For nations and kings to flow forth from Abraham and Sarah, they need not just to walk before God and be blameless. They need not merely to concern themselves with the outward actions of the lives they live upon the soil of this earth. They needed also to acknowledge a royal order to all existence.
God says to Abraham, “Behold, my covenant is with you” (ESV). God says to Abraham, too, “I will . . . be God to you” (ESV). The covenant itself originates with God. God is the author of it; and the intention is for God to be God to Abraham and his many descendants, for God to be the one who reigns over all else in their lives.
There is a royal order at play here. God is at the top; and Abraham and Sarah and their expected rich lineage of nations and kings are to flow forth from that pinnacle of truth, subservient to God and under God’s authority. This is how things were set up to be.
Would Abraham and Sarah and their generations of descendants let God be God to them? Would they trust the One who made the covenant, who authored it, who was the reason it existed in the first place—even the reason they existed? Will you?
Walking before God and being blameless—these were Abraham’s instructions to secure the promise God gave that Abraham would father kings and nations. But the action of walking before God and the state of being blameless—these were lived out and sought because of a preexisting belief that God is God and the source of all promises made and fulfilled.
Dear God, I honor your authority in my life. I acknowledge you as God and ask you to be God to me in all things. Help me honor the royal order you have designed for all of life. Amen.
We cannot earn God’s love. Going back to the time of Abraham, God’s blessing has been based on faith. God chose Abraham for a covenant not because Abraham was perfect but because he believed God. The psalmist reminds his audience of their ancient relationship with God and expresses the hope that it will continue through future generations. In Romans, Paul reinforces the centrality of faith. Following the law was not bad, but no one should believe that following the law could earn God’s favor. Some of Jesus’ disciples share with him an experience that mystifies them. Trusting God means surrendering everything in faith.
Read Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16. What is the basis of your relationship with God? How comfortable do you feel in it?
Read Psalm 22:23-31. Where do you find hope in troubling times?
Read Romans 4:13-25. How easily do you live in God’s grace? In what areas do you find yourself “reckoning” your righteousness?
Read Mark 9:2-9. Do you ever find it difficult to believe in things you may not fully understand? What helps you to trust in God?
Respond by posting a prayer.
I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.”
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