What, me worry?

caravaggio-sacrifice-of-isaac
Day 8

Prayer for the day

Our help is in the Name of the Lord; the maker of heaven and earth.

Scripture for the day

Genesis 20-22, Matthew 6:19-34

How can Jesus tell his people that they are not to worry about anything? Not even about their own lives? It seems a cruel command, designed to make us feel guilty and inadequate, destined to make us fail.

How would Abraham have heard Jesus’ command? God spoke to the new father, still giddy with the promise of God having been fulfilled, and commanded him to kill that promise. God had finally delivered on his word, and now was asking Abraham to put his trust in God, that God would somehow keep his word again. His only son. Who would have the heart to tell Abraham not to worry?

Yet Jesus’ command seems clear. Do not worry about your life.

There was only one thing that held Abraham together through his ordeal: he knew his God. Most books focus on the evil God asked Abraham to do, and rightly so, but today, think of the faith God required of Abraham. Think of the trust Abraham had in his God. He trusted that God would do what God said God would do, regardless of what was going on around him, regardless of the seeming impossibility of aid or redemption.

Jesus’ command seems harsh and impossible, until it’s followed up with one of the most marvellous passages you can find in the scripture: But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

God is not saying that anyone who seeks the kingdom of God (that is, God’s rule in our lives and in the world) will get everything he wants. Jesus is saying that God will care for those who make his kingdom the first priority exactly as they need to be cared for. Abraham sought to be obedient above all, and God provided for him. The First Testament of scripture is rife with examples of the provision of God. The Second Testament is full of the same kind of stories.

Life isn’t always easy, and we don’t get any promises it will be. We have one promise we can stand on, though, in the midst of the impossibility of life: worrying won’t get us anywhere. Seeking the kingdom of God is the only thing of value, and when that is our priority, everything else either falls into place or fades into the distance.

Tom Wright translates it this way:
“So don’t worry away with your ‘What’ll we eat?’ and ‘What’ll we drink?’ and ‘What’ll we wear?’ Those are all the kinds of things the Gentiles fuss about, and your heavenly father knows you need them all. Instead, make your top priority God’s kingdom and his way of life, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

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2 thoughts on “What, me worry?

  1. Sarah is abraham’s half sister? I never knew that. also vs 16 of chapter 20 stopped me, because i did not understand it, ( what is meant by covering of the eyes? how is getting 1000 pieces of silver a reproach?) so i looked it up in the niv and found a completely different verse. which was startling so i looked it up on the wiki and found this :

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Covering_of_the_eyes

    in your professional opinion, how accurate is the first paragraph of that article? from bold heading ” the verse” to bold heading ” in arabic countries”?

    depending on how different words are translated different ways the meaning of the verse totally changes.

    why are there so many English translations of the bible?

    i agree with you that the only thing that held Abraham together was how well he trusted God’s provision. i mean, he already had to send one son away, and that grieved him, so to lose two sons, the second being his promise, that would be unthinkable. in vs 14 of chapter 22 abraham names the place jehovah jireh : in the mount of the lord it shall be seen.( niv: the lord will provide) the beauty of following through with what God commands is that you get to see how God provides. also noticed here that there was no consultation with his wife. which is odd, cause it seems like he consults her for other stuff. she probably would’ve been angry had she found out.

    falls into place or fades into the distance. hmmm.

  2. the half sister thing stood out to me as well. and why does it say god tempted abraham? i thought god did not tempt people. the faithfulness of God is made abundantly clear… i just see the heart wrenching emotions of hagar and abraham and wonder at their faith. seek first the kingdom.

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