Faith looks upward and forward. Like Sarah, we may need to trust in promises which seem not only unlikely but impossible (Genesis 18:1-15). Like Lot and his family, we may need to let things go and step into the unknown (Genesis 19:1-29). Like Hagar, we may need to listen for God’s voice when we feel abandoned (Genesis 21:9-21). Like Abraham, we may have to choose between God and the things we value most (Genesis 22:1-19).
It’s easy to talk about faith, but it becomes real when we face genuine challenges with uncertain outcomes. Remembering these faithful men and women can give us confidence to move forward, trusting in the Lord, in spite of fears and obstacles.
To ancient Israel, Isaiah said, “Look unto Abraham, your father, and unto Sarah, she that bare you” (2 Nephi 8:2, Isaiah 51:2). Their examples can strengthen our faith.
Here are some lessons I’ve learned from these chapters, together with relevant blog posts:
- Jesus Christ is capable of doing things which seem impossible to us (Genesis 18:14): What Is the Significance of the Title “the Lord Omnipotent?”
- The words of prophets can form a scaffolding for us as we learn to personally hear and follow the messages the Lord sends directly to us through His Spirit (Genesis 19:1, 15): Why Do We Need Prophets?
- God can help us overcome the weaknesses and sins which will result in shame and sorrow (Genesis 19:24): Brimstone.
- We must live in the present and look to the future instead of clinging to the comfortable past (Genesis 19:26): “All Things Have Become New” – 3 Nephi 12:47.
- Just as God “visited” Sarah, He visits us, meaning that He is aware of us and takes care of us (Genesis 21:1): “I Know My Sheep, and They Are Numbered” – 3 Nephi 18:31.
- God will multiply our efforts over time; small beginnings can lead to great outcomes (Genesis 22:17): A Multiplicity of Blessings.
- Not only did God provide a lamb for Abraham, but He also provided Himself as the Lamb for all of us (Genesis 22:7-8, 13): What Is the Significance of the Title “the Lamb of God?”
Blog Posts: February 15-20
When God told Lot and his family to leave their city, He gave them specific instructions: Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.Genesis 19:17 The Hebrew word translated “look” in this passage—nabat (נָבַט)—means more than a casual glance. It means to “look…
50, 45, 40, 30, 20, 10
Why would a perfect God allow imperfect people to influence His decisions? Surely He knows the best course of action, and surely He wants what is best for each of us. Why tarnish impeccable decisions by accommodating our preferences? This question has been on my mind today as I pondered an unusual exchange between God…
Hagar and the Hidden Well
Be’er Sheva is a city in southern Israel, with a population of about 200,000. It’s so far south, in fact, that Old Testament authors spoke of the land of Israel extending “from Dan even to Beer-sheba.” (See Judges 20:1, 1 Samuel 3:20, 2 Samuel 3:10, 2 Samuel 17:11, 2 Samuel 24:2, 15, 1 Kings 4:25, 1…
Machpelah: Paying Full Price
When Sarah died, Abraham wanted to give her a proper burial. Although he was wealthy and highly regarded among his neighbors, and although he had lived in Canaan for many years, he still felt like an immigrant. “I am a stranger and a sojourner among you,” he said to his neighbors. “Give me a possession…
Is it good to laugh? According to the Mayo Clinic, laughter relieves stress by releasing endorphins, stimulating blood circulation, and aiding muscle relaxation. (See “Stress relief from laughter? It’s no joke” on mayoclinic.org.) And laughing with other people is correlated with strong relationships and good feelings toward one another. (See Laura E. Kurtz and Sarah…
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
When God appeared to Moses in the burning bush, He didn’t introduce Himself as the Creator of the Universe or as the Father of all people. He didn’t say where He lives or what He is trying to accomplish. Instead, He introduced Himself in terms of three of Moses’s ancestors: I am the God of thy father, the God…
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