Lord God, may my worship, my confession of sin, and my devotion to You prepare me to serve You today.
Read GENESIS 12:1-20
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.
“As a company of strangers and pilgrims passing through the wilderness of this world, Christians must not settle down in it by adopting the standards of those around them” (Godfrey Robinson).
Unlike Terah who stayed behind and Lot who was a lingerer, Abram was a nomad, a pilgrim. Twice we are told Abram built an altar–he was not a tourist but a worshiper. Where do I need to punctuate my journey with altars?
Notice here the seven times the Lord says, “I will…” To this old man and his old wife, God promises a seed, a land and a blessing. God’s election of Abram was to bless the whole world. We, as Abram’s descendants, are invited to be agents of God’s mission to bless the whole world, too. In the history of world mission there have been plenty of signs and blunders. But God carries out his intention, through us and our feeble efforts, to bless the whole world. I read the passage a third time, considering quietly the questions, “What is God calling me to leave?” “Who am I traveling with?” “What signposts have marked my journey, where the Lord has appeared to me?” “Where am I currently heading?” From this reflection I gather strength to continue traveling on…and on…and on.
Next, the chapter tells of a famine that drives Abram to Egypt (10). Picture the stresses between Abram, Sarai, Pharaoh and his officials. Ponder the unprincipled actions of Abram, hazarding his wife’s life for his own and bringing disaster upon Pharaoh and his household. Why wasn’t Abram punished? It seems that he prospers from his duplicity (16)! How do I think his beautiful wife felt after her spell in Pharaoh’s harem? Subtly, our narrative highlights the fact that divine election does not mean favoritism. Abram receives the divine promise, but it is Pharaoh who shows magnanimity and generosity. God had said, “Go!” in v. 1; but it is Pharaoh who says, “Go!” in v. 19!
Pray and, if you can, act for oppressed wives and women, especially trafficked young women and girls, throughout the world.
Lord, I remember Christians in the Middle East, from where my ancestors in the faith came. I lift up all oppressed and exploited peoples as they struggle for freedom.
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