As we say “goodbye” to the Psalms and re-enter the world of Genesis, a reading service this Sunday will introduce to us Abraham, the father of our faith, and the grandest of adventures that God leads him into.
Joshua assembled the elders, leaders, judges, officials and all the tribes of Israel at Shechem., where they presented themselves before God.
“This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Long ago your ancestors, including Terah the father of Abraham and Nahor, lived beyond the Euphrates River and worshiped other gods.
But I took your father Abraham from the land beyond the Euphrates and led him throughout Canaan and gave him… JOSHUA 24:1-3
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. This week’s reading starts with the grandest promise ever made to anyone, and then settles into a long and agonizing period of waiting for that promise to be fulfilled. We see moments where Abraham is capable of worship, of speaking with God and hearing from God, finding the strength to keep trusting.
But then there are the times when Abraham’s patience is stretched wafer-thin, and his “practical self” contrives solutions that require the deliverance of an ever-watching and gracious God.
Sound like anybody you know??
Abraham was 100 years old! Think of it! His body was “as good as dead,” and so was Sarah’s womb. But their circumstance didn’t have the final say:
Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness. ROMANS 4:19-22
As we listen to the story of Abraham and Sarah unfold this Sunday, may unbelief give way to hope and trust, and faith in our always-faithful God grow and flourish in our hearts.