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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

God is coming back soon. What do we do while we wait? An example from Abraham.

Abraham (Genesis 15)

"Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, terror and great darkness fell upon him."--Genesis 15:12.  Abram a.k.a Abraham.  One of the great men of faith named in Hebrews 11 which is affectionately known as the hall of fame of faith. Great chapter! Back to Genesis 15.  What is happening here is it is in Genesis 15 where God promises Abraham a son and that his countless descendants would dwell in the Promised Land.  After God makes His promise, he has Abraham bring some animals to seal the covenant.  Abraham follows suit and this brings us to verse 12. Between verse 11 and verse 12, the only thing that happens is that Abraham drives away some birds of prey that were trying to steal what Abraham had brought. God doesn't show up immediately. He shows up in verse 13. On a side note, something we must understand is that we can read verses in a matter of minutes.  However, sometimes in the Bible from one verse or chapter to the next a long period of time has elapsed between events. Based on the fact that Abram (Abraham) went to sleep tells me that a period of time elapsed between verses 11, 12 and 13.  That being said, why does verse 12 use the language that it does? Why does it say terror and great darkness fell over Abram? He was still known as Abram at this point so I will refer to Abraham as Abram in this case.

Terror and great darkness fell upon him. I mentioned a period of time probably elapsed before God showed up. The more that I look at this I begin to understand why the text is phrased the way it is. God asked Abram to do something. Abram did it.  Then if my impression is correct, he had to wait on God.  Based on the language of the text, it's like he was scared when God didn't show up immediately.

Haven't we all had this feeling at some point in our lives? We do everything God asks us to do. Everything is in place.  We even double check our motives for doing what God asks.  Even that checks out. So we start asking, God where are you? You asked me to do something and you haven't shown up. Well, faith definitely plays a role here. And definitely patience as well. Something we fail to understand is that God is outside the realm of time and space. Difficult to understand to be sure since we are so time-oriented. God definitely takes his time sometimes, most of the time actually.  But we need to ask ourselves do we really want God to hurry up and come now? Well for myself as a Christian, the answer is both yes and no.  Yes because frankly, I just can't wait to get to heaven and leave all the pain, sorrow, and troubles behind FOREVER that this life brings. But no because I think we all know that there are still billions of people out there that still need to be offered that chance to make it to heaven.  I think of Paul who desired to go and be with Christ but at the same time thought it better to remain here for the benefit of those he preached to. 2 Peter 3:9 tells us that God is NOT slow in keeping His promise but is patient, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.  I really don't know why God didn't come to Abram immediately in Genesis 15. Maybe faith had something to do with it. Abram did as God told him to do and waited for God to do the rest.

This needs to be our attitude. Until the day He returns, we need to keep doing what God has asked us to do.  He WILL show up, He IS coming back.  In the meantime, God is expecting us to do as He has told us while we wait.  That's what He expects of us. If there is something you need to change in your life, God is giving you the chance now.  He expects you to change it now.  If you need to obey the gospel, God is giving you the chance now. He is coming back. But in the meantime, let's do what God is expecting us to do while we wait. THINK SOULS! DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! PRAY ABOUT IT! LOVE Y'ALL GOOD NIGHT AND GOD BLESS!    

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