Lent: Foundation Day 4

Find a comfortable seated position. Take a 2-3 drops of Cypress, the oil of motion and flow, in the palm of your hands and rub together. Close your eyes and cupping your hands over your nose, take a few deep breaths. Massage any oil left on your hands onto the back of our neck and chest. Take a moment to just breathe. Settle into the space you're in. Read Genesis 12:1-9, and chapter 15 Read it again. Read it as many times as you  need to. Sit in this until you can't sit any longer.  When you're ready, move in any way your body feels it needs movement. Then take a few Sun Salutations. If you need a visual, there is a video linked here. Move with intention and try to connect the movement of your body to the rhythm of your breath. If your body wants more see the video at the bottom of this post by my beautiful friend Bethany Smith

Yesterday we left off with the Tower of Babel. A group of people who gathered together in an act of rebellion set out to build a name for themselves and God humbles their pride and scatters them. So it seems odd to pick up in Chapter 12 with God calling out one man, Abram and making a promise to him to make him into a great nation and making his name great. So let's break it down. 

This story starts out in the Garden where God created everything to work together in this perfect harmony sustaining and supporting each other. And the glory of his creation was the human. (thats you!) God created the human, Adam and Eve,  in his own image to be an image bearer. And he gave this man instructions to work and keep creation. Basically he's saying, you are going to show all of creation what I look like as protector and provider. It's your job to lovingly guide the earth into what it's meant to be and keep order, keep it from chaos. And God blessed everything and saw that it was good. But instead of trusting God, they chose to define good and evil for themselves and broke the perfect rhythm of Gods perfect design and relationship between humans and creation, man and woman, humans and God ... it was all broken and thrown into chaos. And sin, the fractured condition of the human heart to rule and define good and evil for ourselves, is passed down from generation to generation. It is born in us, yet so is the desire for relationship, the desire to know God and be in the reject harmony of Gods good creation. So part of the right and just punishment for the great act of rebellion by humans in the Garden is that God forces them out and tells them to scatter, however in his goodness and grace, he also says that he will make it right. And in chapter 3 as he speaks to the serpent, God speaks of this wounded victor. Its the first mention of the Messiah. Its a picture of the cross. 

Generations later, we come to the Tower of Babel and we all know how that goes down. From there we trace the line of one family until we get to Abram. Abram is living in Haran with his wife Sarai. And in Chapter 12 God comes to Abram and says, come follow me. Leave your fathers house and go to the land that I will show you and I'll make you a great nation and make your name great. Hebrews 11 says that by faith Abram follows. So the question is, how did we get from Babel to Abram?

Babel is the story of rebellious people who arrogantly tried to make a great name for themselves and God steps in and says NOPE. Then he comes to Abram who's wife, Sarai, is barren and says I'll make you a great nation. I'm going to provide for you and comfort you and keep you and you are going to show all the world, ALL the people who I am and how I work. And through you I will rescue all people and redeem them back to myself and restore relationship with all people just like it was in the Garden. Again, God speaks to the coming Messiah. The one who will restore relationship. 

So we jump over to chapter 15 where some time has passed and Abram is still childless. He and his wife are getting older and Abram starts to question God. Where are you and where is this promise? And God basically says, I got this, look up at the stars, that's how numerous your family is going to be. And makes a covenant with Abram, he formerly binds them together in a relationship on the basis of mutual personal commitment with consequences for keeping or breathing the commitment. And in vs 12-16 he gives Abram a glimpse of whats going to his people. It's a sweet gift so that the people will know that God has a plan and he's working that plan out for their good and God's glory. Skip over to chapter 17 and God comes to Abram at the age of 99 years old and introduces the covenant of Circumcision, a nation set apart, and renames Abram and Sarai, Abraham and Sarah and he blesses them (past the point of bearing children) with Issac. God fulfills His promise through Abrahams son Issac. We'll get to know him a little better later, but for now, what does all this mean for us?

God gave Abraham a promise. He told him all these beautiful things and then he waited. He waited years and years ... and nothing. Of all the promises God gave to Abraham, the only one he saw fulfilled was the birth of Isaac. I mean God even tells him in chapter 15 that all these things are going to happen, but you're going to die before they do. You're not going to see it. 

We have to remember that we are not the center of the story. God is. This is His story and we get to play a small part of it. We all are created in the image of God, for the glory of God. We live in a broken world where the good and perfect rhythm of Gods great design has been fractured and we are born within us the desire to rule over and make our own way, when God is the way maker and asking us to surrender our way to his. This great story is playing out throughout all of history, not just the time we live in. So there are things that we may not get to see fulfilled, there are things are may not get answers to because it's not the time. There were generations who waited and waited and hoped upon hope for this Messiah to come and they never saw him. But they waited and hoped and passed down from generation to generation the promise that he was coming. And then one generation saw. And they saw him fulfill the promises of a way to restoration. But it's still not the end of the story. He's coming back, and so we wait. (But we'll get into that deeper a little later)

We are living in the gap. The great gap of something promised, but not yet fulfilled. Today, rest in the fact that God is good and faithful. He keeps his promises and His way is good. Look for Him throughout your day. And give him praise.