HOW DOES YOUR STORY READ? Andy Hollifield 9-10-18
Genesis 25:28 Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people.
“A good old age, an old man, and full of years.” We can only hope that is the way we would be written about when our time comes to go. “Full of years” is the phrase that catches my attention. I know I have written a couple of times recently about Abraham, but I am just fascinated with his life. To be such a God-fearing and godly man and yet so fallible at the same time helps me realize that he is just a man just like me. He was formed out of the same dust that I was. Sometimes we have Abraham on such a high pedestal, and rightfully so, that we tend to forget he was human.
As I looked at some of the events in his life, I find some of the same emotions, poor decisions, and outright blunders that I have often been guilty of. As I wrote in “Stagger Not” on September 3rd and “Gettin’ to the Promise” on the 9th, There were some decisions that Abraham got ahead of God on and didn’t bother consulting with him and wound up in trouble. That sounds a lot like somebody I know real well. I will mention some of them.
I read where God told Abraham to leave his father’s house and his kindred (Genesis 12). The thing I didn’t read is where God told him to take any of his kindred with him. I find where he took his nephew Lot but I don’t find where he prayed about it before doing it. Lot went on, the rest of his life I suppose, to bring Abraham grief on several occasions. First off, when their herdsmen began to fight, Abraham and Lot parted company with Lot choosing the good pasture and leaving Abraham with the rocky barren land. He was later captured from Sodom by an invading army and Abraham trained 318 servants to fight and went to rescue him. He also interceded to the Lord for Sodom and Gomorrah even though his efforts proved unfruitful. I don’t find where Abraham prayed about separating from Lot. In chapter 12 Abraham also had Sarah to tell a lie of deceit when they arrived in Egypt when he had her to say that she was his sister instead of his wife.
I see him being frustrated in chapter 15 with the fact he has no heir and given his age, is not likely to have one. I also find where that when Sarah gave her maid Hagar to Abraham, in chapter 16, to be his wife and bear him children, he took her and got her pregnant but never prayed seeking God’s will. I also don’t find where he prayed before he sent Hagar and Ishmael away. After giving Abraham the promise that he would be the father of many nations, he also confirmed it four more times. In chapter 20 he lied again about Sarah, this time to Abimelech, nearly bringing God’s judgment of death upon him. She actually was his half-sister having the same father but different mothers. In Genesis 17 Abraham even laughed at God when he told him he was about to have a son. I also find where Abraham got discouraged at the thoughts of finding Issac a suitable wife. My point is that, although he built four altars in his life, there were a lot of the things I mentioned that he didn’t pray about and he wound up dealing with consequences.
My question is this: “How does your story read?” We find faults, failures, lies, impatience, yet also great blessing in Abraham’s life. Given the fact that he is the father of the nation of Israel, we must believe that God was faithful to him just like he will be to us. When people look at our lives, do they see our faithfulness in the hard times as well as in the good times? Can they see compassion for the poor and oppressed and widows and orphans or do they see someone whose nose is turned up in pride. Would our walk with the Lord be convincing enough to entice others to begin the journey by accepting him as their Savior? What do people see when they look at our lives?
Good or bad, each of us are writing our own life story. Like the old saying goes, we are preaching our own funeral as we live each day. Is your story worth reading? Does it put the grace of God on display or put it out of sight when trouble comes? Somebody is watching you and reading the book of your life. How does your story read? Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!