Abraham’s life: a summary (Genesis 12–25)

Abraham lived his entire life for the kingdom of God.

Abraham is the most significant human so far. The narrator devoted more space to Abraham than to Adam, Cain, Lamech, Seth, Enoch, Noah, and Shem combined. Why was Abraham so important? His significance was his contribution to the kingdom of God. Continue reading “Abraham’s life: a summary (Genesis 12–25)”

How can you say God reigns?

How can we talk about the kingdom of God when everything has gone wrong?

God reigns? What does that mean? Does it mean I’m a conqueror who can defeat any enemy and no evil can touch me?

This morning I woke to news that cut deep into my being. Someone I’d met briefly, a servant of King Jesus from our own city here in Perth, had died. Geoff Freind from Morley Salvation Army had gone to Malawi to proclaim “Good News!” He was attacked on the streets, and died in hospital. His wife and four sons are trying to come to terms with the tragedy. Continue reading “How can you say God reigns?”

Rebekah’s romance (Genesis 24:22-67)

How would the story of Genesis 24 have felt from Rebekah’s point of view?

Rebekah is caught up in a romantic mystery beyond her wildest dreams. She’s a beautiful girl who has kept herself pure. A wealthy traveller has turned up in her corner of the world. After showing him hospitality, she learns he’s not really a stranger but the servant of a long-lost relative. Apparently Abraham has been very successful, and is seeking a suitable bride for his son who will inherit his good fortune. The guest showers her with expensive jewellery and dresses suitable for a princess. It’s all very sudden and unexpected, but it might be the opportunity of a lifetime. Continue reading “Rebekah’s romance (Genesis 24:22-67)”

A test for the bride (Genesis 24:13-21)

In seeking a bride for Isaac, why did Abraham’s servant set this particular test?

The marriage of Isaac and Rebekah must be important: Genesis 24 is the longest chapter in Genesis. The narrator repeats details multiple times. It’s a royal wedding, and we’re introduced to the princess of the kingdom, or at least of the nation that will represent YHWH’s kingdom. Continue reading “A test for the bride (Genesis 24:13-21)”

On a mission (Genesis 24:1-12)

Abraham’s servant seeks a bride for his master’s son.

Abraham lived his whole life for a unique mission—founding a nation that would be ruled by God. It was actually God’s mission— re-establishing his reign over the nations through the Abrahamic nation. The missio dei (mission of God) is all about rescuing his world from the tyranny of evil, bringing it back under his governance, the kingdom of God. Continue reading “On a mission (Genesis 24:1-12)”

Abraham finally gets some land (Genesis 23)

As a nomad, Abraham lived in the land he’s been promised. How did he finally came to own a piece?

Machpelah
The Cave of Machpelah — Vincent van Gogh

Abraham and Sarah gave their entire lives to establishing a new kind of nation. It would be based on radically different political system: ruled by God instead of humans. It’s how the world was intended to be from the start, and the plan was to show the other nations what they were missing—the blessing of divine rule.

Abraham and Sarah knew they wouldn’t see the project fulfilled in their lifetime. When Sarah died, they owned none of the land God had promised for this nation—not even enough to bury her! That’s living by faith! That’s kingdom vision! Continue reading “Abraham finally gets some land (Genesis 23)”

Jehovah Jireh (Genesis 22:13-24)

There’s a special name for the place where the Abrahamic people offered their first sacrifice to God. What is it, and what does it mean?

You’ve heard the songs celebrating God as Jehovah Jireh, my provider, the one gives me everything I need? Did you realize it’s not a name for God, but the name of a place? Continue reading “Jehovah Jireh (Genesis 22:13-24)”

Why did God test Abraham? (Genesis 22:10-12)

What was the point of testing Abraham? Why this specific test?

We’ve approached the testing of Abraham from a modern perspective (Why did Abraham plan to kill his son?) and from a Jewish perspective (The binding of Isaac). What about a kingdom perspective? Continue reading “Why did God test Abraham? (Genesis 22:10-12)”

The binding of Isaac (Genesis 22:3-9)

In the story of the binding of Isaac, is there a hint of the suffering God’s people would endure in the years ahead?

There are times when life is good, when you feel you have God’s provision, his blessing. There are also times when you don’t receive what you prayed for, or you lose what’s most precious to you. It’s in the difficult moment that you discover the basis of your faith. Do you love God for the benefits he gives? Or do you love God for who he is, holding onto him even when you lose everything else? Continue reading “The binding of Isaac (Genesis 22:3-9)”