Truth for Understanding Our World (Part 12) – Living with God as Our Shield and Reward – Genesis 13-16January 10, 2016
Speaker: Jerry Cisar
What does it mean to be in the world, but not of it? How do we walk by faith in a world consumed with all we can see? How do we live as a holy people in the midst of a world that condones wickedness on every front? How do God’s people to do mission in a city that seems to increase in wickedness and unbelief?
Two biblical stories that tend to shape a Christian’s view of how to relate to the world around us. One is the picture of Lot and his family fleeing Sodom as fireballs fall from the sky. What does it tell us? We must flee and not look back! The other is that of Jonah who runs away from the wicked city of Nineveh but is stopped in his tracks by the Lord until he cries uncle and goes into the city to call it to repentance. This has been a persuasive image of not forsaking the world.
Jesus offers a more complete picture of how we should relate to the city on His journey to and mission in Jerusalem. He weeps over Jerusalem but is clear that her future is not good apart from repentance. Jerusalem had rejected Him and must turn from her ways. Jesus set His face to go there knowing He would be rejected, suffer, and die. He told His disciples they too must take up their cross and follow Him. He engaged it with truth and love knowing it meant that the only throne He would achieve was the cross. He was “all in.”
In Genesis 13–15, Abram’s budding faith looks more like Jesus’ relationship to Jerusalem than Lot’s flight or Jonah’s disgruntled obedience. Abram models what it means to live by faith in a world of sight, how to live righteously in a world of wickedness, and how God engages us in our fears as we do so. If you are hoping for a list of does and don’ts, I won’t be able to satisfy you. But if you are looking for an example of faith, a model worth following, that is what is before us in our text.