I’ve just started a new bible study, Kaye Arthur’s, Covenant. I’m excited because the study is different from one’s I’ve done in the past. I expect that it will be challenging. I’m one of those people who needs to be challenged, and learn new things; or quite frankly I’ll start to slack off. I’m not especially proud of that trait.
So in my homework yesterday something really jumped out at me, and had me thinking, wondering, about me and my own obedience.
Let me set it up.
Genesis 17 is when God tells Abram that he and Sarai would become Abraham and Sarah and that they would be the father and mother of many nations. That kings would come from Abraham. That God would establish His covenant between He and Abraham, and give Abraham and his descendants the land of Canaan as an EVERLASTING possession and that He would be their God!
There's a catch... Well what'd ya expect?
A covenant is like a contract and how many contracts have you ever seen where one party gets something for nothing? For example, my husband Billy has a contract with his employer. His employer expects certain duties be performed and in exchange for that Billy gets paid a salary. If Billy doesn’t perform those duties, he won’t get paid; conversely if his employer doesn’t pay him, he’s gonna go look for work elsewhere, cuz we got bills to pay!
So the catch is... that Abraham, all the males among his people, and his descendants to follow, would all have to be circumcised! If a male were uncircumcised he would be cut off from his people and from God.
Well we all know how men feel about that body part. Abraham is ninety nine years old at this time and God was not asking for just the babies to be circumcised at that time, but ALL the males. There wasn’t any anesthesia or even icepacks in those days…just sayin’!
What was it that got me to thinking, to wondering?
What got me to thinking and to wondering; was that Abraham didn’t hesitate to uphold his end of the bargain.
Genesis 17:21 “That very same day Abraham was circumcised, and his son Ishmael; and all the men of his house, born in the house or bought with money from a foreigner, were circumcised with him.”
Abraham didn’t hold a discussion about it with everyone to see what they think. He didn’t only circumcise the younger males because they’ll get over it quickly, which would have been doing only part of what God asked him (Like Saul in 1 Samuel 15; he mostly did what God asked, but not exactly what God asked and then he was miffed when things didn't go his way). No he gathered all the males and did the deed immediately, and did it anesthesia free!
All too often when the Lord asks me to do something I hmmm and I hawww. Maybe I pretend I didn’t hear Him. Most often I have a little cry about it first and then do it, only to be totally blessed by the outcome!
I hope I don’t regret saying this (you know they say “be careful what you pray for”) but I pray that I can be more like Abraham and be obedient right from the hip hip hippety hop. There, now I’ve said it aloud; and I did say that I need to be challenged; this will definitely be a challenge.
I know that there are some of y’all who can say that when the Lord asks you to do something that you get straight to gettin’. I suspect however that most are like me, and I hope that this at least got you to thinking and to wondering.
Not only did Jesus give His life for us, but really the Lord has done more for us then we’ll ever know; so isn't the very least that we can do for Him to be obedient; which ends up benefitting us any way?
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