Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Walking Tall

Apologies if this post sounds a bit American...

Now there was a famine in the land—besides the previous famine in Abraham's time—and Isaac went to Abimelek king of the Philistines in Gerar. The LORD appeared to Isaac and said, "Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land where I tell you to live. Stay in this land for a while, and I will be with you and will bless you. For to you and your descendants I will give all these lands and will confirm the oath I swore to your father Abraham. I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because Abraham obeyed me and did everything I required of him, keeping my commands, my decrees and my instructions." So Isaac stayed in Gerar.
Genesis 26:1-6, TNIV

How would Isaac have been feeling if he'd taken this to heart?

He is living as a nomad in the land. His father was the one who knew God and followed him. But his father was dead, and his sons were squabbling. His eldest and favourite son didn't even seem to care much about God and his promises. We don't have much record of Isaac's feelings towards God - the Bible doesn't go into anywhere near the detail it does with either his father Abraham or his younger son Jacob. So here is Isaac in the land, and there is yet another famine.

But God appears to him and tells him that he will bless him, and he will give the land to his descendants, and even bless all nations through his offspring!

What sort of confidence would Isaac have had? What sort of love for the land, knowing that even though for now he was a wanderer, one day his family would own all of it? As he climbed a hill and saw the view and knew "God has given this to me", even though he didn't actually have possession of it yet?

But surely in Christ, we have an even greater confidence than that! We are those to whom he says "You will inherit the earth" and "Yours is the kingdom of heaven." We can look at the world and say "My Father made this, and he owns it, and one day we will inherit it renewed when we finally come of age." We need bow to no man; we are sons and daughters of the Most High God, made as his and bought back with the price of the blood of his only Son, with God's own blood.

So how much should we walk tall, and have confidence in this world!

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