Thursday, June 19, 2008

Genesis 12 - The Battle of I

One of the things that sometimes makes me frustrated is when a friend asks me to repeat something I said. It's probably a sign of my immaturity, but I get irritated because on some level I feel like the only reason I have to say something twice is that the person wasn't listening the first time. They didn't consider me important enough to listen to, tuned me out and then woke back up when some word I said triggered them. Fortunately, as counselor #3 has said many times, I am not God.

God is all about repeating things. He is not afraid to be a broken record with a simple message if He feels for a second that we might miss it. Genesis 12 is a great example of that. Here, in the first three verses are six things God repeats to Abram:

go to the land I will show you
I will make you into a great nation
I will bless you
I will make your name great
I will bless those who bless you
whoever curses you I will curse

Six times He repeats those words, driving home over and over again that it will be Him, not Abram, that does this. He even follows it up in verse 7 by saying, "I will give this land." But what happens when Abram gets to Egypt? He gets afraid and tells his wife, "Say that you are my sister, so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you."

Do you see the change there? Abram takes control and says "I will." He borrows God's phrase for a minute so that he can protect "my life." And in the process, he prostitutes his wife.

I confess, all too often, my hand is on the "I will" button. My heart is fearful that despite the constant reassurance, God won't do what He says. But the truth is, He repeats things because He loves us. And He fulfills the things He repeats because He is love. It is His nature. It is the air He breathes.

Today, I pray I will embrace the "I won't" side of things and give God the room to masterfully create the "I will" He has planned for my life.


teamstrand said...

thanks so much for this site jon.

katdish said...

The beauty of the written word is that us ADD types can re-read (and re-write) things. I was going to say, "I'm sorry, Jon. Could you repeat that last thing?", but I'll save my smart a** remarks for the other blog -- this time, at least. I'm really diggin' this site because your perspective brings stuff out in the bible that I don't always catch the first, or second, or 19th time I read it. Love that angle on Abram and his wife, really great.

Dog snob said...

Ditto what katdish said.

This goes right along with what I was thinking about as I read your blog yesterday, and simular to what was talked about in church last night. It seems God is speaking the same things to a lot of people right now :)

by Heather said...

I think I might get even more addicted to this site than SCL. And that says a lot.

Sylvia Basham said...

I love how God brings things to a convergence in my life. I'm not ADD but repetition helps me. Our pastor has been going through the Bible this year. (He is an amazing teacher click on "Media"...we were "north" before "north" was really that cool.) To have another perspective on the same things adds depth to my learning. I'm only 46 and didn't even listen to loud music in my younger days, but I have to ask people to repeat things sometimes.....sorry....

Olivia said...

a particularly provocative devotion today, thank you, Olivia

Bernard Shuford said...

Funny that we both blogged this on almost the same day.

Flesheater said...

the "tower of babel problem" again. once again we see the stuggle between what we try to do and what G-d is doing. us following our will when "apart from Him we can do nothing"