DayBreaks for 4/18/19 – The Torch, the Old Man and the Hands of a King

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DayBreaks for 4/18/19: The Old Man, the Torch and the Hands of the King

From the DayBreaks archive, April 2009:

So He said to him, “Bring Me a three year old heifer, and a three year old female goat, and a three year old ram, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” Then he brought all these to Him and cut them in two, and laid each half opposite the other; but he did not cut the birds. The birds of prey came down upon the carcasses, and Abram drove them away. It came about when the sun had set, that it was very dark, and behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a flaming torch which passed between these pieces.  (Gen. 15:9-11, 17) 

Nearly 2000 years passed from the time God met with Abram (as noted above) and made His covenant.  Covenants were sealed in those days by this display of gore and blood.  Covenants were serious business.  Cutting a heifer, goat and ram into two pieces would not have been pretty, clean work.  Effort was required, blood was spilled.  The participants would be covered in blood.  But that was only the beginning.  As verse 17 shows, passing between the cut-up animals was part of the deal, too.  It was what we would think of as the signature on a contract – it was what made it binding.  It was a way of saying, “If I don’t keep my end of this bargain, you can cut me up and do to me the same thing we’ve done to these animals.”

But on the night God made this covenant with Abram, only the flaming torch passed between the pieces.  Only God walked that pathway – not Abram.  God knew full well that Abram could not keep a covenant any more than we’ve kept our covenant to obey God.  So God took the full responsibility for the covenant upon Himself, freeing us.

Switch scenes to Good Friday: “And when human hands fastened the divine hands to a cross with spikes, it wasn’t the soldiers who held the hands of Jesus steady.  It was God who held them steady.  For those wounded hands were the same invisible hands that had carried the firepot and the torch two thousand years earlier.  They were the same hands that had brought light into Abraham’s thick and dreadful darkness.  They had come to do it again.” – Max Lucado, Six Hours One Friday
God kept His word.  Except this time, the bloody carcass wasn’t a heifer, goat or ram.  It was His own.

Prayer: Great covenant-keeping God, we prostrate ourselves before your greatness and glory, in awe of your love.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2019 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

 

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DayBreaks for 02/18/14 – Disappointment #9 – The Journey, The Relationship

DayBreaks for 2/18/14 – Disappointment #9 – the Journey, the Relationship

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Genesis 12:1 (NLT)  – The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you.

Hebrews 11:8 (ESV) – By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.

Hebrews 11:13 (ESV) – These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.

Don’t you wish that God made it easier to discern His will? Or at least to understand His plan? I don’t know that I’ve ever met a Christian who didn’t struggle with frustration and disappointment with God for not making His plan clearer to us mortals. It is almost as if He delights in keeping us in the dark, as if He were watching us struggle and try to figure out what He’s up to.

I am confident that the great women and men of the Bible also struggled with that. Sometimes the lack of understanding the plan led to disastrous results (witness Judas and others). At other times it led to great acts of faith (like Abram and the other heroes of the faith in Hebrews 11 who acted on God’s say-so simply because He did say so. That doesn’t mean that they were comfortable with it and that they didn’t try to “help out” with the plan (Abraham’s lying about his relationship with Sarah and fathering a child via Hagar – also with disastrous results!)

So Abram went, not knowing any details of God’s plan. We go, too, not knowing and greatly frustrated by not knowing the plan. Abraham set out on a journey that would take him the rest of his earthly life – and as Hebrews 11:13 says, never “received the things promised” by the time he died. If that’s not a recipe for disappointment, I don’t know what is! Decades of waiting, decades of wondering if this will be the year when it happens, decades of frustration and disappointment…and finally death, still without the fulfillment. It would be enough to break a normal human being.

But, what was the point? Was the point for Abram to understand the plan? Or was it just for Abram to take a journey with God and get to know Him? Wasn’t that really the point for Abraham? If it wasn’t that, we’d have to conclude that for him personally it was a great waste of his time on earth.

Isn’t that the point for all of us? The destination isn’t the objective. The objective is to take a life-long journey with God while we get to know Him so that journey just continues right on into eternity without skipping a beat.

When you are tempted to be disappointed because He hasn’t made His plan clear to you, remember and relax: you’re on a journey with the incredible Creator God of all that exists. Enjoy the journey – “Sit back, relax, and leave the driving to Him!”

PRAYER: I’m sorry when I get discouraged and angry at You for Your plan that I can’t see or understand. Help me to enjoy the journey with You so that when this life is done, You will simply take my hand in Yours and invited me into Your home! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2014 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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Thank you!