Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The right thing

I find great personal comfort in the fact that all the dudes in the Bible that we now look up to were seriously jacked up. Take Abram (before he was Abraham). He starts out so good, right? Genesis chapter 12 (read it). God tells Abram, “Go to a land I will show you.” God’s obviously not into details very often, I see. But He tells Abram, ‘Hey, pack your stuff and take your family and start walking. I’ll let you know when you get there.’ So, Abram does what he’s asked.

What faith!
What courage!

I wish I had Abram’s faith and courage sometimes; the faith to obey without question, the courage to act without hesitation. To pick up and go when God says go and to be unafraid to obey even when all those details that I love so much are missing.

Then, a little while later in Abram’s story, he steps on his crank. I’ll explain…probably should after saying it that way (somewhere my dad just cringed). So Abram and his wife, Sarai, are going to Egypt because there is apparently a famine going on everywhere else. So as they’re headed in to Egypt, Abram says to his wife, ‘Honey, you’re pretty hot and these Egyptians like their women hot. So let’s do this. If anybody asks, you’re my sister. We have to tell them that or they’ll take me out to get the hot chick. Cool?’ (my translation of the original Hebrew). And, inexplicably, she agrees to this. So that’s what happens. By the way, Abram probably would have gotten murdered for his wife. Apparently, she was really hot and the Egyptians were really evil.
So, here’s where I don’t get it. Abram has done so well up to this point. He has been obedient, faithful and courageous. And then this. What a cowardly and selfish act on Abram’s part. He totally failed. I mean, if you’re gonna bomb something, go all out…and he certainly did. He whiffed on this one. And then what really boggles my mind is that God doesn’t punish Abram for his lies; He punishes Pharaoh for getting’ it on with Abram’s wife. Did I miss something? I read this and was like, ‘Hold on, if I was God, I’d smack Abram.’

Then, God reminded me that I’m a coward as well sometimes. I sometimes keep my mouth shut when I should speak up for Him. I sometimes fail to act because it’s uncomfortable. I sometimes fail to trust Him, follow Him and have courage. Sometimes doing the right thing might get me whacked…and who wants to get whacked, right?

See, even in our worst moments, our monumental collapses, He is still there. He still waits to be merciful and forgiving to His children. That doesn’t mean we won’t be punished but His mercy is always right and His ways are always just, even when it hurts. So, I guess we have to learn to stand on His promises and trust His provision even in the land of uncomfortableness and sacrifice. Hey, I’m not crazy about the idea either but doing the right thing, the thing He commands us to do, might be hard but it’s always right. And He will reward our faithfulness.

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