Genesis 24

Genesis 24:7

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“The Lord, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and from the land of my kindred, and who spoke to me and swore to me, ‘To your offspring I will give this land,’ he will send his angels before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from there.”

When Abraham’s servant questions his instructions to get a wife for Isaac, Abraham shares his experience with God to encourage his servant.

Our experiences in life are meant to be a testimony of God’s power in action. There is hardly anything more encouraging than when someone comes alongside us and says, ‘You can trust God with what He is doing in your life; let me tell you how faithful He has been to me.’ This doesn’t mean that we should always talk about our own lives when communing with the suffering; sometimes we are called to listen and pray, but our testimonies are powerful tools to strengthen our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

Lord, thank You for the work You’ve done (and are doing) in my life and for showing me Your love and provision time after time. Help me to seek opportunities to share my testimony for Your glory.

What stories from your life could you use to encourage a friend or family member? What holds you back from sharing them?

This Week’s Reading Schedule:

1/23: Genesis 18-19

1/24: Genesis 20-21

1/25: Genesis 22

1/26: Genesis 24

1/27: Genesis 25:19-34; 26

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Genesis 22

Genesis 22:12

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“He said, ‘Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.'”

God intervenes when Abraham is about to sacrifice Isaac, saying that the episode was meant to prove Abraham’s fear for Him. But God, being all-seeing and all-knowing, must have already seen the result of His request. Part of His intent must have been to illustrate to Abraham the extent of his faith in order to bolster it.

When we are put through trials or challenging circumstances, we often see them as hindrances to our goals. God uses these times and trials not only to test our faith, but also to prove to us that our faith is still in Him and to encourage our spirits. When we recognize where our hope and trust is, we garner new perspective and are more apt to give God due praise through our current experiences and in the future.

Lord, You aren’t testing me simply to make me struggle; these struggles make me more resolute in my aim to glorify You. They remind me where my allegiance is, and also that  my trust is well-founded.

What else can we learn about the Lord from Abraham’s sacrifice? Has God ever asked you to give something up only to show you that His goal was gaining Your trust? Please share your thoughts below!

This Week’s Reading Schedule:

1/23: Genesis 18-19

1/24: Genesis 20-21

1/25: Genesis 22

1/26: Genesis 24

1/27: Genesis 25:19-34; 26

Genesis 18-19

Genesis 18:2-4

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“When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth and said, ‘O Lord, if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant. Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree.'”

Though Abram does not have much to give, when the messengers of the Lord arrive, he offers every accommodation in order to honor the Lord.

Our tendency is often to think that we have nothing to give- no extra time, no talents, no resources. Rather than focusing on what is lacking, Abram’s example teaches us to give everything to the Lord and to spare no expense. We don’t need to find time to give to the Lord; every moment is already His, and we should be living them all for Him. Everything we do should ultimately be about serving the Lord.

Thank You, Lord, for the manifold blessings You’ve given to me. Create in me a servant’s heart that desires to bless You with the best of all I have. Help me to recognize all that You’ve blessed me with and share it all liberally.

What struck you in these chapters? Which qualities of Abram’s would you like to replicate in your life? Please share your ideas in the comments!

This Week’s Reading Schedule:

1/23: Genesis 18-19

1/24: Genesis 20-21

1/25: Genesis 22

1/26: Genesis 24

1/27: Genesis 25:19-34; 26

Genesis 16-17

Genesis 17:1-2

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“When Abram was ninety-nine years old the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, ‘I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless, that I may multiply you greatly.”

Abram sinned against God by taking matters into his own hands and trying to produce an heir through his slave, Hagar. Despite his sin, the Lord still appears to Abram and fulfills the promises He made.

How reassuring it is to know that no matter what mistakes we have made, no matter how many times we have stopped waiting on the Lord, He still speaks to us. He is forever faithful to His word. If is difficult in our human frailty to comprehend the unwavering nature of the Lord’s character, but this story shows His manifold mercies and unconditional love.

Thank You for showing me a glimpse of Your power through Your patience and love. You have declared Yourself to be our God and urge us to walk righteously before You. Help me to walk accordingly.

Next Week’s Reading Schedule:

1/23: Genesis 18-19

1/24: Genesis 20-21

1/25: Genesis 22

1/26: Genesis 24

1/27: Genesis 25:19-34; 26

Genesis 15

Genesis 15:5-6

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“And he brought him outside and said, ‘look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.’ Then he said to him, ‘so shall your offspring be.’ And he believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness.”

When Abram expresses his concern about producing an heir, the Lord takes him aside to present a visualization of His promise. Most people would be frustrated with Abram for doubting, but not the Lord; He understands Abram’s reservations and  takes the time to encourage him. As a result, Abram’s faith grows.

The Lord understands human nature’s tendency to doubt and to be unable to see beyond our circumstances. We may believe in God and His power, but we may doubt that He will follow through on His promises for us. Our comfort is that when we lose faith, we can remember who God is from these verses- He is slow to anger and constant in love. When we do doubt, He will remind us of His constancy.

Lord, thank You for showing me who You are- Your patience and love for me. Thank You that I can trust You with my future.

 

This Week’s Reading Schedule:

1/16: Job 38-39

1/17: Job 40-42

1/18: Genesis 11-12

1/19: Genesis 15

1/20: Genesis 16-17

Genesis 11-12

Genesis 12:7

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“Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, ‘To your offspring I will give this land.’ So he built there an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him.”

Despite the fact that Abram has not been able to have children, he builds an altar to praise the LORD in anticipation that His promise will be fulfilled.

It can be difficult to trust the Lord in light of our current circumstances. By all appearances, Abram shouldn’t expect his wife to suddenly bear him children after years of barrenness. But when the Lord appears, Abram trusts His promise, and his response is to praise the Lord for what He is going to do. We can trust that when the Lord promises something, He will follow through. Our circumstances  never dictate God’s power.

Lord, thank You for Your communion with us. Thank You for loving me even when my faith is weak. Help me to trust You as Abram did- not only to trust, but to praise You in anticipation of what You’re going to do.

This Week’s Reading Schedule:

1/16: Job 38-39

1/17: Job 40-42

1/18: Genesis 11-12

1/19: Genesis 15

1/20: Genesis 16-17

Job 40-42

Job 41:9-11

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“Behold, the hope of a man is false: he is laid low even at the sight of him. No one is so fierce that he dares to stir him up. Who then is he who can stand before me? Who has first given to me, that I should repay him Whatever is under the whole heaven is mine.”

After Job’s friends persuade him that he did something wrong to warrant God’s wrath, God retorts with a scathing reminder of His power. He uses an eloquent description of one of His most fearsome creations to assert authority over all aspects of His creation.

For those of us who grew up in the church or experienced faith in God early in life, it can be easy to diminish God’s power with familiarity. We get so used to saying how powerful God is without thinking about what that means. These chapters in Job give us a terrifying glimpse of the power and scope of God’s dominion. If one of His creations can make us cower in dread, how much more should we fear, respect, and humble ourselves before the Creator of everything?

Father, You are our majestic, magnanimous Creator. There is no limit to the scope of Your control or capabilities, and yet You have mercy on us. Let us worship You with due fear and respect, realizing that we haven’t begun to comprehend the magnitude of who You Are.

This Week’s Reading Schedule:

1/16: Job 38-39

1/17: Job 40-42

1/18: Genesis 11-12

1/19: Genesis 15

1/20: Genesis 16-17