Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Promises

Today's passages are Genesis 12:1-9Genesis 21:1-7Genesis 22:15-18John 8:56-58, and 2 Corinthians 1:20.


Throughout my time as a Christian, I've spent probably more than 80% of my time dwelling in the New Testament. I mean, c'mon. It's just that I usually make it to the begats in Genesis and I just give up. It's very slow moving in places. It's tedious. Sometimes it's a snooze, and sometimes it's downright weird and scary.


However, I've recently been trying to spend more time diving into the Old Testament because without the Old Testament, there would be no prophecies for the New Testament to fulfill. The Old Testament is the bedrock for which all of creation stands.


I've found the paradox between the Old Testament and New Testament to be wondrous, and yet… not. We see so many staggering parallels and similarities between Old and New, but should we be surprised? Or look at it like "Well duh! God promised it!"


In the story of Abraham, we find a story of promises and parallels. Abram's wife Sarai was barren… and LONG past years of being physically able to get pregnant {and Mary was a virgin, a socially unacceptable time to get pregnant}. But God made them a beautiful promise--the promise of a son that would provide a lineage that would be countless and blessed {Mary got the promise of a son who would redeem the world}. 


But through it, Abram had some serious struggles. He had to leave the comforts of the only home he'd ever known, he had to be willing to sacrifice His only son {not unlike God, right?}… But, in the end, God provided a proxy to save Isaac. Is anything ringing a bell yet? God also provided a proxy for you, dear friend! 


I think about the promises I make {and break} in my life. Promises are usually about righting a wrong. We promise to be nicer in the future, but we lose our patience the very next day {or hour, even!} We promise the officer we'll slow down our driving speed, but we still can't get it together to leave on time. We promise to do more things together as a family, only to fail miserably at it. We promise we'll keep the car cleaner, when what we really drive is a trash can on wheels.


Against my best intentions, I manage to break promises all the time. No, I didn't read the terms and conditions on the new iOS update. No, I didn't stay out of my son's Halloween candy. No, I didn't end up going to that event. No, I didn't catch up on laundry mountain. No, I didn't read my bible as much as I promised myself {and God} that I would. 


We're human, y'all. And therefore, our promises aren't always kept. Promises get broken here on Earth. People break promises to us all the time which can leave us brokenhearted. 


BUT--God never breaks his promises. God makes us promises that are CRAZY and beyond human comprehension, and then he KEEPS them! God changed Abraham and Sarah's names. He literally gave them new identities in Him, and bestowed upon them their precious baby Isaac, even though getting pregnant at that age in today's culture would land you on the cover of The National Enquirer. Isaac means "laughter". I have to wonder if that name was given to him because this promise of a son was laughable? 


God keeps every promise. No matter how crazy, difficult or painful. He gave Abraham and Sarah their son, and He sacrificed His. God giving Abraham that ram was a foreshadowing of what was to come: mercy, sacrifice, and relief… Only Jesus.





Ideas to consider:
  1. Name 3 promises God made to you. 
  2. Do you find it easy or hard to trust in those promises?
  3. Has He kept His promises to you in the past?




    

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