It’s always interesting to see how God uses our disobedience to work in His plan. Even when we deliberately choose to go against God, He finds a way to make it all work. With Abraham, this was no exception. Though he and Sarah chose to make their own path in delivering an heir for Abraham, God still blessed them and Ishmael in the long run. There were still consequences, but God used it all for His purpose and managed to bless Abraham and his descendants. The same is true for all of us. We are all imperfect and mistakes neither define us or dictate our ultimate path in this world. The key is remembering that God’s plan is perfect, not necessarily our path.
God’s promises can sometimes seem elusive. We don’t always understand the path God takes to bless us, but we must always remember that God’s plan is perfect. If you had told me that my journey would take all the twists and turns that led me to where I am today, I would not have believed you. My plan was a straight line to success, not the scribbled line representing the path I have taken. What is most comforting is that Abram seemed to take the same type of path to his success. And God’s plan proved to be perfect even then. We are all here because of God’s perfect plan. We may not always understand the twists and turns, but they are there for a reason. My time on this earth is nothing more than a blink in the light of eternity. But God uses me whether I realize it or not. Being a willing participant is simply a bonus.
It never ceases to amaze me when men choose to trust in themselves more than they trust in God. Abraham, the father of Israel, was no exception. In Genesis 12, instead of trusting in God to keep him safe, he decides to lie about his wife to Pharaoh. Sadly, this is not the exception, but the rule in most instances for all of us. Instead of trusting God to deliver us, we make our own battle plans and then ask God to bless it. Maybe we should spend more time asking God to lead and guide us and less time trudging ahead down our own path and then wondering why things don’t work out as planned.
The story of Noah is one of the more interesting in the Bible. It is one of the prime examples of God’s judgement and grace combined into one. While God’s judgement is complete, He is also complete in His grace. God could have made the choice to completely wipe out the existence of man, but He chose to spare us even as He acknowledges in Genesis 8:21, “…every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood.” Humans are sinful creatures. We are born with the desire to sin. But God spared our existence and ultimately provided a way to have a true relationship with Him through His love for us and His desire for what’s best for us.
The story of Cain and Abel is ultimately the story of every sinful act of our individual lives. If we cannot master the control of sin in our lives, it will ultimately control us. Prior to Cain’s murder of his brother, God says to him in Genesis 4:7, “If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.” The same is true for every single sinful act and desire in our lives. Just as we must choose to turn from sin, we must also choose to turn to God and the righteousness He desires for each of us.
It’s been a while. Last year I decided to take a break from my daily reading and devotional in God’s word. And while the break did not produce any real negative circumstances, I recognize the need to spend time with God on a daily basis. I am not sure what form my daily devotional will take this year, but I do know I want to work hard to maintain daily communion with God.
This year, my plan is to work my way through the entire Bible in a chronological order. I have read the Bible from cover to cover in the past, but it doesn’t seem to have enough continuity to maintain an understanding of all the events. Following chronologically helps to understand the context of where God is going with history and His overall purpose.
So, today we start at the beginning with Genesis 1-3; the story of creation. There is so much to think about as I read this morning. Like, what was Adam thinking? What was Eve thinking? Why didn’t Adam name Eve until after their fall (Genesis 3:20)? All these questions make me think about God’s perfect plan. None of this was by accident or a surprise to God. He knew the necessity of creation and the need to create a system that allows man to pick him above all else or to pick something else. I guess reading the Bible everyday is a way I choose to pick God first. It’s not always easy and I am not going to lose my mind if I forget to read one day, but there is purpose and importance in picking God first and above all else when there is a choice to be made.