Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Stop following the crowd

Following up on my last post, I am struck by how Abraham had to go it alone. This is in contrast to the crowd mentality seen in the builders of the Tower.

It isn't easy to stand alone in alone in one's belief's, but the fact is if we are going to follow God and his truth, we will most likely find ourselves not joining the crowd.

There is something comforting about going along with what others are saying or doing. Like the builders of the Tower, we find security in our joint efforts. It often appears that it is the majority that gets things done, and that life would be better for us when we commit ourselves to their agenda. But is that really true.

Perhaps Abraham learned his lesson from Noah, who alone in all the world remained faithful to God. In the end only he survived. Abraham understood that the crowd's view of life was no indicator of what was right, good, or lasting.

Actually it is not just the fact that the crowd is doing this or that which makes their actions right or wrong. It all has to do with God's truth and his ways. What we need to do is learn to hear God, like Abraham and Noah, and live according to his leading instead of taking our cues from those around us. As we walk with God we may find others walking with us. Other times we will be very alone. However many we see around us, we need to stop figuring out life based on what others are doing just because they are doing it.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Abraham followed God's initiative

I don't think it an accident that the stories of the Tower of Babel and the call of Abram (Abraham) follow each other (with the genealogy of Abram in between).

The story of Babel is about the plans and ingenuity of the human race acting our of a desire for security and greatness. This united expression of humanity embarked on a grand building project in the pursuit of self-made goals. The high level of communication enjoyed by people at that time allowed them to basically accomplish anything they wanted.

Sadly our ancestors could not foresee that our ability would actually work toward our own destruction. And so God confused our language, putting ahead to their grand scheme.

Then we read of Abram, called by God to leave what was familiar and live as a stranger in a foreign land. God promised not only to bless him, but also to bless the whole world through him.

The builders of Babel were self assertive, self seeking, and preservationist. Abram was responsive, serving, and vulnerable. Abram also had no crowd to follow. While having his household, he spent the last several decades of his life a foreigner in a foreign land, different from those around him.

The results? The tower is deserted, while the multitude of Abraham's descendants have enriched the world. The plans of the many brought confusion and disunity, while the most wonderful, multi-national family has been built through Abraham's greatest son, Yeshua of Nazareth.

Doing our own thing in our own way whatever our motive is always doomed to disaster. While those things that truly last are those which are initiated by God.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

God wants our best

The book of Genesis provides us with very foundational truths. When God
placed our first parents in the garden , they had everything at their disposal except for one: the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. According to God. eating of that tree would have devastating consequences. This was not an arbitrary restriction place on Adam and Eve, it was a loving directive given us by our loving Creator.

Note that this was not God's only directive at that time. Adam and Eve were given the task of overseeing the planet, which gave them a lot to do to keep them busy. The command not to eat of the tree was their only restriction, and yet they doubted God's integrity and chose the way of death over the way of life.

So it is today. God continues to point us in the way of life and warns us of the consequences of bad choices. His directives are not arbitrary. He loves us, and wants the best for us. And we will discover his best as long as we live according to his directives.