February 13, 2017

Genesis 24:50 Laban and Bethuel answered, “This is from the Lord; we can say nothing to you one way or the other.

Sometimes the Lord makes things extremely clear, and when He does so, we had better get in line. The social context here is unfamiliar to modern society, but the vast majority of marriages were arranged, and the “bride price” was the order of the day. Abraham’s servant had given ample evidence of the wealth of his master, and Rebekah’s parents had no social reasons to object. However, it was the specificity of the servant’s prayers and how God had answered them so completely that really “sealed the deal.” I’m sure that Rebekah was listening to all of this, and it is significant that when it occurred to them the next day to ask her opinion in the matter, she opted to go with Abraham’s servant on what was for her a great adventure into the unknown. (Genesis 24:57-58) Maybe she didn’t like any of the local boys! In any case, though God didn’t speak in an audible voice on this occasion, His guidance was certainly clear. We seldom hear Him this clearly, but the point is that obedience is always called for. When God opens doors, we had better go through them, but we also need to be discerning, because as Jesus said, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14) Any door that God opens is going to be in line with the principles He has already laid down in His word, but the devil will tempt us to cut corners to make things happen the way we want them to.

This is, as always, applicable to me. We have been getting mixed signals about the land next to the church building. God has provided the funds miraculously, but legal and human factors stand in the way. Today I will be taking a petition and a letter to the Agricultural Land Committee at the city office, seeking to get them to remove the legal barrier to our purchasing the land. Even if they do so (for which there is no legal precedent that I am aware of) there remains the matter of the current landowner, who has certainly demonstrated himself to be difficult in the past. Nothing is impossible for God, but He seems to be piling up the circumstances to make it very clear this could only be His doing. I honestly don’t know where my faith is in this. Part of me is reconciled to the land being sold to a developer, part of me doesn’t want to give up, and part of me is just tired of the whole mess and wants to put it behind me. I can’t make anything happen, but my actions are still important in what is going on. The very intensity of the spiritual and health attacks we are experiencing right now is an indication that this is somehow a big deal in the scheme of things. I am to stand in the completed work of Christ Jesus and exercise His authority so that His plans may be fulfilled, on His schedule and for His glory.

Father, thank You for what You have brought us through to this point, and that You will take us all the way through to the end. (Philippians 1:6) Thank You for the rest and healing we experienced last night. Help us indeed rest, relax, and rejoice in You throughout today, so that Your will may be done in and through us without distortion, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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