Friday, April 3, 2015

Our Response to God’s Work

Open Bible Quote

… Psa 105 alludes to various aspects of the patriarchs’ sojourning and has many parallels with the Abraham and Abimelech story. While extolling God’s providential care for the Israelites (even in light of their repeated mistakes), the psalmist recalls God’s promises to Abraham and his offspring (Psa 105:8–11). In Psalm 105:12, he recounts their sojourning, bringing to mind Gen 20:1, 15; 21:34. Psalm 105:14 evokes the imagery of God rebuking Abimelech in Gen 20:3, 6–7. Furthermore, the psalmist, when speaking on behalf of God, refers to the patriarchs as “prophets” (Psa 105:15; navi in Hebrew)—the same word used of Abraham in Gen 20:7 (the only time a patriarch is called “prophet” in the Pentateuch).
The psalmist’s purpose in doing all of this is clear: Remembering God’s covenant faithfulness to Abraham (through his repeated mistakes) will help readers worship in a more informed way (see Psa 105:1–6). God’s faithfulness to Abraham in the Abimelech episode is characteristic of His dealings with the nation of Israel as a whole. By remembering God’s wondrous protection and faithfulness to Abraham and his family, the psalmist recalls God’s same activity in the life of the nation. This is even more amazing in light of Israel’s history of covenant unfaithfulness. The only appropriate response for the people is to worship God.
The same concept is true for us today. As we read Abraham stories, we’re reminded of our own shortcomings in light of God’s promises. We often fail to believe them fully—particularly when times get tough—and we revert to sinful behavior. But when we see God’s continued faithfulness through our mistakes, our response should be one of gratitude and worship.

Michael R. Grigoni, Miles Custis, Douglas Mangum, et al., Abraham: Following God’s Promise (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012), Ge 20:1–21:34.

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