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GOD’S WORD FOR AUGUST 22 ~ ~ James 1:17 ~ ~ “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”

Abraham saw amazing things from God. He saw the fire pass between the halves of the sacrifices, he saw the burning bush, he saw the miracle of Isaac’s birth, and he saw the Lord save Isaac’s life with the ram. He heard the voice of God directly in many areas of his life, including the dilemma concerning Ishmael and Hagar.

That should have thoroughly solidified the faith of Abraham, and, indeed, he is noted in Hebrews as a great man of faith.

On the other hand, when they went through Egypt, he had no faith in that situation, and relied on scheming: “Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to dwell there, for the famine was severe in the land. And it came to pass, when he was close to entering Egypt, that he said to Sarai his wife, “Indeed I know that you are a woman of beautiful countenance. Therefore it will happen, when the Egyptians see you, that they will say, ‘This is his wife’; and they will kill me, but they will let you live. Please say you are my sister, that it may be well with me for your sake, and that I may live because of you.” Genesis 12:10-13

This is like many things we resort to, if we are honest with ourselves. Instead of trusting our Lord to work out the circumstances to His will, we manipulate it for an easy way out. Abraham was no different from us, even though God used him greatly.

Later, after the promise was given but time marched on without seeing physical results, Sarai was the one to resort to material means of accomplishing God’s promise. Looking back, we now know that was a huge mistake, and the world is still paying for it in the form of continual wars in the middle east throughout history. But at the time, again, we would have been tempted to do a similar thing given a parallel situation, because of our inherent weak faith.

Many years later, recorded in Genesis 21:9-14 we see this: “And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, scoffing.  Therefore she said to Abraham, ‘Cast out this bondwoman and her son; for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, namely with Isaac.’  And the matter was very displeasing in Abraham’s sight because of his son.

 But God said to Abraham, ‘Do not let it be displeasing in your sight because of the lad or because of your bondwoman. Whatever Sarah has said to you, listen to her voice; for in Isaac your seed shall be called. Yet I will also make a nation of the son of the bondwoman, because he is your seed.’

 So Abraham rose early in the morning, and took bread and a skin of water; and putting it on her shoulder, he gave it and the boy to Hagar, and sent her away. Then she departed and wandered in the Wilderness of Beersheba .”

Apparently Abraham learned through the years, that God is able to take care of everything in their lives. It was difficult to turn away his son, whom, throughout these years before Isaac, he thought of as his heir. But He didn’t argue with the Lord, He simply obeyed, as many years later he did on Mt. Moriah with Isaac. The believers in the Bible were not special people. When we study, we see the gross failures and weaknesses even in the ones who were mightily used by God. It is the Lord who gave them strength, the Lord alone who manipulated the situations to mold them into what He needed for His purposes to bring about His Promises. He has not changed. He’s still doing that with us. As we tend to find our own ways, and stumble in the dark, we eventually come out of the tunnel and see the Light of Christ, and know that He was there all the time with us, growing our faith!!!

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