TO ALL WHO LOVE THE TRUTH,
There are many examples of incredible faith in the Bible. Noah building an ark before there was ever a drop of rain to touch the earth. Moses leading the children of Israel out of Egypt, and crossing the Red Sea as the waters were held at bay by the hand of God. The mighty faith of Rahab, in hiding the Israeli spies to the saving of her household, and the faith of Daniel as he faced the hungry lions armed with nothing but His love for God and His faith in whatever God might allow him to endure... Righteous Able, Samson,David,Peter, Paul and too many others to name here; all giants and examples of amazing and glorious trust and faith in the One True God!
Yet, there is one example of faith that is easy to miss if we're not careful... a few short passages in the Old Testament, that shine the light on a faith in God that is startling and remarkable in it's utter simplicity and childlike trust in God. The story below, is one of my favorite examples of "faith" in the whole of scripture and it is the benchmark I've used to determine whether or not I'm really "trusting and having faith" in God. As you read this short account below, keep in mind that it goes against everything that we as human beings operate by in carrying out our affairs here on earth. This example of faith is so profound and pure in it's teaching, that it is well worth contemplating if you really want to understand faith that "pleases God". Believe me, there are different levels of faith: little faith, huge faith, childlike faith, saving faith, and the "gift of faith" that Paul alludes to in his letters to the Corinthians. The faith I present here from the Bible, is a "mature and deep" faith that comes from intimately knowing and walking with God... I pray it blesses you today.
I'LL TAKE THE "LEFTOVERS"
8 Abram said to Lot, “We are close relatives. We shouldn’t argue, and our men shouldn’t be fighting one another. 9 There is plenty of land for you to choose from. Let’s separate. If you go north, I’ll go south; if you go south, I’ll go north.”
10 This happened before the Lord had destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. And when Lot looked around, he saw there was plenty of water in the Jordan Valley. All the way to Zoar the valley was as green as the garden of the Lord or the land of Egypt. 11 So Lot chose the whole Jordan Valley for himself, and as he started toward the east, he and Abram separated.12 Abram stayed in the land of Canaan. But Lot settled near the cities of the valley and put up his tents not far from Sodom, 13 where the people were evil and sinned terribly against the Lord.
Here we have the best possible example of "complete and unwavering trust and faith", in God! In this scenario, we find Abraham and Lot(and there respective families and hirelings), at the place where there wasn't enough room for them to coexist together any longer. They decide it's time to split up, and the manner in which Abraham resolves this dilemma is nothing short of mind boggling! Why do I say that? Because, human nature being what it is, and how we are prone to grab and seize the "best" for ourselves - Abraham's cool and unassuming display of: I'LL TAKE THE LEFTOVERS - flies in the face of all we know about ourselves. This was simple for Abraham, I'll just let Lot decide for me... in other words, he let Lot "pick first". That is sooooooooooooooooooo unlike most people.
Read the words in verse 9 above: "If you go north, I'll go south; if you go south, I'll go north." That dear friends is FAITH IN SPADES!
We find just a few verses later, that Lot, Abraham's nephew eyes the most beautiful land imaginable, and makes a choice that lives on in infamy - read for yourself: ...
"WHAT FAITH ISN'T"
...And when Lot looked around, he saw there was plenty of water in the Jordan Valley. All the way to Zoar the valley was as green as the garden of the Lord or the land of Egypt. 11 So Lot chose the whole Jordan Valley for himself, and as he started toward the east, he and Abram separated. GEN.13:10-11
That sounds great, it sounds like Lot is going to get the better of his uncle Abraham. NOT! - We find out just a verse later, that Lot ends up with the worst part of that deal... he trusted his eyes, and fleshly senses - AND THE RESULT WAS A LIFE OF MISERY AND DESTRUCTION! Abraham knew something that Lot didn't, something that most of us Christians today haven't learned. When God is in control, when you're trusting in God's loving care and provision - YOU CAN'T GO WRONG! Yep, Abraham let Lot choose, and he would take the "leftovers"... WOW, that is a type of faith that we could all learn from. Now, let's read a little further to see what "lot" awaited Lot for his carnal decision that was based solely on "what he thought was best" - Boy o boy, was he ever wrong, and though he trusted in what his eyes were seeing, it was a lesson for all of us in what "faith isn't".
12 Abram stayed in the land of Canaan. But Lot settled near the cities of the valley and put up his tents not far from Sodom, 13 where the people were evil and sinned terribly against the Lord. GEN.13:12-13
FINAL THOUGHTS - We all know the story, Lot chose to live in Sodom, and he was miserable and tormented by the perversion and iniquity he witnessed day in and day out. A godly man, yes - but a man of great faith, HARDLY! He barely escaped with his life, and his wife was left a pillar of salt for "looking back" against the warnings of the angel as they fled Sodom before it was destroyed by God. Now Abraham, who let Lot do his choosing for him, went on to be the Father of faith, the father of what would be the nation of Israel, and ultimately the direct line to the Messiah to come - Jesus Christ!
I leave you to read the words of God spoken to Abraham, soon after he and Lot made their seemingly insignificant arrangement concerning how the land was to be divided among them. The lesson for us who "walk in the footsteps of Abraham" is this: IF YOU REALLY TRUST GOD, IF YOU HAVE TRUE FAITH - YOU DON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT ANYTHING. You don't have to connive, scheme, plot, or try to make things go your way. Just turn everything over to God, and let Him bless you. When we trust God with all our hearts, He will always, always bless us beyond our wildest dreams. Will you settle for "leftovers" and know in the end God is still going to bless you?
GEN.13: 14 After Abram and Lot had gone their separate ways, the Lord said to Abram:
Look around to the north, south, east, and west. 15 I will give you and your family all the land you can see. It will be theirs forever! 16 I will give you more descendants than there are specks of dust on the earth, and someday it will be easier to count the specks of dust than to count your descendants.17 Now walk back and forth across the land, because I am giving it to you.
18 Abram took down his tents and went to live near the sacred trees of Mamre at Hebron, where he built an altar in honor of the Lord.
Blessings one and all/michael/fool4CHRIST
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I love God, people, and all of God's creation. For me there is always something or someone to write about...