A Firm Foundation

Day 9

Prayer for the day

Out of the depths have I called to you, O LORD; LORD, hear my voice; let your ears consider well the voice of my supplication.

Scripture for the day

Genesis 23-24, Matthew 7

In Matthew’s passage today, Jesus tells his hearers what constitutes wisdom. He uses the analogy of building to speak of wisdom as building a house on a solid foundation, like a rock. That foundation, says Jesus, is obedience. The one who hears what Jesus says, and puts it into practice (in obedience) is building a foundation for life that will weather the storms that come.

In his old age, Abraham must have started to worry about God’s promise being fulfilled through his son, Isaac. He was aging, his wife had died, and his son was as yet unmarried. He knew it would not be long before he was no longer able to see the promis of God fulfilled in his son. This was the perfect time for Abraham to emulate the foolish man in Jesus’ example. He had heard the word of God, heard the promise, heard his part in the promise, and his responsibility, to walk faithfully before his God.

Now, in the moment of decision, Abraham was faced with the option to continue in faith, believing that God would accomplish his plan as Abraham continued in faithfulness, or to abandon the plan for a surefire thing. He could have sent Isaac back to his hometown, to get a wife there from among people who would’ve still likely remembered Abraham. He had the easy plan in hand.

Or he could be faithful, seek a wife for his son among the people who feared his God, who loved the God he loved. Abraham, in his climactic moment, made the choice of the wise man. He lived out his days knowing that he had built a strong foundation for his son in that instant, having made the choice to hear the word of God and to obey.

It’s funny. Hearing the word of God is not our problem today. We have the Scriptures. We have the church. We have the counsel of history and the witness of the Holy Spirit.

We only lack the wisdom to listen, and to obey. Let this be the day you say yes to the work of God. Let this be a wise day. Hear his words, and put them into practice.

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3 thoughts on “A Firm Foundation

  1. Just wanted to drop a quick note for you to say that I value this format and am thankful for the work and effort you put into putting this type of thing together. I don’t get on the computer often so I don’t get around to posting anything but I do read it all. It’s just that I find the ios version of this site is slow.

    The part of this passage that stuck out to me today was the story telling, oddly enough. It was just funny to me because it feels so foreign to me in our context. We are part of this society that values the end result so much that I find that we forget everything that leads to the end result. When Abraham’s servant is talking to Laban he doesn’t just tell why he is there. He doesn’t just come out and say I’m here cause Abraham sent me to find a wife for his son. Which I think most of us would expect in our context. I mean most of us would probably tune out for part of it thinking “when is he gonna get to the point?” He goes through the whole story from start to finish, and I found it just really outlined the continual blessing and provision that God poured out the entire way. I thought about this today in regards to my job. I am thankful to have a job. And my North American sensibilities sort of tell me that that’s enough. But that’s not where my story began, nor ended. Everything that led up to me having a job is just as much a blessing and I feel like we often miss the opportunity to be thankful for everything along the way when we as a society are so focused on the end result. I never really thought to be thankful for knowing someone who hooked me up with this job, or the friends that I’ve made and relationships I’ve formed from having this job. For a boss who does more than most employers would to ensure that I still have a job. For the car I have to get to and from work. It’s just this line of dominoes and if I took the time to look at I am overwhelmed by God’s faithfulness even when I can’t see it, or maybe don’t want to see it. And this is just work. Imagine what would happen if we looked at all aspects of our lives and realized the amount of blessing is really there. I dunno, maybe i’m just off on some tangent but that was what stood out to me today.

  2. that’s awesome, Ash. thanks for your kind words and your commitment to this reading thing. Just so you know, you’re one of my blessings!

  3. @asher- i found it tedious, the retelling of the entire story almost word for word, i mean moses could’ve just skipped vs 34-48 and replaced it with ” and then the servant of Abraham told Laban the entire story without skipping anything.” but reading what you’re saying makes a great deal of sence God is in the details as much as in the outcomes. Having a job is a blessing! but getting and keeping and doing a Job is also a blessing. in the telling and retelling of the story the servants faithfulness is shown. i didn’t pay super close attention to it until you mentioned what you did about story. especially because it’s a part of the story that i have been familiarized with since a young age.

    mike, i wonder if this is another translation issue, but i was under the impression that he was sending his servant back to his homeland, back to people who were his kin, to find a wife, and that his instruction not to take a wife from Canaan was the faithfulness bit. Are you saying that he Chose instead to find a wife for issac from people that were more his spiritual kindred, in the sence that they loved the same God as Abraham, or was there an overlap? i mean clearly in other parts of the story God is working with other people unrelated to Abraham to accomplish his story, like Melchizedek in chap 14.

    to your point, obedience is the only way.

    let your light shine for others to see so that God will get the glory.
    do not be angry with your brother without cause it’s as bad as murder
    first be reconciled to your brother, then come and offer gifts to God. not before.
    agree with your opponents quickly before you get thrown in prison.
    do not look at a woman intending lust after her, it’s as bad as sleeping with another man’s wife.
    pluck out your eye? chop off your hand? if your hand or eye causes you disobey God.
    don’t divorce your wife except in the case of sleeping around.
    don’t swear to keep promises by any name high or low
    let your yes be yes and your no be no
    do not resist evil-turn the other cheek
    if someone sues you for your coat give him your shirt too
    go two miles with someone that forces you to go one
    if someone asks you for something give it,
    don’t turn away those who would borrow from you
    love your enemies
    bless those that curse you
    do good to those who hate you
    pray for those who would use you out of spite or persecute you.
    so, be perfect as your heavenly father is perfect.

    do not give to the poor in front of everybody so they see you
    do it in secret
    do not pray in public to be seen by everybody
    pray to your father in secret
    don’t pray vain repetitive words
    pray as i teach you
    if you forgive others, God will forgive you
    if you don’t forgive others, God will not forgive you
    if you deny yourself food as an act of prayer, don’t wear a long face for everyone to see
    wash your face and put oil on your head, so that you look as though you aren’t denying yourself.

    don’t stockpile treasure on earth
    stockpile treasures in heaven
    you can’t serve God and money

    don’t worry about what you will wear, what you will eat, what you will drink or how you will live your lifestyle. life is more then lifestyle.
    seek the kingdom of God and his righteousness and your lifestyle will be taken care of By God.
    don’t worry about tomorrow.

    Don’t judge people. whatever yardstick you use to measure people with will be used on you.
    take out that huge bad habit/ behavior from your life then you’ll see clearly to take out the much smaller bad habit/behavior out of your brothers eye.

    Don’t give that which is set apart for God to Dogs or Pigs. people like that will trample it underfoot, and then rip you to shreds.

    ask God and it will be given to you
    look to God and you will find it
    knock and God will open the door

    whatever you would like other people to do to you, Do the same to them.

    enter at the straight and narrow
    the wide and broad way will lead to destruction

    be aware of false prophets- they are wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing

    if you hear my words and do them, you’ll be wise and firmly grounded

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