Morning Musing: Hebrews 11:17-19

“By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac. He received the promise and yet he was offering his one and only son, the one to whom it had been said, ‘Your offspring will be traced through Isaac.’ He considered God to be able even to raise someone from the dead; therefore, he received him back, figuratively speaking.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

I love being in the mountains. This summer we got to spend a week in the Rockies while visiting my sister and her family. It was a delight. One of the things, though, that is so cool about driving up into the mountains to me is how deceptively wide they are. When you start driving from the airport in Denver, you can see the whole front range stretched out before you. It is a magnificent view. As you start driving into the mountains, however, you pass the first peaks you can see…and there are more behind them. You drive over the first big pass…and there are more mountains. You get into the Vail Valley, past dozens of peaks, and in the distance, there are still more hills to climb. Always more. Sometimes the life of faith feels like going into the mountains. Let’s talk about how this morning.

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Morning Musing: Hebrews 11:11-12

“By faith even Sarah herself, when she was unable to have children, received power to conceive offspring, even though she was past the age, since she considered that the one who had promised was faithful. Therefore, from one man – in fact, from one as good as dead – came offspring as numerous as the stars of the sky and as innumerable as the grains of sand along the seashore.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

If you are at all like me, then your faith journey after Jesus has not been a smooth affair. Personally, by God’s grace, I haven’t had the bumps in the road that many people have had, but there have nonetheless been ups and downs along the way. Some of these have felt like walking along rolling hills. Others have seemed more like mountain climbing. Yet where I have stuck with faith, the end points of the many small journeys which compose the big one have consistently been better than not. As we dig into the next snapshot of Abraham’s life with the author of Hebrews, we are going to see the one that was most like a rollercoaster for him and Sarah. Let’s strap in and see how it went.

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Morning Musing: Hebrews 11:8-10

“By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed and set out for a place that he was going to receive as an inheritance. He went out, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he stayed as a foreigner in the land of promise, living in tents as did Isaac and Jacob, coheirs of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

As followers of Jesus, one of the most important things we know is our ultimate destination. This is so important because the shape and scope of our journeys will range far and wide, and will likely take us into places we could never have imagined. That unknown could be debilitating if we were to give it our greatest attention. Thus, the knowledge of our journey’s end makes such a difference. This isn’t only true for followers of Jesus, though. It has been true for God’s people since the beginning. Let’s talk this morning about the places we go and the place we will land.

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Morning Musing: Hebrews 5:5-6

“In the same way, Christ did not exalt himself to become a high priest, but God who said to him, ‘You are my Son; today I have become your Father,’ also says in another place, ‘You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever had someone make an obscure reference? I’m a big nerd with a head full of fairly useless trivia. I’m sure I make them all the time. The thing is, though, if you’re the one making the obscure reference, it’s probably not obscure to you. But obscure references are a pain in the neck. They’re a pain to the one making them because you have to stop while you’re making a point to explain them. Why can’t everyone simply have a broader grasp of…everything? They’re a pain to the one hearing them because they don’t understand them. Why not find some clearer way to communicate that everyone understands instead of being a smarty-pants know-it-all? Well, the author of Hebrews makes an obscure reference here at the beginning of chapter 5 and doesn’t explain it until chapter 7. Rather than making you wait in confused suspense, let’s unpack it right quick this morning.

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Digging in Deeper: Genesis 18:13-14

“But the Lord asked Abraham, ‘Why did Sarah laugh, saying, “Can I really have a baby when I’m old?” Is anything impossible for the Lord? At the appointed time I will come back to you, and in about a year she will have a son.’”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

There’s a genre of kids movie that could be called the everything-goes-wrong film. Home Alone is a classic of this genre. So is the more recent film, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day with Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner. In the movie, which is based on the classic children’s book of a generation ago, an increasingly ridiculous series of things happen to Alexander and his family. The comedy is not simply that one of these possible-but-unlikely events happens to the family, but that the whole series of them do all in a row. Sometimes it seems like that’s how God works.

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