There are over 6,400 commands in the Bible—thousands of verses that provide instruction on how we are to live and love well. Our decision to obey or disobey what God has revealed in his Word has consequences, like a rock thrown into still waters causing ripples. American Christianity often poses itself as only a personal relationship between an individual and God. But, is that the complete picture? Today’s passage highlights the multiplied impact of one man’s obedience and the assurance of God’s blessing for his faithful believers.
- What motivates you in your obedience to God? Would you be more motivated to obey, knowing that there are always consequences?
READ THE WORD: GENESIS 22:15-24 (ESV)
15 And the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven 16 and said, “By myself I have sworn, declares the Lord, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of hisenemies, 18 and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.” 19 So Abraham returned to his young men, and they arose and went together to Beersheba. And Abraham lived at Beersheba.
20 Now after these things it was told to Abraham, “Behold, Milcah also has borne children to your brother Nahor: 21 Uz his firstborn, Buz his brother, Kemuel the father of Aram, 22 Chesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph, and Bethuel.” 23 (Bethuel fathered Rebekah.) These eight Milcah bore to Nahor, Abraham’s brother. 24 Moreover, his concubine, whose name was Reumah, bore Tebah, Gaham, Tahash, and Maacah.
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- Upon what condition did God affirm his covenant blessing to Abraham? In other words, what did Abraham do to receive confirmation of this blessing (vss. 16, 18)?
- What was the result of Abraham’s faithful obedience to God (vss. 17-18)?
- Do you think Abraham understood the magnitude of implications in his obedience? What factors should we consider as we strive to obey God?
- What things hinder you from obeying God? Do you consider how your choices affect others?
RESPOND TO GOD
Abraham’s choices are still having a ripple effect today. Because of his faith, demonstrated through obedience, God confirmed his previous covenant to bless him, multiply his offspring, and bless the nations. As believers, we are blessed through Abraham’s obedience; we are heirs of this promise (Galatians 3:29). Hebrews tells us that Abraham died in faith, not having received the things promised. And yet, Abraham was faithful to do what the Lord asked of him even when he couldn’t see the bigger, fuller picture of God’s plan. This narrative gives life to the larger storyline of God choosing a people for his own possession and blessing them so that they might be a blessing. His plan started with an individual and reaches even to us. When we obey, the Lord brings blessing, for our sake and others.
- Pray for the desire and strength to obey what you know to be God’s will.
- For further reflection, read Ephesians 1:3-14, and thank God for all the blessings that are yours in Christ.