Accept me, Good Lord, as a living sacrifice, alive and eager to be used as You see fit.
Read GENESIS 26:1-25
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“Wisdom is the ability to view life as God perceives it” (Chuck Swindoll). We certainly need God’s wisdom with all the choices we have to make!
As a Christian child, I used to play a childish game with God. Taught that God controlled everything, I struggled with the question of whether everything was therefore pre-ordained. Did it matter to God, I asked, if I had chocolate ice cream or vanilla? Had I chosen the preordained flavor? As Paul says, when I was a child I reasoned as a child but now as an adult “I put childish ways behind me” (1 Cor. 13:11), but the question can still haunt me. To what extent are our actions predetermined? The story of Isaac in its own strange way holds, if not the answer, at least an approach to it.
In today’s reading, the promise is transmitted to the next generation. Despite the faithfulness of the original receiver of the promise, it is not simply inherited genetically. The “because” of v. 5 troubles commentators. It must be understood separately from v. 3 that God’s original oath was given to Abraham before he obeyed (Gen. 12:1-3). “Because” shows that Abraham chose to obey. Abraham could have chosen otherwise. We cannot tell what God would have done then to further his purposes, but he would not finally have been frustrated. As John the Baptist said, God could raise up children of Abraham from the stones (Matt. 3:9)! Isaac, too, could have chosen otherwise, but he did not; he chose to live as a recipient of the promise, failing sometimes as Abraham did, but striving to align himself with God’s ways in worship (25) and in peacemaking (31). We, too, are recipients of God’s promises because of the faithfulness of Jesus. Even such a great act as his death and resurrection does not guarantee our salvation. Life with God is a gift but we can choose not to receive it (John 1:12,13).
“Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve” (Josh. 24:15). Think of choices you have to make today. Ask for God’s wisdom as You make those decisions.
Father, You are my Guiding Light. I look to You today to make Your will known to me. I trust You and long to be Your obedient child.
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