Saturday, January 9, 2010

TTB: Genesis 12-14

Standout verse: "'I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth, so that if anyone can number the dust of the earth, the your descendants can also be numbered.'"Genesis 13:16

Little insights:
*The call of Abram is still one that Christians today face. (Luke 14:26 & 33)
*Sarai was Abram's half-sister by their father.
*As the younger nephew, Lot is exceedingly disrespectful and dishonors Abram by choosing the choice land of the valley.
*Lot's choice of comfort and "blessing" put him under the influence of wicked, rebellious people.
*The requirement of the Lord are the same for Abram as it is for us: faith. (Hebrews 11:6, John 5:26, Ephesians 2:8-9)
* It was during the sojourn to Egypt that Hagar, the maidservant, is acquired.
*Egypt has always been associated with wickedness, slavery and bondage for God's chosen people.
*The King of Salem (Peace) is usually viewed as a pre-incarnate Christ. (Psalm 110:1-4, Hebrews 7:1-22)
*Melchizedek brings bread and wine for Abram (a possible signifying of communion.)
*Abram honors Melchizedek by giving him a tenth of all his spoils from the raid. This is often why Christians tithe a tenth of their income to their church, although all God wants is a joyful heart that gives out of love. (2 Corinthians 9:7)
*After fellowship with Melchizedek, Abram is able to avoid an unholy alliance with the valley's king. If he had taken spoils, he may have become indebted to the king and thus, in denying that opportunity he reveals his dependence on God.

Lot is one of those characters, that if it weren't for Peter telling us he was holy, we would never guess! It's easy to look at the life of Lot and be critical. He made some poor choices; his willingness to integrate himself into a life of luxury and plenty with wicked, worldly neighbors put him in danger. Lot is literally taken captive by the world and its pursuits. Is that so different from me? Would anyone look at my life and see Christ? When I think about the mistakes I've made and stupid things I've said to ostracize others, I get very sad. What battles are we fighting in our declining society? Are we winning by the grace of God, or are we losing because we are choosing the "fertile valley" of ease. This idea becomes very pointed when I think about a neighbor who died three days ago because of toxemia. The man lived alone and was either unable or unwilling to tell neighbors that he needed help. I was home the entire time this man was dying in his house under the duress of toxins. What if I was more involved with people and not so much in myself? What if I spent more time in other people's houses getting to know them than in my own, worrying about the decor and cleanliness? This is starting to sound a little like a browbeating, and I know his death is in no way my fault, but I can't help but feel a little like Lot. Our society makes it very easy for Christians to blend in and disappear. But Christ tells us to let our light so shine before men that they might see our good works and turn to God (Matthew 5:16). Am I being taken captive because of my proximity to the world? Or am I far enough away to look down from a mountain and rescue others from the valley of death?

Just for "fun": I have a box of Trader Joe's green tea cake mix. I'm going to bake it up and take it to our other neighbors who are grieving the loss of their friend. I'll also pray that God will embolden me to step out in faith and ask them to come to church again. Maybe this sorrow has softened them to God's call. Do you have neighbors who could use a box of goodies and a prayer or two?

Love, Lauren

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