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Archive for February 25th, 2018

 

Individual and nation

These two entities  carry different weights before God. God as the Sovereign Lord God wills fellowship with man. It is what such terms as Mercy and grace would signify. It rests on conditions all of which are laid down by God.

We shall consider what these are from the life of Abraham. The Spirit informs us that he was the friend of God (Jas.2:23; 2 Chr.20:7; Is.41:8)

Friendship is cultivated between individuals and it entails shared experience, which in case of God and man can never be of equal weight. Righteousness of God and of man are irreconcilable. Only faith or trust can make these hold in balance. This is what Apostle James declares: “Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.” Righteousness was imputed to Abraham. Glory of his grace in this case made Abraham as his friend on account of faith.

“Walk before me and be thou perfect (Ge.17:1).”

He was called out by God and he obeyed. “…And he went out not knowing whither he went (He.11:8) “Can two walk together except they be agreed (Am.3:3)?” Faith is the shared experience of God and man.

Secondly he was the father of many nations.

Quality of faith is consistent. Faith is one (Ep.4:5). Faith of God is such he does not have to judge any one on account of superficial considerations of race, colour, creed. “For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son (Jn.5:23)”.

When God first appeared to him Abraham was seventy-five years old and accordingly departed out of Haran. In order to make him the Father of many nations God found it necessary that he made himself above such considerations that man finds as essential. National identity, familial bonds were of little worth as much as trust to be called a friend of God.

The Spirit in recounting the manner Abraham resorted to ruse on account of his wife Sarah (Ge.12:10-20) in the land of Egypt reveals the cultural context in which children of God have to conduct their lives. A similar incident is mentioned in the life of his son Isaac while he sojourned in the land of Gerar (Ge.26:6-11). How do we handle our cultural baggage? A parable of Jesus throws useful commentary for our spiritual growth. The kingdom of heaven is like a net cast into the sea. It brings to surface both good and bad. (Mt.13: 47-50). We have to get rid of whatever is bad and hindrance to our growth.

As customary with the Spirit supplying marginal notes to Abraham as an instrument or rather as Friend of God his relation is established. The order of Melchizedek connects divine seal stamping him as the father of many nations. St Paul and the writer to the Hebrews supply additional information for helping us see his position in the divine Plan. Melchizedek was the “King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; Without father, without mother, without descent…abideth a priest continually (He.7:1-4)”. He brought Abraham bread and wine when he came after the slaughter of the kings at the valley of Shaveh (Ge.14:17). Bread and wine are additional clues as to the identity of the Priest-King.

“Unto him that loved us …and made us kings and priests unto God and his Father;(Re.1:6-7)”

Evidently it is a different order than the Law of Moses enjoined. “In thee shall all families of the earth be blessed (Ge.12:3).” The nation of Israel was recipient of blessings of God and it tells only part of the story.

Benny

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