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Jun. 21, 2023 | St. Mary's Foundation
by Bradley Burck

Abraham: Embracing the Unknown – Weekly Devotional for St. Mary’s Medical Center

Seeds of Faith by Greg and Robin Creasy

Abraham - Seeds of Faith Devotional

Devotional for June 21, 2023.

Genesis 11:28, tells us that Abraham lived in Ur, an influential city in southern Mesopotamia situated on the Euphrates River near modern-day city of Baghdad.

These are three things that are special about Abraham that we should think about:

Abraham was an old man when God called him. The majority of Abraham’s faith journey recorded in the scriptures began with his calling when he was 75 years old! He was 75 when God asked him to leave his home, 86 when his first son Ishmael was born through Hagar, 99 when he was circumcised, and 100 when his son Isaac was born through his wife Sarah. (Genesis 12-21)

What we should learn:

God didn’t choose to carry out His plan through Abraham because he was special, talented, young, energetic, or even righteous. In fact, God didn’t choose anyone in the Bible for those reasons; He also doesn’t choose anyone today for those reasons. It’s God who makes people special, God who bestows talents, and God alone who can transform sinners into righteous believers.

God shaped Abraham throughout his life to prepare him for the time he would call him and he is doing the same for us.

None of us is too imperfect for God to use. Have you ever been in a position where you felt that God wanted you to do something outside of your comfort zone? Have you wondered if you were too old, too young, or not smart enough? We should learn from Abraham that nothing is impossible with God.

Abraham trusted God when many of us wouldn’t have.

God approached Abraham in Genesis 12 and told him to leave his comfort zone and march onward into uncertainty, to take his family and leave the land that he knew (Genesis 12:1-3). God didn’t even actually tell him what land or where initially. He promises him land of his own there and other blessings. Later in Genesis 22:2, God asks Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac.

What we should learn:

How many of us at the age of 75 would be willing to pack everything up and leave all our people? The concept of family meant everything to a person living in the time of Abraham. Family units were strongly knit; it was unusual for family members to live hundreds of miles apart from each other yet Abraham was willing to go wherever God sent him. In addition, how many of us would have jumped for the chance to burn one of our children to death? Imagine Abraham’s heartbreak when asked to do this!

Abraham was called and he stood up and went. Abraham had waiting a very long time for God’s promise for a son.

He was willing to carry out the sacrifice of his son until the angel of the LORD stopped him. God knew all along that He would stop Abraham because there is only one Son whose sacrifice can atone for sin and fulfill the greatest promise, but he was testing Abraham’s obedience. We should learn from Abraham that faith in God’s promises is demonstrated in our obedience.

Abraham’s journey was long and challenging.

The measure of success in biblical times was often determined by number of animals, number of servants, amount of land, and family size. Abraham and Sarah were infertile for so many years that they had lost hope. The frustration of not having a child wore on Abraham and Sarah. Abraham was asked to leave his land and his family and set out on his own. He was asked to give up many of the things that would identify him as successful at that time. Most of the time Abraham could not even see the path ahead. His faith was tested and God asked him to do difficult things. Abraham’s beginnings were rooted in a pagan faith yet God protected and cared for Abraham. God continued to make promises that if Abraham would follow Him and obey, he would bless him.

What we should learn:

God always keeps His promises; no one else can truly do that. No matter how crazy your life seems, you can trust God through every twist and turn without hesitation. We must be willing and able to embrace uncertainty, because we know the ending to this story. God wins and we will be with God. We should learn from Abraham that even when life isn’t perfect, God’s plan is.

God continued to carry out his promises to Abraham for decades after Abraham’s death. Abraham had many descendants and all who put their faith in God through Jesus are also counted as spiritual heirs of Abraham (Galatians 3:29).

Action:

Today, may we remember that God is superintending and orchestrating the events of our lives, taking our imperfections and making them into something He can use to change the lives of others. Sometimes it may not seem that way, but Abraham’s life is evidence that God’s presence in our lives is real. Even Abraham’s failures demonstrate that God, while not protecting us from the consequences of our sin, graciously works His will in us and through us. All we have to do is embrace the unknown as we follow God in obedience.

Prayer:

All Knowing God,
I am so thankful for Your presence and power displayed in my life. Your wisdom is beyond comprehension and your purposes are eternal. Thank You for choosing to use my life for Your plan and for Your good.
Keep you focused on your work around me. Give me eyes to see opportunities each day to live out my faith and trust in You.
Use me I pray, Amen.

 

SMMC Chaplains

© 2023 Greg and Robin Creasy