Sunday, February 26, 2006

I was thinking about Abraham, Sarah, Ishmael, and Isaac

Abraham loved God, I believe he longed to serve and trust Him faithfully. And knowing God had huge things in store for his blood line must have been a little frustrating for him because of his being so old and Sarah's barrenness. It was a seemingly insurmountable thing that was laid before him in his ripe old age. Yet God was in control and had His plan laid out in His timing for His glory.

But Abraham and Sarah took matters into their own hands, they came up with a plan that seemed good to them, and went with it. They had no heir by Sarah, so by Sarah's maid Abraham would have his heir. That's what I love about this story. It's so real. I see the struggle of Abraham and Sarah and I relate to it.

It's what I love about the Bible. It's real. It's blood, sweat, tears, and ultimately triumph. It's the ultimate happy ending, movie producers could do well to learn from it.

Anyway, sorry about the movie kick, back to the topic at hand. How often are we like that? How often do we know God is moving in our lives and has a plan for us but still we question? Still we try to fix things on our own? Still we try to move in our own strength? And we see the result of such actions in the story of Abraham. Their plans resulted in Ishmael. But God had a different plan. He wanted to work a miracle in their lives. He wanted to create a miracle in the womb of Sarah, and indeed had told Abraham of His plan, but still they went forth in their own strength. And yes, Abraham got a son out of his plans, but the key here is that it was not what God had planned. God had bigger greater things to accomplish and He had chosen to work them through Abraham with Sarah. And so Isaac was born.

How often do we do this ourselves? God speaks to us, tells us He is going to give us [insert whatever] and we rush out and try to create the opportunity to get that on our own. Whether it be a job, a husband, a child, or a million other things we try to do it in our own strength. Why? I think that silly serpent really got under Eve's skin, because he's still under our skin. With the fall we continue to follow in Adam and Eve's way, taking matters into our own hands, sinning.

God gives us the garden, He gives us more than everything we could ever need, but still we want more.

And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. (Genesis 3:4-5, emphasis mine)

::crunch:: My, this fruit sure tastes yummy!

And the end result of not just waiting and trusting and following God? Banishment from His presence, a curse, and death. The end result of following our desires rather than God's will never be as good as if we had followed Him.

Had Abraham just waited and trusted the women never would have had conflict over the children because Ishmael wouldn't have existed, and thus Abraham wouldn't have to choose to send Ishmael and his mother away on their own. They went forth with their own plans and conflict arose from it. Unnecessary conflict.

And such is life. We go out and try to create opportunity for ourselves when we know we should be waiting on God to move and we create conflict. Even if the conflict only takes place in our hearts and minds it still happens. Doubt creeps in if we do not actively seek and wait upon God to move. That old serpent starts to whisper, "Hey Kristina, come here. I've got a great idea for you!" And instead of running away, how often do we turn. After all, no harm ever came from hearing and considering all the options available to us, right? Wrong. Like Joseph we must flee, even if it means fleeing in the nude. FLEE. Besides, isn't it a little strange to have a conversation with a talking snake? FLEE.

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