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August 1, 2021 | Javan Shashaty
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In the penultimate message of part two of this three-summer journey through Genesis, this past weekend, we studied Genesis 23–24. In this message, we explored the end of one love story and the beginning of another as Pastor Doug took us through the death of Sarah, Abraham’s beloved wife, and the coming together of Isaac and Rebekah.
Watch the video below to see a few highlights from the teaching and share it with your friends via social media. To watch the message in its entirety, click here.
FOR THE NOTE TAKERS
Let’s recap some of the key talking points from Pastor Doug's message this weekend:
Regarding Genesis 23 and the death of Sarah . . .
There is a difference between doing God’s will and suffering it. So long as there is something to do for God—a difficult march, a battle, or a sacrifice—we can keep back our tears. The multiplicity of our engagements turns away our attention from our grief. But when all is over; when there is nothing more to do; when we are left with the silent dead, requiring nothing more at our hands; when the last flower is arranged; the last touch given, then the tears come.—F.B. Meyer
God delights in answering our sincere prayers for direction (Genesis 24:10–21): As believers, we have this amazing access to God (Hebrews 10:19; Ephesians 2:12;18). It’s our privilege to talk to God about everything in life. Some days, decisions are small; some days, they’re life-changing. And He wants us to bring them all to Him, because He is a loving Father who wants to have a deep, healthy, intimate relationship with us, His children!
In this passage, we see Abraham’s servant pray and ask the Lord for direction and wisdom; he asks for a clear indication so that he may walk firmly in the Lord’s will. This is not a bad or unreasonable request. Sometimes, God speaks and gives us signs and inclinations that are subtle; sometimes, He speaks loud and clear through obvious signs and doors opening or closing. As we draw closer to Him, as we get to know Him better, and as we are walking more in step with the Holy Spirit, we will learn to identify His voice a little easier.
Worship is the right response to answered prayer (Genesis 24:22–27): Taking it even further, worship is always the only proper response to the Lord in any and every situation, whether trials or triumphs, whether answered prayer or painful pruning. He is worthy of our worship always and in everything. Mary worshiped the Lord in her joy and excitement at being the mother of the Messiah, Paul worshiped the Lord from a prison cell, Abraham’s servant worshiped as the Lord revealed Rebekah as Isaac’s future wife to him, and Job exalted the name of the Lord after all the tragedy that befell him.
In everything, He is worthy! May we always remember this.
God’s good plan in your life will be confirmed by others (Genesis 24:50–57): In Genesis 24:50 (NKJV), Laban answered Abraham’s servant regarding his daughter marrying Isaac, saying, “The thing comes from the Lord; we cannot speak to you either bad or good.”
When the Lord orchestrates, when He moves, and when we feel the Spirit directing us, we should press into it! Like Laban, we should recognize that if something is from the Lord, there is nothing left for us to say, think, or do. Theologian Matthew Poole wrote in summary of Laban’s response here, “We cannot without opposing God speak or act anything which may hinder thy design or thwart thy desire.”
In Him, we find our place. So, I pray that we would be a people that intentionally press into the leading of the Spirit and embrace the will of God. That we actively seek to walk in His will and are willing to be used by Him to accomplish all that He has for us.
Stepping into God's plan requires you to choose (Genesis 24:58–67): “Will you go?” No one was going to force Rebekah. She could have stayed in her comfort zone, but she chose to follow the will of God and step into the unknown.
What about you? Are you willing to follow the Lord into the unknown? Are you ready to step out in faith and away from your comfort zone? Like Abraham did, like David did, like Rebekah did . . . will you answer the Lord and walk by faith?
Quote to Remember: The best indicator of future behavior is current behavior.—Pastor Doug Sauder
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION
As you think about this weekend’s teaching, here are a few questions to reflect on and consider on your own, with your family, or in your group.
1. What are your beliefs on prayer? How do you see the Lord responding and hearing your prayers?
2. What does your prayer life look like? What level of intimacy and sincerity and boldness do you have in your conversations with the Lord?
3. Why is worship the only proper and right response to God?
4. How are you currently walking in faith outside your comfort zone? How is the Lord inviting you and challenging you to trust Him and step out?
Join us this Wednesday as Pastor Reuben Ramsaran shares a powerful word from Genesis 23-25.
As we close out our epic summer journey through the life of Abraham, this weekend we’ll dive into Genesis 25 as Pastor Doug explores Abraham’s legacy. Come along with us as we see what becomes of Abraham’s children, Ishmael and Isaac, their offspring, and the birthright of Isaac’s firstborn.
Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.