Posts tagged ‘promise’

January 24, 2013

Isaac Could Have Died

by pastortimfowler

Isaac

In Genesis 22 God’s promise of a son to Abraham has been fulfilled and God tests Abraham’s faith with a really bizarre request. He tells Abraham to take his only son Isaac to the place of worship and sacrifice him. Without chasing that obvious questions of “isn’t that cruel”, because it isn’t if you know God’s promise to him. I want to talk about Abraham’s faith. This whole story is a Christ like story. Think about the similarities. Abraham’s only son, God’s only Son. Isaac carried the wood up the hill, Christ carried the cross up a hill. The father, Abraham was asked to sacrifice, God the Father offered the sacrifice. There was a ram with thorns around its head, Christ wore a crown of thorns. I could go on, but I think you can see the similarities.
Abraham had been promised that God would make his descendants more than the stars in the sky. If Isaac dies, how could this happen? So Abraham had to make a choice. Trust God or argue with God. The Bible tells us that God would rather have our obedience than our sacrifice. But if God wants our sacrifice, we need to trust Him to still fulfill His promises. God cannot lie.
So what were the choices that God had? Well, He could have let the sacrifice happen. If so, He would have had to raise Isaac from the dead or have his 100 plus year old wife have another baby. God could do either. Raising the dead is not hard for God to do. It is hard for us to believe and understand, but not hard for God. Sarah had Isaac at 99, so it wouldn’t be hard at 100 plus.
He could have caused the knife not to penetrate Isaac. Jesus walked through walls and disappeared from among crowds. God made himself in the form of fire and smoke and human flesh, I am sure that He could cause a knife to not penetrate skin.
What God did was what Abraham said God would do. He provided the lamb. As the knife was raised, an angel said stop and they looked and there was a ram in the thorn-bush. It was the lamb from God, again a Jesus picture, as He is THE Lamb of God.
Sure, Isaac could have died. But Abraham believed God and we are told in Hebrews that God counted this faith toward Abraham’s righteousness. As I said, God wants our obedience more than our sacrifice. He wants us to believe that His promises can be trusted no matter how bizarre they sound. God’s ways are higher than ours and our understanding is not required. He wants us to do what we are asked and allow Him to be God. He has done miracles as long as we have been on earth and even before. Nature’s laws do not apply to God and He will never allow the impossible to make Him a liar.
So next time that you are faced with the unbelievable and even the impossible, remember that God is the God of impossible and His love for us is unending. If He tells you to do the unthinkable, first, know that it is from God. Abraham knew this was from God, because Abraham had a very close relationship with God. He knew His voice and knew His promises were true.
I don’t think that God will ask you to sacrifice your child. I often prayed for that when my children were little and was not given the go ahead. But He may ask you to be obedient in the face of logic and worldly wisdom. Knowing God will mean that whatever He asks of you, you can find peace and you can trust Him. The closer your relationship, the greater the peace. The greater the faith, the easier it is to do the impossible.

February 17, 2012

Its Free!!!

by pastortimfowler

Without saying that I am a Republican or Democrat, I am saying that I am sick of politicians promising everything to everyone and saying that it is free. The latest argument that insurance companies should give away contraceptives to people who are poor is another of the many “free” things the government promises. The latest vote on the Hill is to continue giving unemployment to those who are still without work. They are “giving” us about $40 extra in our paychecks by not taking more of our money. The sacrifice that no one is talking about is that this gift is coming from our future Social Security. I can probably do without it now more than I can do without it when it is my retirement plan.
Who pays for anything that the government “gives” us? Where does the government get “their” money? Its call our taxes. Its called taking our money and using it as if it was theirs. I won’t argue about who should pay more. Rich or poor, we should all pay our share because we must fund the basics of what makes our country function, but welfare and handouts don’t make anyone more productive and those things are not free. The only people who do not pay for these things are those who are making it their lifestyle of taking and never giving.
I ran a business a couple of times in my life. Nothing was free. Every factor of business was accounted for and was figured into the pricing of our products and services. If I incurred a cost such as a raise in rent, power bill, payroll, or made to give something away, I passed the cost on to the customer. Don’t gasp in disbelief, because every business does it. Otherwise we can’t stay in business. So when the government, who has no money of its own, tells any business that they must pass on a service or a product to those who can’t pay and make it “free”, someone will have to pay for it and that someone is the paying customers.
Freedom is not free. There is always a price for something valuable. Those who get things for free continually have no value in what they get and someone else is paying for them. They become dependent and often feel as if they are owed the hand out. The right to have property comes from the privilege of having a job or a way to produce a product that has value to someone else who is willing to pay for it. A home given to someone who has no desire to work and no concern of losing it is often a just a building that eventually has no worth to anyone. A check that is given for doing nothing but walking to the mailbox only makes one want to walk to the mailbox. Sure we pay for unemployment insurance, but that has its limits. Congress extending those benefits for what is now years, are not spending the big pile of free money that they make, but rather they are taking money from my paycheck that I earn and giving it to someone who now, may not be willing to work anymore.
Everything has a cost and some has to pay. Usually those who pay the highest cost are those who have the biggest heart. Government has no heart. They are not giving out of love and concern, but rather the desire to stay in office. If they want it to be free, give it from their paycheck and leave mine alone.
I give to church and other charities. I help those in need and do it because of the motivation of knowing Jesus as my Savior. But never forget that Jesus worked. He told people to work and give and even to pay taxes. But paying taxes was never to take care of those who want something for free. His command was for Christians to personally take care of the family and people they knew who were in need and the church to take care of the poor that had no family…not the government.
Stop believing when people say. Its free!