Hello Deer Flat Family. I’ve got just a couple of things I want to pass on to you. Thanks for taking the time to read.
#1. THE NEXT ISRAEL TRIP – Many of you have asked, “When is the next Israel trip?” The dates for the next trip are February 4-13, 2018. While that may seem quite a ways out, it is coming at us faster than you think. Jer and I will be hosting an INFORMATIONAL MEETING SATURDAY MORNING MAY 6 @ 9 A.M. AT THE CHURCH. We will cover the whole itinerary, costs, and other details. You’ll get all of your questions answered. Please feel free to invite any of your friends who may have an interest in traveling with us. Here’s some great news: the upcoming trip is $300 less than the previous trip. Yea! Save the date and we’ll see you at the meeting.
#2. THE FINAL TEST OF ABRAHAM – Sunday Morning. With this series coming to an end, we’ll be taking an in depth look at God’s call on Abraham to sacrifice his son. Have you ever had to let go of something that was virtually impossible to do? Here’s a few thoughts to help us get ready for Sunday.
“Abraham said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you” (Genesis 22:5).
The word is silent about the emotional reaction of Abraham here, but we have only to put ourselves in his place to sense what he felt, how his heart was torn, how he avoids telling Isaac the fearful truth until the very last possible moment, how he perhaps trembles within when Isaac asks the question, “Where is the lamb?” We know there is no real answer to Isaac's question until we fast forward many centuries and listen to John the Baptist standing before the people of Israel saying, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).
Where did this guy Abraham, this father find the strength to carry through this very concerning task? The answer is found here in one brief phrase in verse 5, “Abraham said to his servants, 'Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.'” Abraham is not trying to deceive these men, but somewhere in the quiet meditations of that awful night when this word first came to him, there came the consciousness that God could do something to raise this boy from the dead, and Abraham believed in resurrection. That is where he found the peace to follow God's command. In the struggles of that night, he began to reason and to reckon on God.
He must have thought something like this: “God has given me promises, and I have lived with God long enough to know that when God gives a promise, He carries it through. God has said that in my son Isaac all the nations of the earth shall be blessed. Isaac is necessary to the fulfillment of the promise. It can't be any other; He has said this boy is the one who is going to be the fulfillment of the promise. Well then, if God has asked me now to offer him up as a sacrifice, there is only one explanation. God intends to raise him from the dead.”
Abraham had never had, as we have today, the experience or the record of anyone having risen from the dead. Yet his faith is so strong in the character of God that he comes to a realization of the resurrection. This is confirmed in Hebrews 11: “By faith Abraham offered Isaac. . . Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead...” (Hebrews 11:17,19). Abraham risked everything he owned and loved on the character of God and found Him to be the God of resurrection.
Because of this wonderful triumph in his life, Abraham calls this place, “God will provide,” And based on this miracle there sprang up a little saying in Israel, a proverb: “When you get to the mount, it will be provided.” Sometimes God's ways with us that it seems as though deliverance will never come. It seems that you will never be delivered. But if you go on, when you get to the mount, it will be provided. People's disappointments are God's appointments. It is never too late for God. Even if Abraham had been required to carry the bloody business through to its end, his father's heart was quiet in restful peace because he knew God would raise his son from the dead.
“God, thank You that regardless of what You call me to lay on the altar in obedience to You, You always know what is best, and You always have a plan.”
I can’t wait to see you this Sunday!
Loving You and Loving Him,