July 2015

God's Sovereignty and his People

The last words of Abraham recorded in Scripture are words of faith, faith in God’s power, guidance and provision. Abraham sends his servant, under the providence of God to find a wife for Isaac. He is confident God will fulfill his promise to give him innumerable descendants. God does honor his promise to Abraham and sovereignly directs Abraham’s servant to Isaac’s future wife, Rebecca. God is not only fulfilling his promise, but also assembling for Himself a people that are his, devoted solely to Him.

Suffering and the Promises of God

It is after decades of waiting that Abraham begins to receive the fulfillment of the promises God made to him. Years after receiving Isaac, Sarah dies. Her death is the occasion through which God begins to fulfill the promise of land to Abraham and his descendants. God’s chosen prince, Abraham was not immune from suffering, but God used that suffering as a means of fulfilling his promise. Likewise for us, the promises of God to us are fulfilled only through the suffering of God’s Son, Jesus the Christ.

God's Provision for Salvation

God calls Abraham to do the unthinkable, sacrifice his only son, whom he loves. And remarkably, Abraham responds in faithful obedience. Isaac is only a knife thrust away from death when God intervenes and spares his life. God tested Abraham’s faith but also, more importantly, provided a lamb so Isaac and later, Israel might live. This is a foreshadowing of the Lord’s provision for the salvation of his people through Jesus, the Lamb of God.

God's Faithfulness through Promise and Conflict

Isaac's miraculous birth to Abraham and Sarah was the fulfillment of a promise made by God 25 years earlier. But Ishmael, Abraham's firstborn son through Hagar, stood as a threat to the infant's inheritance. The expulsion of Ishmael and Hagar left Isaac's right to the inheritance uncontested. God demonstrates his faithfulness to all of Abraham' s family, and to us, through the fulfillment of His promise, His inheritance, and His provision.