Trust Me–Genesis 26 Part 1

God always took seriously his covenant to Abraham. When a famine  hit, he knew Egypt and the Nile would be tempting. He also knew that if that was where Isaac went, he would not return to Canaan. So, he told Isaac to trust him and settle where God put him and in return God would and did bless him. 

Incredibly, God’s call to us is very similar. He calls us to trust and follow him, and in exchange, he will provide, protect and bless us. 

Our part is not easy–trusting God is neither encouraged by our culture nor natural as our response. It is a daily–heck! moment by moment choice. If we so choose–God is amazing and will bless us for that choice. Let’s choose this day to stay put where God leads us!!!

God Bless You

The Lord appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land where I tell you to live.

Stay in this land for a while, and I will be with you and will bless you. For to you and your descendants I will give all these lands and will confirm the oath I swore to your father Abraham.

I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed,

because Abraham obeyed me and did everything I required of him, keeping my commands, my decrees and my instructions.”

So Isaac stayed in Gerar.

 

What is Your Legacy Worth–Genesis 25 final

When your life is controlled by your urges, there is little hope that it will end with a great legacy. So many people chase the next big toy, meal, job, relationship or other stimulus never realizing fulfillment does not come from things. 

Esau traded his life for stew. Sadly, as ludicrous as that sounds, it is no different than those that trade for drugs, alcohol, pornography or acceptance. 

We must set our heart and minds on things above. Then, we can enjoy the eternal inheritance provided by our Lord. We also will remain unencumbered so we can address the issues we face. In Christ,we are fully armed and  ready to fight the battles of life and walk with discipline.  As we do, we honor his name and become eternity minded and prepared.  Then when we are faced with a short-term choice that could wipe out our legacy, we seek his kingdom first.  That is what Abraham would do, but that is the opposite of what Esau did.

God Bless You

Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished.

He said to Jacob, “Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished!” That is why he was also called Edom.

Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.”

“Look, I am about to die,” Esau said. “What good is the birthright to me?”

But Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob.

Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left.So Esau despised his birthright.

The Battle Within– Genesis 25 part 2

The story of Israel is a story full of conflicts. The battle between Jacob and Esau started before they were even born. God knew the character of Isaac’s sons from the beginning and made clear to Isaac and Rebekah whom he had chosen to lead the nation. Once again, God did not pick the obvious heir–he chose the best one. 

As his followers, we should not expect the easy or obvious choices in our lives. God’s plan and ours rarely coincide, but, his always produces an  amazing result. If we will trust and follow him to the end, we will be able to see eternal legacies and a full and meaningful life. 

While we would never have picked it, we will humbly accept the great result of a God directed life. 

God Bless You

Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was childless. The Lord answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant.

The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, “Why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the Lord.

The Lord said to her,“Two nations are in your womb,and two peoples from within you will be separated;one people will be stronger than the other,and the older will serve the younger.”

The End Of An Era–Genesis 25 Part 1

The end of an ERA–The man of faith the original patriarch of Israel died.  In the meanwhile, he had several more sons.  But God and Abraham’s covenant remained in place.  All Abraham had in his estate went to Isaac, but–He set each of his remaining sons up with the ability to prosper.  And while the separation from Ishmael was quite obvious, Ishmael helped to bury his father.  It seems as though, Abraham had a lasting impact on many nations.  His legacy, while simply beginning was clearly widespread and deep.

What about our legacy? Will we be people of faith that impact the world by our lives? God does not require perfection (She is my sister), he simply requires perseverance. We live our lives trusting and following him until he takes us or he returns.  In the meanwhile, we love our kids and give them everything we can to equip them to live similar lives of faith.  All other things we do become secondary–We are called to be legendary, by being faithful, selfless and loving–like Abraham.

God Bless You

 Abraham left everything he owned to Isaac. But while he was still living, he gave gifts to the sons of his concubines and sent them away from his son Isaac to the land of the east.

Abraham lived a hundred and seventy-five years. Then Abraham breathed his last and died at a good old age, an old man and full of years; and he was gathered to his people. His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah near Mamre, in the field of Ephron son of Zohar the Hittite, 10 the field Abraham had bought from the Hittites.[a] There Abraham was buried with his wife Sarah. 11 After Abraham’s death, God blessed his son Isaac, who then lived near Beer Lahai Roi.

Faith is Passed Father to Child–Genesis 24 Final

So Rebekah left her family by faith to become the wife of Isaac.  Isaac was at home praying that God would provide him a wife and care for his family.  The Faith that passed down to their generation was the faith that continued the growth of God’s people.  Abraham knew that Isaac would never remain faithful if he became part of the Canaanite community.  Isaac also knew and followed his father’s leadership.  He also was a man of prayer.  He saw God’s provision on the mountain and he trusted that God provides in all matters.  Now, as he was to become the patriarch of the family, he was prepared in every way.

In our lives, we have a job. We must prepare our lives and the lives of our children to honor and follow God.  As we are faithful in that, he will provide and prepare us.  He will establish his continued covenant with us.  We follow and he takes care of the rest.  This will impact us and our children for generations–and preserve a legacy that will be eternal.

God Bless You

 

Our sister, may you become
The mother of thousands of ten thousands;
And may your descendants possess
The gates of those who hate them.”

61 Then Rebekah and her maids arose, and they rode on the camels and followed the man. So the servant took Rebekah and departed.

62 Now Isaac came from the way of Beer Lahai Roi, for he dwelt in the South. 63 And Isaac went out to meditate in the field in the evening; and he lifted his eyes and looked, and there, the camels were coming. 64 Then Rebekah lifted her eyes, and when she saw Isaac she dismounted from her camel; 65 for she had said to the servant, “Who is this man walking in the field to meet us?”

The servant said, “It is my master.” So she took a veil and covered herself.

66 And the servant told Isaac all the things that he had done. 67 Then Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent; and he took Rebekah and she became his wife, and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.

A Grateful Heart–Genesis 24 part 4

Abraham’s servant saw a miracle that forever changed his life.  God took him where he was to go, brought Rebekah, Isaac’s future wife, right to him and prepared the heart of her family to release her into his trust to bring her and Isaac together.  That, is a full service miracle.  What’s more, God did it without E harmony.com, the internet, dating or royal decree. No fanfare, no pillar of fire or cloud–just a down right awesome answer to prayer!!

We need to watch for God’s handiwork.  It may not always come with fanfare or amazing graphics, but when we pray, we need to expect him to answer prayer. As he answers prayer, we need to be grateful and prayerful–not expectant and smug.  God honors humility and a grateful heart–the heart of a servant!

God Bless You

Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, “The thing comes from the Lord; we cannot speak to you either bad or good. 51 Here is Rebekah before you; take her and go, and let her be your master’s son’s wife, as the Lord has spoken.”

52 And it came to pass, when Abraham’s servant heard their words, that he worshiped the Lord, bowing himself to the earth. 53 Then the servant brought out jewelry of silver, jewelry of gold, and clothing, and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave precious things to her brother and to her mother.

54 And he and the men who were with him ate and drank and stayed all night. Then they arose in the morning, and he said, “Send me away to my master

God Provides–Genesis 24 part 3

Make me successful today, what a great prayer. So often when we are following the Lord, we are not sure what his plan is. But, as in the hunt for a wife for Isaac, God has a plan in place. As we seek him, often we may not know the details but we know his direction. We pray accordingly, and he works to answer the prayers and accomplish his plan.

If we look back over time, and begin to see how many specific prayers he answers, then we will be better able to trust him for all the big and small needs in our lives. Our prayer life becomes amazing and we look forward to each and every chance we have to trust and follow him. That is the epitome of faith.

God Bless You

Then he prayed, “Lord, God of my master Abraham, make me successful today, and show kindness to my master Abraham.

See, I am standing beside this spring, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water.

May it be that when I say to a young woman, ‘Please let down your jar that I may have a drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I’ll water your camels too’—let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master.”

Before he had finished praying, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder. She was the daughter of Bethuel son of Milkah, who was the wife of Abraham’s brother Nahor.

No going back–Genesis 24 part 2

We are always tempted to go back. As time moves forward,we all look back at the past with fondness. That is why Abraham said no to taking Isaac back to the old life. God gave Abraham the land and the legacy to build a nation. But, Abraham knew going back to his old home would make Isaac consider the comforts and comradery of his relatives.

In our lives we have to continue forward on the journey he has set for us. There is no turning or going back. We forget what is behind and press on toward what is ahead to take hold of that for which Christ takes hold of us. (Phil 3:14.)

God bless you

“Make sure that you do not take my son back there,” Abraham said.

“The Lord, the God of heaven, who brought me out of my father’s household and my native land and who spoke to me and promised me on oath, saying, ‘To your offspring I will give this land’—he will send his angel before you so that you can get a wife for my son from there.

If the woman is unwilling to come back with you, then you will be released from this oath of mine. Only do not take my son back there.”

God’s Choice for a Spouse–Genesis 24 part 1

We could take direction from this Dad. He was old and knew one choice could make God’s plan dissolve. His son marrying a local person. He knew he needed a godly wife–God’s choice for his lineage. So he made his trusted servant take an oath to seek God’s Choice for his son.

As we pray for our kids, this choice is as critical for them as it was for Isaac. We should seek God’s choice for our kid’s spouses as well. That choice forever changes a family legacy. We cannot make the choice–but we can seek God’s direction and blessing for them all the prayers of our lives.

Go there–it’s Ok!!!

God Bless You

Abraham was now very old, and the Lord had blessed him in every way.

He said to the senior servant in his household, the one in charge of all that he had, “Put your hand under my thigh.

I want you to swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you will not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I am living,

but will go to my country and my own relatives and get a wife for my son Isaac.”

No Free Land–Genesis 23

Their are no free gifts from strangers. Abraham knew God was giving him and his lineage the land of Canaan. But before that was to be a reality, Sarah died. He needed a place to bury her. The MEN in Canaan were glad to give him land–but then Abraham would be in league with the people of the land not with God.

Abraham paid a fair price to bury his wife. The men of the land had nothing to hold over him. We as a people need that same separation in our lives. We can be in the world, but we need to stay separate. Not weird, not withdrawn, simply not indebted to the world or its many entrapments.

If we can only be indebted to God, then we are free to speak the truth about God to the World. We are not bound by fear or deed. Then we can be free to see God do amazing things while we are traveling through. Help me Lord to get free and stay that way, during this amazing journey.

God Bless You

The Hittites replied to Abraham,

Again Abraham bowed down before the people of the land

and he said to Ephron in their hearing, “Listen to me, if you will. I will pay the price of the field. Accept it from me so I can bury my dead there.”

Ephron answered Abraham,

“Listen to me, my lord; the land is worth four hundred shekels of silver, but what is that between you and me? Bury your dead.”

Abraham agreed to Ephron’s terms and weighed out for him the price he had named in the hearing of the Hittites: four hundred shekels of silver, according to the weight current among the merchants.

So Ephron’s field in Machpelah near Mamre—both the field and the cave in it, and all the trees within the borders of the field—was deeded

to Abraham as his property in the presence of all the Hittites who had come to the gate of the city.