Quiet Time Coaching Episode 261

Adventures in Faith with Abraham – Episode 4. Quiet Time Coaching Episode 261

Would you like to learn more about faith? You’ve come to the right person. No, not me, Abraham. This is a daily devotional podcast supporting a teaching series for the Watford church of Christ and the Thames Valley churches of Christ called “Adventures in faith with Abraham”. It is also part of my quiet time coaching series.

What is it about Abraham which is so admirable? Many things. But perhaps above all else his adventurous faith, “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.” (Hebrews 11:8 NIV11)

Join me as we step out on a faith adventure with Abraham.

Episode 4

Tomorrow we will move on to Genesis chapter 12. Let’s take one last look at chapter 11 before we go.

There is a problem. A major problem. And the text highlights it without apology.

“Sarai was barren; she had no child.” (Genesis 11:30 NAS95)

Why does the writer emphasise Sarai’s inability to have children? No explanation is given. No context. How does she feel? What impact does this have on Abram? We can only speculate, but some cultural context might be helpful:

“Without children the man had no one to perpetuate his name and the wife enjoyed little prestige and much frustration, for she had no alternative career to motherhood. Further, in old age, childless couples had no children to care for them, and after death, none to carry out the funerary rites regarded as vital to the soul’s well-being in the afterlife.” Wenham, Gordon J. Genesis 1–15. WBC 1.

Sarai’s barrenness may illustrate more than simply a human challenge. She is the one through whom, ultimately, the author of life will emerge (Matthew 1:3, 16; Acts 3:15). She represents Eve through whom all life would come (Gen 3:20).

But she is dry.

The Bible does not hide difficult matters. Obstacles and disappointments are highlighted, not hidden. Heroes are revealed to have flaws. No airbrushing here. We shall see this clearly as we get to know Abram and Sarai better.

For those of us who know the story (plot spoiler!) she will have a child. It will be a miracle. There will be laughter and joy. More on that later. It is important, if we are to fully grasp the significance of what God wishes to teach us, that we do not skip to the end without entering the experience of our friends Abram and Sarai.

Devotional thought for today

Is there any “dryness” in your life? Has your career stalled? Perhaps you are stuck in your marriage, or in a dispute with a friend. Have health challenges become more than you can bear? Are you finding it hard to connect your heart to your heavenly father?

Remember that in a dry land, a woman found more refreshment than she expected when she met Jesus at the well:

“Where can you get this living water?” (John 4:11 NIV11)

Jesus gave her that water, and he offers the same to us:

“Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”” (John 7:38 NIV11)

Indeed, we are all heading towards ultimate refreshment, not just for us but the world:

“For the Lamb at the centre of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’ ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’”” (Revelation 7:17 NIV11)

Prayer point for today

Ask God for refreshment in the driest parts of your life

If you have any questions or feedback please contact me: malcolm@malcolmcox.org.

The apostle Paul said of Abraham, “He is the father of us all.” (Romans 4:16 NIV11) Let’s allow him to be the father of Faith to you and me in January and February 2021.

Many thanks for listening today. See you tomorrow as we continue our adventure of faith with Abraham.

Take care and God bless, Malcolm