Yesterday we saw how God tore down something that man built. In today’s passage we see a man building something again, only this time the order is different.

God chose Abraham to become a vessel of His grace to the world. We really don’t know why God chose Abraham. It doesn’t give his credentials for being the father of God’s chosen people. Perhaps that’s the point. Perhaps Abraham didn’t have any credentials. Isn’t that how God tends to work? God takes the least likely people in order to do His greatest work. Think about it. Abraham and Sarah were old. They were beyond child bearing years. So God reaches down to an ordinary Urite who can’t physically have children with his wife and says, “You are going to have so many children you won’t be able to count them.” “Yeah right,” Abraham must have thought, “Do you have the right number? Have you seen my wife? She’s pretty and all that, but I think the baby making factory has been shut down.” God says, “Perfect. Now you can’t take any of the credit.”

 If we are to know God then we need to get one thing clear: We can only know God when God makes Himself known to us. There is nothing we can do through good works, incantations, or magic potions, that will make God come to us. God is God and we are not. When we are stripped of pride and any self-delusion that we somehow “deserve” God’s love and favor, then we are ready to accept God’s gracious gift of love and life to us.

 At this point in the devotional it is important for us to stop and take a moment to understand the extreme importance of today’s passage. The promise God made to Abraham is called the “Abrahamic Covenant.” A covenant was an agreement between two parties that was binding and unbreakable. The covenant that God made to Abraham has two important components that we need to grasp:

  1. The rest of the Bible is all about this promise. God made His promise to Abraham in Genesis 12 and the rest of the Old Testament is how God continually and progressively developed this promise. The New Testament is about how Jesus became the ultimate fulfillment of the promise and the means by which it would be fully realized in the world. As you read the rest of the Bible you need to interpret it through the lens of this promise.
  2. In this promise we see an attribute of God that can bring great peace to our minds. God is a covenant God. In other words, God doesn’t break His promises. In our world people break contracts all the time. A person’s word is worth almost nothing. Not so with God. When God makes a promise, He will never break it. In that we can rest assured. The covenantal nature of God is the foundation upon which we can build the rest of our lives.

 Notice what Abraham did when God made His beautiful promise to him. Abraham worshipped. Abraham didn’t build a grand tower to impress others or God. Instead, he built a simple altar upon which he gave a sacrifice to God. That is how it should be. When we are faced with the presence and the promise of God, we, too, should fall on our faces and worship God. In light of God’s grace we should offer ourselves back to Him in absolute gratitude and devotion.

In what ways can you worship God with your life today in response to God’s grace?

Genesis 12:1-9

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