The biggest reason that some of the Jews had trouble accepting Jesus is because he brought a new word. Sometimes we have difficulty letting go of the old word, even when the new word is actually fulfilling and ending the word we were waiting to come to pass!
Go out, and recover all!
Let’s look at Noah again, shall we? Something cataclysmic happened in Noah’s lifetime. His whole world was turned upside down. He had to let go of more than he was able to keep. He had to learn a new system for living all over again, and on top of that, he had to multiply. But something miraculous happened as well. Noah carried the weight of the world on his shoulders, yet he was able to survive a total destruction simply because he believed God. He believed God in the beginning when God first told him that the destruction was coming. He believed God in the middle when God told him how to protect himself, his family, and those who came to him. And he believed God in the end when God told him that it was time to come out and build again.
When we believe God, we learn something new about ourselves. We also learn something new about our world; and most importantly, we learn something new about our Creator. We learn that everything was designed to work together for the good. It sounds elementary but it is not. It’s challenging to believe that every little thing is going to be all right, when God says it will. But that’s Noah, a man well acquainted with God’s old word and his new. Abraham, on the other hand, reminds me of myself. He worries in between the two.
Abraham doesn’t just sit in a corner making himself sick regarding things he can’t control. He is a man of action. He worries about not doing enough of his part. He worries that if he isn’t involved enough to make it happen, whatever “it” may be, perhaps it won’t. I have a feeling that trusting is an issue for Abraham and that is why God counted it as a worthy offering when Abraham was able to trust God.
Noah, now is the time!
You see, it is the fact that Abraham believed God, though he rarely believes anything, that caused him to be favored by God. It was that sole quality of going against his nature, to believe God, that stuck out amongst mankind. Abraham actually believed God despite: his own logic, his own temperament, and what his own zodiac sign was dictating. Abraham believed God like Noah did. But one thing was missing.
Every once in awhile, Abraham would start to question himself. That’s where worry was able to maintain a foothold and Abraham wavered. True, Abraham trusted God, but Abraham didn’t trust Abraham, and that left a door open that needed to be closed permanently. Perhaps Abraham felt that if he didn’t include the opinions of others they would consider him to be unreasonable, and uncompromising, and he didn’t want to be seen that way. But Abraham needed to stop allowing the opinions of others to dictate the terms of the agreement he made with God. Now was the time for Abraham to be firm, no matter what anyone else thought. Now was the time for him to think like Noah did.
Noah knew that our relationship with God is singular. That means that everything in your life has been mapped out before you. Even your mistakes have been accounted for in your life and those mistakes do not alter the purpose of God. However; when we allow others to give us their mistakes, then things change! That’s the danger in permitting another access to our covenant agreement with God (depending more on what they say than on what God says). Perhaps there were times when Noah factored in the feelings and insights of his peers because they brought confirmation to what God was already saying to him; but when God gave him a word, regardless of what anyone else thought of it, God’s word took precedence over all other protocol. And that’s important!
In the beginning know the tone
We were designed to be a “Prince with God” in our own lives. The simple meaning of this is that we are the joint authority responsible for the outcome of our days, and we work these days out in agreement with God. You see, our adversary isn’t concerned about the wavering that you experience between you and God. He is focusing on the wavering that you demonstrate in public. Public wavering allows other opinions to interfere with what you heard originally. Internal wavering can be sorted out, but external wavering comes right up against the door of faith and camps there waiting for an opportunity to disbelieve.
Abraham’s first crucial mistake was to allow Sarah to bring to him another solution that was outside of the perfect will of God. It isn’t because Sarah didn’t have good ideas or suggestions, (later God actually tells Noah to heed to her opinion) but, it is because that particular idea had a certain tone to it. Sarah’s idea factored in her own failures and sought a solution for a “personal” problem. It short-circuited what God was doing in Abraham’s life. Sarah’s ideas were not professional. They were personal. She had neither heard a word from God regarding the counsel she was giving to Abraham, nor had she considered the repercussions. The tone said, “I don’t think you really know what you are doing, and everyone else knows that what you said that God was going to do, isn’t getting done. We look ridiculous.”
When Abraham accepted her word without consulting with God, he began to live in the mess that she created and he stayed there for thirteen years! The word that Sarah gave Abraham was an old word from another world. Sarah was giving Abraham a word from “what would have happened had there been no God” in Abraham’s life. When there is no God in our lives, we become desperate and we do foolish things because we believe that we must be the sole provider for ourselves. But that wasn’t where God was with Abraham. Abraham was a prophet. That means that he is one who hears from God and speaks on behalf of God. There was a god in Abraham’s life, and that god was the one true and living God! For a moment, Abraham forgot that and he allowed someone else the privilege of the role of God in his ear. He became a man who wavered on the word of God.
Sarah was fortunate that God did not allow Abraham to reject her forever for the confusion she had caused. It was an error based on love, and though God understood her intentions, she was still wrong about what she had done in trying to protect her household. Ham was not as fortunate. God found something in him that warranted the curse that Noah cast upon him. When he whispered news about Noah that was meant to publicly disgrace Noah, he was speaking from the old world, with an old word. Noah, however, recognized the word and where it came from. That whisper was the same sound that Eve heard in the garden. Noah would rather curse his own flesh than to allow an old word to come into the new world that God created. Despite his flaws, Noah was given a second chance to set the record straight regarding his name and how he would be remembered. Noah was given an opportunity to recover everything that had been stolen from him.
When God grants that kind of favor, not even your own flesh should block your way. And that’s what God is about to tell Abraham about Ishmael.
(Week Three) October 23, 2010 – And Appeared
Genesis 18:1 – 22:24;
2 Peter 2:4 – 11