Sunday, March 5, 2017

the Land of Promise

The Word for today:
Genesis 11:10-13:4
mark this: Genesis 12:1-3
Now the LORD said to Abram, "Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."
God started with Adam, who was created in God's image. But his sin marred the image and separated him from God.
Then God started over with Abraham, who was recreated (born again) with the righteousness of God (think of it as God's image restored and suffused all the way to the core) and reunited with God.
So God is Adam's Creator. But God is both Abraham's Creator and his Redeemer.
Every human being who ever lived is linked to Adam. We are all born with his marred image. He is our progenitor ('father') in the flesh.
But only some are linked to Abraham, because the blessing is inherited by faith. Only those who share his faith are credited with the perfect righteousness of God. Abraham is the progenitor ('father') of those with faith in Jesus Christ:
It is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring. (Romans 9:8)
Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, "In you shall all the nations be blessed." So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith. (Galatians 3:7-9)
Adam and Eve could see their blessings: the perfection of paradise surrounded them. God didn't have to promise them anything because he'd already given them everything! But despite the evidence of their own eyes, they didn't trust God. They are exhibit A and A-1 that seeing is not believing.
Abraham did not live in an Eden of empirical evidence. He lived in the Land of Promise:
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise…(Hebrews 11:8-9)
Then he was promised a son, even though he and Sarah were old. Ten years passed, and all they got was ten years older. But Abraham believed what he could not see, because God said so.
As you read your Bible, remember that it is God's Word. Be Abraham as you read, and you will see the word of God materialize before your very eyes.
One of the very first concepts that the Bible teaches is that God's Word will materialize:
God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. (Genesis 1:3)
There was no cosmos; there was no nothing. Then God said a word--and there it was.
But the cosmos is just a warmup for the Logos, Jesus, who was the Word before he materialized in the flesh:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. (John 1:1, 14)
We start out hoping the Word will come true. Then we believe it will come true. Then we expect it to come true. Then we reach the point where we flat-out know it will come true.
We reach the conclusion that the Word of God has never deceived, while eyes often have--that Eve was deceived despite all the empirical evidence in Eden.  At that point --when faith proves to be a more reliable guide than sight-- a revolutionary reversal occurs, and faith becomes our habit of mind, our modus operandi. In fact, faith becomes the only sane and rational--the only trustworthy--way to proceed.
Thus we find ourselves walking by faith, not by sight (1)--all the way from here to the Land of Promise, in the direction of faith.

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