“Don not lay a hand on the boy, he said. Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” (Genesis 22:12)
This comes from the story of God testing Abraham, who he and his wife had waited many, many years to have children, and finally did. God told Abraham, “to take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah, Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of he mountains I will tell you about.”
Abraham was a man of strong faith and was obedient to God’s commands, without discussion. Any parent would struggle with this command, but Abraham was obedient to God. Even Isaac asked his father where the sacrifice was, and Abraham said God would provide. The wood for a fire was laid down, and Isaac was laid upon the wood, and Abraham took out his son to sacrifice him, when the angel of the Lord called out to him to stop, for God knew that Abraham feared Him when he showed his willingness to offer Isaac. As a parent, I can only imagine how hard it was to follow this command, yet Abraham depended upon God completely and was rewarded for his faith and trust.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, You know us better than we know ourselves. I have always thought of how strong Abraham was and he put his faith completely in God to stop him before he had to fulfill the command. Beloved, we are to pray without ceasing to God in all times; good or bad, and to place our faith and trust in Him alone. I pray that whatever test God has for me, that He will give me the strength to fulfill His command in my own life. I pray for all people to love and come to God through Christ Jesus, His Son, our Savior. This we pray. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Would you rather place your trust in someone who wrote a book—-or he One who wrote The Book?”
“So that they will fear you all the time they live in the land you gave our fathers. Then hear from heaven, your dwelling place, and do whatever the foreigner asks of you, so that all the peoples of he earth may know your name and fear you, as do your own people Israel, and may know that this house that I built bears your Name.” (1st Kings 8:40, 43)
Solomon wanted all peoples to fear God as Israel feared Him when he built the Temple. Those who truly fear God (reverential fear) should want to see others fear Him, as much as they do. Some people build large mansion-like churches, but this is missing the point, if they do so to show off to the world around of their church. The point is beloved, to have space to worship God, whether it is in an open park, a school building, or a facility built for worship and studying God’s word and to worship Him alone. Clear?
“By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.” (Hebrew 11:7)
Noah’s holy fear cause him t build the ark, but it was in response to God’s direction and command to build the ark for his family and two of every family. He didn’t hide what he was doing, but endured laughter and ridicule by the people living in the area, for building an ark that was essentially a desert. When the rains came, there were people who wanted to get on board, but it was too late for their decision and no room for them to live on board. One day Jesus, as promised, will return, and the time to decide to follow Him will be over. If you haven’t made the decision yet, what is holding you back?
SECOND THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. The neighbors were all filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judea people were talking about all these things.” (Luke 1:50, 65)
Awe and reverence surround the birth of Jesus and His forerunner, John the Baptist. God extends His mercy to the truly pious. This awe and reverence comes from within the Holy Spirit that in our hearts and souls. Certainly this began with John the Baptist, whose was responsible for announcing the coming of the Messiah. He brought many out to baptize them and told them plainly he was not the one they had waited so long for, and that he wasn’t even able to tie the sandals on His feet. Once Jesus showed up, John immediately told those following him, that the Messiah had come and to follow him. John continued to baptize people, but he knew this was what he was to do.
Christ’s miracles caused reverent fear and praise because the crowd recognized the superhuman power of God at work in Jesus. Such reverent fear is the first step towards our faith. Acknowledgment that God’s power is at work in Jesus must be followed by faith commitment to Jesus for salvation.