I CAUGHT HIM SNOGGING HIS SISTER
“Now there was a famine in the land” (Genesis 26:1)
1)Don’t despair: Hardship is normal
Why do we imagine the Christian life is easy?
“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.” (Mark 8:34-35)
“Isaac planted crops and the same year reaped a hundredfold because the Lord blessed him.” (Genesis 36:12)
“Suffering, produces perseverance, perseverance, character and character, hope.” (Romans 5:3)
Which do we learn the most from: hard times or easy times?
Genesis 12: Abraham’s first famine: Egypt
“When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me but will let you live. Say you are my sister, so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you.” (Genesis 12:12-13)
Genesis 20: Abraham’s second famine: Gerar and Abimelech
“For a while he stayed in Gerar, and there Abraham said of his wife Sarah, “She is my sister.” (Genesis 20:1-2)
Genesis 26: Isaac faces famine: Gerar and Abimelech
“When the men of that place asked him about his wife, he said, “She is my sister,” because he was afraid to say, “She is my wife.” He thought, “The men of this place might kill me on account of Rebekah, because she is beautiful.” (Genesis 26:7)
“8 When Isaac had been there a long time, Abimelech king of the Philistines looked down from a window and saw Isaac caressing his wife Rebekah. 9 So Abimelech summoned Isaac and said, “She is really your wife! Why did you say, ‘She is my sister’?” Isaac answered him, “Because I thought I might lose my life on account of her.” 10 Then Abimelech said, “What is this you have done to us? One of the men might well have slept with your wife, and you would have brought guilt upon us.” 11 So Abimelech gave orders to all the people: “Anyone who molests this man or his wife shall surely be put to death.” (Genesis 26:8-11)
- He’s insulted his host’s hospitality by implying his people are murderers.
- He’s lied to them.
- He’s risked his wife’s honour to save his skin.
- Then he gets caught with his pants down.
- And its front-page news.
2) Don’t despair when you sin.
“…this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me” (John 6:39)
“The gospel…teacheth me not what I ought to do…but what Jesus Christ the Son of God hath done for me:… that he suffered and died to deliver me from sin and death.…Most necessary it is, therefore that we should know this well, teach it unto others, and beat it into their heads continually.” (Martin Luther’s commentary on Galatians)
3) Don’t despair when people criticise your achievements.
“”Now the Lord has given us room and we will flourish in the land” (Genesis 26:22)
“There [Abraham] called upon the name of the Lord, the Eternal God”. (Genesis 21:33)
4) Don’t despair: praise God!
“27 Isaac asked them, “Why have you come to me, since you were hostile to me and sent me away?” 28 They answered, “We saw clearly that the LORD was with you; so we said, ‘There ought to be a sworn agreement between us’–between us and you. Let us make a treaty with you 29 that you will do us no harm, just as we did not molest you but always treated you well and sent you away in peace. And now you are blessed by the LORD.” (Genesis 26:27-29)
If you’re going through hard times – persevere.
If you are struggling with sin – repent.
If you need someone to pray with you – pray team / housegroup
But all of – we need to choose to praise God.
I want to know more:
- To read: for men: The Code, by Carl Beech
- On Doubt: “Life in a dark place: Doubt in the Christian life” by Chris Spark, article online at: http://matthiasmedia.com/briefing/2014/01/life-in-a-dark-place-doubt-in-the-christian-life/
- On Grace: “Transforming Grace: Living Confidently in God’s Unfailing Love” by Jerry Bridges. Available on amazon.co.uk
- On Grace: “The Discipline of Grace: God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness” by Jerry Bridges. Available on amazon.co.uk
- On Perseverance. “Finishing Strong”, by Steve Farrar
- On sorting out your life: “Ordering your private world” by Gordon McDonald
- On Perseverance – to watch. “What is the perseverance of the Saints?” – By John Piper, http://theresurgence.com/2008/01/07/what-is-the-perseverance-of-the-saints