In this season of social distancing for many, and shelter in place orders for others, as we all try to fight for faith in the face of COVID-19, I decided to share one thought a day from my daily devotional time in the hope of strengthening other’s hands in God (1 Sam 23:16), and encouraging friends forward in faith. You can subscribe at the bottom of the page to receive an email for each new post, and feel free to come back daily and share with anyone who might find them beneficial.
I use a reading plan that has me reading a few chapters in different parts of the Scripture for every day of the week, and so each day’s content will be dictated by the required daily reading of that plan. I will focus in on one unit of thought rather than trying to address the full scope of the day’s reading. I am trusting God that He will speak from different parts of His Word, as He always does.
Monday, March 30
Reading: Genesis 23-25
Just a brief one today, and sorry that it is a little late. Life managed to make itself a little manic over the last couple of days. Some days we get to have slow, deep dives in the Word, and on others, we do well just to step briefly into the shallows of its cool waters. Have grace for yourself, but get into that water in some way, shape or form.
Reading the narrative of the end stages of Abraham and Sarah’s life can feel strange and foreign, because it is. These events took place very far away from where I read about them this morning. It was thousands of years ago, in a culture very different to mine, in a land I have never seen. This creates gaps and mystery that we need to press into. It should humble us as readers and give us the desire to first understand what was happening before jump into how it applies to us, though it does. We should we be asking of the characters and context, “How are they like us? How are they not like us?” You will be amazed at how much meaning lies in just those simple questions.
The story of Abraham sending a servant to find a wife for Isaac is about as foreign as it gets for us. This was a time of betrothal promises between clans, where marriages were societal glue that kept bloodlines flourishing, continuing, and secure. There was a line that really stood out to me, though, which came from Abraham’s servant. When faced with a seemingly impossible search, he prayed.
“O Lord, God of my master Abraham, please grant me success today and show steadfast love to my master Abraham.”
— Ge 24:12. (ESV)
This servant knew that he was going to need Divine guidance to accomplish his task, and so he asked for it. “God … you are going to need to come through … today … I am in your hands.” Now, I know that we experience the joy of God’s revelation of Himself in ways that are far greater than Abraham’s servant had available. We have God’s Word revealed to us as our source of truth and godly living, and we have the accounts of God’s Son revealing to us what God is like in person and work of Jesus.
I can’t help but think that we would see significantly more of God’s hand moving in our life if we regularly prayed the types of prayers that Abraham’s servant prayed. In a world where we are suddenly aware of the unpredictability of our days, the people of God would do well to regularly stop and pray…
“Oh Lord, please come through for me today. I don’t stand a chance without you. Show me what to do, and what not to do. Remind me of your steadfast love, please Lord. I need your guidance and your presence today.”
Pray it now, then do it again tomorrow, and the day after that. Then listen.
Courage, dear friends.