Thursday, July 17, 2008

Faith or no faith, God's reaching out

I'm continuing to wrestle with Genesis 18:1-15 and the implications that it has for us and our faith. What I notice, especially as I look back at the chapters before, is the fact that a lack of faith in God is not something new. While the book of Hebrews raises Abraham up as a paragon of faith, there's certainly enough evidence throughout the book of Genesis to see that Abraham was human. Yeah, he left everything he knew to wander where "God" told him, but he also lied in Egypt to protect himself and tried to get around God's promise of a son by substituting his wife's servant girl. And then, when God reminds Abraham that it'll be Sarah that bears the child of promise, Abraham, much like Sarah in this later passage, laughs. If Abraham is an example of great faith, then we can learn something pretty neat here - great faith doesn't preclude moments of doubt.

So, when we get to this God encounter, where the LORD shows up to see Abraham & Sarah - where 3 men appear to Abraham - and God reminds them he'll show up next year - same bat time, same bat channel, and Sarah will be pregnant - is it any surprise that it's now her turn to laugh? She doesn't believe it'll happen. She's skeptical. Yeah, that makes sense. But, as I said in the earlier post, Sarah is actually drawn into the conversation, drawn into the encounter with God, through her unbelief, through her lack of faith. What we see in this story is the fact that God is reaching out, faith or no faith, to enact a blessing. God's purposes will come to pass, which is the big question, isn't it?

God's going to do what God's going to do. Our faith, or lack of faith, are both opportunities for God to draw us into a life changing encounter, so we can be part of God's mission...

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