Monday, January 16, 2012

January 16, 2012 … Traveling Through Life In Faith And In Fear

[Note: Click on map to see a larger view - then click on "renew/restore" on your browser to return to the blog for reading]

Passage of the Day: Chapter/Verse Reference: Genesis, Chapters 12-15 … To study these chapters, go to this link -

Genesis 12: 1-4: … [Abram Goes Out in Faith] 1 The Lord had said to Abram, "Go from your country, your people and your father's household to the land I will show you. 2 "I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you."
4 So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran.

Genesis 12: 10-13: … [Abram Travels In Fear]10 Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a while because the famine was severe.11 As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, "I know what a beautiful woman you are.12 When the Egyptians see you, they will say, 'This is his wife.' Then they will kill me but will let you live.13 Say you are my sister, so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you."

My Journal for Today
Moving back from the Book of Job, in my chronological read through the Bible this year, the reading plan has me (and any reading with me) to go back into Genesis; … this time doing a read into God’s calling of Abram (later, of course, to be renamed “Abraham” by God). And here, mostly focusing on Chapter 12 in my journaling today, we see how great and how small a believer’s faith can be as they travel through life; and Abram is a prime example of a follower of God having a rather schizoid faith.

At the outset of Chapter 12 in Genesis, our highlighted hero, Abram, is living in the land of Ur, which, you can see on the attached map above [click on image to enlarge for viewing], is now located in modern Iraq, very close to where the supposed garden of Eden might have been, near where the Tigris and Euphrates rivers join. Abram was a very wealthy Bedouin sheepherder, traveling the deserts of the Chaldean region of that area. And for whatever reason, God chose Abram to be the father of two so-called great nations … that of the Jewish line and that of the Arab line of peoples, both who claim “Abraham” as their “father.”

And what the Holy Spirit has impressed on my reading today is the vacillation in faith exhibited by the one Chaldean tribesman with whom God chose to bring His everlasting covenant of salvation [which you will read about in Genesis, Chapter 15 of today’s reading plan]. Note, however, in reading above in the early verses of Chapter 12, God calls Abram, likely through a dream or vision, to pick up his family and all he has and head northward. And without much contemplation, Abram, in full surrender to God’s call, pulled up stakes, followed God, and moved to Haran (also spelled “Harran”), which on the map provided above is about 600 miles northwest … from what is now southern Iraq, moving to southern Turkey … a significant trek with all of Abram’s family and belongings. Yes, Bedouins in that time were used to picking up and moving to find water or food; but this was a major move; and God had not told Abram where to go. God just said GO “… to the land I will show you;” … and Abram, in faith, went.

Now, that is a model of surrendered faith to God’s will or His call on our life. And one might assume that Abram will continue – in our study of his life in Scripture – to be a compliant model of faith. However, just a few verses later in Chapter 12, we read of Abram balking in fear as He was called by God to move down to Egypt from living near Jerusalem to avoid a famine; and again Abram followed God’s leading. However, when he approached Egypt we see this Spirit-led “man of faith” become a very human “man of fear” as he hatches a scheme with his wife, Sarai, to play the role of his full-blood sister (actually she was his half-sister, though being his wife) to avoid Pharaoh taking her into his harem and claiming all of Abram’s wealth. Well, we know the outcome from Genesis. The scheme worked and Pharaoh expelled her and sent Abram on his way; but we know that these schemes only worked because of God’s mercy and His covenant with Abram to take Abram’s descendents into a promise land, which, again was based on Abram’s faith.

All of this speaks volumes to my heart; and being a man of faith who can, in times of challenge, become a man of fear, I’m lifted up by the fact that God has given me the hope of His eternal NEW COVENANT, which is far superior to the OLD COVENANT which inspired Abram, later to become “Abraham,” to follow God in faith. I know, because of God’s covenant of salvation (see Romans 10: 9 -13) which was perfected and completed in the shedding of the blood of the Lamb of God, my Savior and Lord, Jesus, I can and will find the promised land of glory with God, the Father, because I’ve placed my faith in Jesus, as Lord and Savior, Who died to save even sinners of wavering faith like Abram and Bill Berry.

Praise God that He sees in Bill Berry, just as he did in Abram, enough faith and something of purpose to call me to be with my LORD forever. In doing so, I will one day be in Heaven, with Abraham, worshipping Our Savior and Messiah, Jesus. And now that our God has called me, and I have come as did Abram, in faith, … He will do what He promised, through Paul in Phil. 1: 6 … to complete me and reshape me into the image of the One Who died to give me His forever covenant of everlasting life.

My Prayer Today: … To God be the glory! And HALLELUJAH! … Amen

Map of Abram's Journey ...

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