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FAITH: Entertainment at its best

Karen Stevens

Can you imagine having Abraham as a father?  “The” father of many nations.  Historically, Abraham became known as “The Father of Many Nations” through a promise given to him by God.

But just like King David, Abraham was far from being a perfect father.

For starters, he sent his concubine, Hagar and son Ismail out in the desert to die, much less offering up his son Isaac on an altar.  But in Abrahams defense, God did tell him to put Isaac on the alter.  Which that is why Abraham is best known for the depth of his faith.

In the book of Genesis, he obeys unquestioningly the commands of God by offering Isaac as a sacrifice, though in the end God substitutes a ram for his son.  In the original Hebrew language, the name Abram literally means “exalted father.”  The name Abraham, however, contains another unused root word, which roughly means “multitude.”  Abrahams name originally was just “Abram” but God changed it to Abraham because God knew he would be the father of a multitude.

Surly Abraham told Isaac the great promise God gave him of being the father of many.  Can you imagine being Isaac?  Did Isaac know the great blessing on himself, or was it he who imparted his lackadaisical attitude to his son Esau, who gave away his birthright because he did not see the importance in it?

Isaac showed favoritism to Esau, (over Jacob), which Esau was his first born and more of a daddy’s boy, and Jacob was more a momma’s boy.

But, when God gives us a blessing, do we treat it as such, or do we toss it out of our mind and never think of it, as Esau did?  Well, he didn’t think about it until it was gone.

So, when Jacob ends up deceiving Isaac about what son he was, this caused Esau to want to kill Jacob, which in turn makes Jacob flee from his family and hometown.

This sounds like our daytime soaps of present!

And the rest of the story really gets to me – Jacob runs away and marries Leah and Rachel.  He really only wanted to marry Rachel, but his Father-in-Law Laban, tricks him.  Now isn’t that a kick in the teeth.

Jacob tricks his father into believing he is Esau, and Laban tricks Jacob into believing Leah is Rachel.  Laban continued to trick Jacob over and over about his wages, so do you think God put Laban in Jacobs life, so Jacob would learn from his own deceit?  Do we cause our own problems?  What you do to others, does it really come back around to you?

Jacob’s mother, Rebekah, whose brother is Laban, both turn out to be deceivers.  Laban and Rebekah were obviously taught deceit.  Rebekah knew exactly how to deceive Isaac, and Laban knew exactly how to deceive Jacob.  Laban was a mean, greedy man but God still blessed him thru Jacob.  God showed Jacob favor even though he deceived his father, Isaac.

The Bible leaves no doubt that God hates deceit.  Three times in the book of Proverbs He states it bluntly.

In Proverbs 6, we read a list of “six things that the LORD hates, seven that are an abomination to him,” and two of them relate to deceit: “a lying tongue” and “a false witness who breathes out lies” (17, 19).

Proverbs 12:22 echoes the theme: “Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, but those who act faithfully are His delight” (Proverbs 12:22).

Did you know there are different degrees of lying?  I know, I know; you’re rolling your eyes.  “The Experts” state there are 4 colors of lies: black, red, gray, and white.  I’m sure you can guess the worst, to the best-case scenario.  Gray and white lies are mainly for others benefit.  That’s when you tell someone they don’t look fat in that dress!  You are not receiving the benefit of this lie, they are.  Black lies are where you get a positive benefit from it, and red lies are when you will lose out on some of the benefit, but still will gain something out of it.

I think a lie to God is something that hurts someone else.  I know Abraham deceived the King about Sarah not being his wife – but being his sister.  Yes, Abraham was benefiting from the lie – but he was saving his own life!  It doesn’t say God punished Abraham for this lie, but it does say God threatened the King that almost slept with Sarah.

The Bible is full of people just like you, I, and our neighbors.  Best “Reality Show” around!  Spend time in God’s word.  It will benefit you, and it’s entertaining.

 

Karen Y. Stevens, Executive Director for Meals on Wheels