram her husband(you’re offspring will be as numerous as the sand on the seashore) but she finds herself well along in her years and past her child bearing days.

Sarai does something that we all do. We take matters into our own hands, and we try to play God. Let me just stop right here and say, It is not a good idea to play God. Sarai came up with this brilliant plan, or so she thought, of giving her slave Hagar to Abram. She thought she could adopt the child when he was born and a nation would be built through this child. Keep in mind that this is Sarai’s plan.

The plan worked for Sarai, but we see in vs. 5 Sarai gets upset again! Hagar the slave girl became pregnant, and she treated Sarai with contempt and Sarai blamed it on Abram. Now ladies lets be honest, when you have a plan and it does not work out how you want, you are looking for a man to blame it on right? HA HA

Men you need to take note on this next part in vs. 6. You can either do what Abram did and take the easy way out or you can step up and be a man, take charge, lead in a way that is pleasing to the Lord. We see here where Abram handed the problem off to his wife Sarai and said here you deal with it.

After Hagar was treated harshly she ran away. Thats always the thing to do right? Run away in the midst of conflict. I will say that its the easy thing to do but its not the right thing to do. During times like these we need to get down our knees and pray to the Lord, we need to stop what were doing and turn to Jesus instead of running away from Him.

In vs. 7 we see a glorious response from the Angel of the Lord. First we see where the Angel of the Lord finds Hagar. The Angel of the Lord found her because he went after her. Just as he is doing with you right now. He is with you, he is pursuing you, and he is wanting you to turn around, and the best part, he is there with open arms waiting for you.

The last part I want you to see is in vs. 9, The Angel of the Lord tells her to go back and be mistreated by her mistress and to submit to her. For no reason in the world would I ever want to do this, nobody does. BUT obedience to the father is key.  Many times we look for the easy way out, and we think that God will provide a way out that we think is best for us.

God will provide, but it may not be in the way that you want. He will provide in a way that will bring glory to Him and in a way that you will grow closer and draw near to him.

Submit to God’s plan in your life. Don't try and create a plan for your life. God is a much better God than we could ever be and will ever be. He is faithful, He will endure, His promise is forever. Amen

Posted by Mitch Boles with 0 Comments

Genesis 15

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

FRIDAY, AUGUST 4

SCRIPTURE: Genesis 15

You might think that after everything Abram had experienced with God his faith would be rock solid.  And it may have been.  But a lot of rocks have at least one crack.  So, before we judge those that we read about in the Bible, we need to remember that most of the time we know how the story is going to turn out.  At the same time, the people we are reading about are still struggling to live by faith.  Faith is easy looking back.  It ain’t so easy moving forward.

As the chapter opens, God has once again comes to Abram with great and glorious promises.  He promises to protect Abram.  He promises to bless Abram.  And He promises that His promises will be fulfilled just like He said.

Abram on the other hand seems to be struggling a bit.  From his human perspective, it did not look possible for him to be a father of “many nations” or have offspring as numerous as the sands of the seas.  But to his credit, he is quite honest with God about this.

There is an important lesson for us in this.  First, faith is not easy.  Second, even though we believe we sometimes struggle with what we believe.  Third, doubts are not necessarily a problem until they lead us into disobedience.  Fourth, we really should talk often with God about our doubts.

Did you notice that God was not offended by Abram’s doubts?  In fact, God arranged for an episode that would reinforce His promises and drain away some of Abram’s doubts.

Verse 6 is one of the pivotal verses in the entire Bible.  Abram “believed God and He counted it to him as righteousness”.  Righteousness is not something we generate.  Righteousness is not something we produce.  It is a gift given to us by a gracious Father in response to our faith.  Of course some would say “our faith” is something we generate.  But Ephesians 2 says that our faith is actually a gift from God.  In other words, God gives us the faith to believe His promises.  And as we utilize the faith He has given us, He considers us righteous.  That is a crazy transaction that is actually built on nothing but the activity of God.

As the chapter draws to a close, we encounter a most interesting episode.  Animals and birds are sacrificed.  Their carcasses are lined up in two lines presumably with a bit of a space between the lines.  Then, after sundown, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between those two lines of carcasses. 

The fire pot and torch are symbols of God.  And the picture is of God passing between the sacrifices and coming through the blood of the sacrifices that had surely covered the ground.  What a glorious picture this is!  God comes to us only the through the sacrifice of His only begotten Son and through His precious blood spilled on the ground for our transgressions. 

In verse 18, God makes a covenant with Abram after He had passed between the sacrifice.  It is as God comes to us through the sacrifice of Jesus and His shed blood that we too enter into a covenant relationship with God.

What a Savior!  Oh what a glorious Savior!

Posted by Joe Ligon with 0 Comments

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