God’s Covenant, Our Willingness
God made a covenant with Abraham. Abraham did not make a covenant with God. Out of fear and respect Abraham worshiped God and followed Him, but he was just a man. He was flawed, and so are we. This is why I am so glad we are not the ones running around making covenants and promises - there is no way we could keep them!
You would think Abraham would have learned in Egypt. God gets him out of a tough scrape and he should be grateful. But here we are in Gerar (later known as the land of the Philistines) and what does Abraham do? Has Sarah tell the king Abimelech she is his sister - again. Why in the world?! He tells Abimelech that he is scared of being killed because of course no one fears God, look what happened to Sodom, and hey Sarah really is his sister if you want to get technical (coward). But I like this. It shows that he is human.
Even though he is a giant of the faith, he isn’t perfect. You don’t have to be perfect to be used by God! Did you get that? You (yes you) don’t have to be perfect to be used by God! What about Sarah? First let me ask this. The Bible never mentions how she felt during both of these transactions and doesn’t record her actions or reactions. I think sometimes what happens in a marriage is better left private (but, being a wife, I can only imagine).
Speaking of Sarah, there is a code of justice that all lived by during that time. It’s a famous code called Hammurabi’s Code. If you have ever studied or taught ancient history you will know that this was the first known fair set of laws that governed and was accepted by all. When Sarah was relishing the fact that God finally gave her a son, she happened to notice Ishmael scoffing. Well, he at this point is the rightful heir to the estate and about 17. She remembers this and asks to have him thrown out of the camp. Let’s remember here that she was the one that had the whole idea of Isaac fathering Ishmael to begin with! By having Ishmael thrown out - Sarah was breaking Hammurabi’s Code (not good).
Nevertheless, God is in control and out he goes with his mom. It is Gods plan, Gods covenant. They were protected because it was Gods promise, not because they were special. Not because they had super powers. Not because they had more faith than you or I - but because God made a covenant and He won’t break His promises. Now don’t get me wrong, Abraham and Sarah feared the Lord and were absolutely counted as righteous because of that fear. I just want to make the point that they were not perfect - neither are you or I. And God can and does work through us. Can you hug someone who looks down? Can you give someone a smile ? Listen, really listen to a person who is talking to you and hear what they have to say? Bring a drink to a co - worker who is having a hard week? Write a note to your grandmother and mail it, on paper? Can you make your spouse their favorite dinner just because and pick up their socks without complaining, because hey, after all, it bothers you and not them!
When you have Christ, when you have the Holy Spirit living in you, you are entered into a covenant relationship with God. Christ has paid for your sins and you will reside in Heaven when you are done on this earth. There is no way you can do that without this covenant. Let God use you, be a willing participant. You don’t have to be perfect. Be used in the everyday; even Abraham and Sarah weren’t perfect and they were the parents of the whole Israelite Nation (who brought forth the messiah by the way).