Sunday, July 02, 2017

In the nick of time

Abraham Climbs Mount Moriah - Schirmer

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Genesis 22:1-19

“And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the Angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, ‘Abraham, Abraham … Do not lay your hand on the lad.’” Genesis 22:10-12

I like to plan things and know beforehand what to expect, how things will go, and what I will say. I am challenged by stories like Abraham, Isaac, and God’s nick-of-time rescue of Isaac from Abraham’s knife.

However, we could say, I think, that God is very much a God of the last minute.

  • When the Israelites faced the Red Sea after leaving Egypt, the Egyptians were nipping at their heels when God opened a way before them to cross to the other side - Genesis 14:10,13,21-23.
  • Again when Israel was about to cross the Jordan into Canaan, only when the priests carrying the ark entered the overflowing Jordan did its flow stop so the people could cross - Joshua 3:15-17.

Such last-minute events happened in the New Testament too.

  • Peter was delivered from prison the night before Herod planned to bring him out (supposedly to execute) Acts 12:6-9.
  • Jesus told His disciples to expect the Holy Spirit to give them on-the-spot answers when they would be questioned about their faith in the near (Luke 12:11,12) and distant futures: 'Therefore settle it in your hearts not to meditate beforehand on what you will answer; for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist’” - Luke 21:14,15.
God's nick-of-time ways are not, I believe, that He figures out what to do so late in the game, but His “fullness of time” way of testing our faith even as we learn by experience how very faithful He is.

PRAYER: Dear Father, help me to trust You, not my own devices, as I listen to You moment by moment. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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