I wonder how often I blunder God’s plans and He graciously intervenes. I imagine its way more than I would think – and I think it would be a lot.
I’m “feeling” Abraham this morning (Genesis 20). Maybe a little too easily. Abraham got off on a technicality. Technically speaking, Sarah was Abraham’s sister. They had the same father, but different mothers (Gen. 20:12). He didn’t lie. He technically told the truth. He just didn’t tell the truth in it’s entirety.
And because he skirted the whole truth, it almost cost someone else their life. Wait, not just someone, but a LOT of someones. That’s because…
Sin always comes at a price.
Abraham spoke a half-truth hastily out of fear (Gen. 20:11) and the consequences of that sin would have cost others the ultimate price, except…
God is a God of Grace.
On the other side of the equation was Abimelech and his people. We’re not told much about them other than Abraham didn’t see a fear of God in his land. In today’s culture, people are quick to point out God’s justice (or His perceived injustice) when sin comes to collect. I fall prey to that head-scratching theology sometimes myself. But here, in the first book of the Bible, only 20 chapters in, we see God protecting – not just His children (Abraham, Sarah), but those caught in the crosshairs of His children’s sin (Abimelech, his people).
Some Points to Ponder
What role does the nature of “technicalities” play in our own lives when it comes to speaking the truth (the whole truth)? Do you see any possible consequences (to ourselves? to others?) when we let ourselves off on technicalities?
I’d love to hear your thoughts. I’m embracing feedback in 2018, so please leave yours in the comments – the good, the bad, the indifferent.
I’ve known Eve all my life. She’s pretty famous. She’s the subject in many beautiful works of art. She’s been written and talked about for centuries. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to meet someone that hasn’t heard of her.
Even though I’ve known her all my life, Eve and I never truly connected until last summer. We spent an intense week together really getting to know one another. We connected at first as followers of God. There were many “you, too?!” moments as we shared our walks with the Lord (that too often more accurately resemble stumbles). We connected as parents of grown children. We connected as wives. It was refreshing to learn that I shared so much in common with this sister-in-Christ.
I want to introduce you to my friend, Eve. I want you to connect with her on a personal level. I want you to experience how truly relatable my new friend is to you, too.
Spend a week connecting with Eve through my five day Bible Study here.
Romans 5:8 – But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
One ordinary day years ago, I decided on a whim to go upstairs to see how the younger kids were progressing with learning to do their new chores. It had actually been a couple of months since I had been upstairs (gasp!), so the time was ripe. I was happy to see that their bedrooms were passable. The hallway was vacuumed. The shelves were in order. I was pleased with what I saw – until I went into the bathroom. In the bathroom, I was greeted by this ghastly sight –
Truthfully, I wanted to replace the toilet on the spot! My stomach turns even now at the memory of it. After much soaking, many chemicals, long sessions on my knees hunched over the toilet with my hands inside that awful abyss (ew!) expending way more elbow grease than I thought I had in me, the toilet was clean.
We are like the upstairs toilet. We are dirty. We are stained with sin. We are unable to make ourselves clean. The Good News is that we don’t have to be! God didn’t wait for us to be cleaned up, sparkling & white, before He reached out to us. He did it while we were still sinners through His one and only son, Jesus.
The Upstairs Toilet is one of thirty devotionals I’ve been asked to write this year as part of a friend’s year-long devotional project. You can read more short devotionals like this by clicking here or the Devotionals tab at the top of this page.