WARTS AND ALL

One of the great things about God’s word is that it includes our whole history, warts and all. There’s Peter’s denial of ever knowing Jesus, Peter and Paul’s argument over the inclusion of Gentiles into Christian fellowship, and there are the Old Testament patriarchs of the faith.

As we look at Abraham, his faith in following God to the unknown, his compassion for even Sodom, his willingness to sacrifice his only son on a deadly altar, it is easy to come to the conclusion that Abraham had a faith that we could never have. Even God could not encourage us to a point in our faith that we could be like Abraham. However, Abraham was as warty as any of us.

For instance, Abraham one time lived near a powerful king named Abimelech. Without asking God, Abraham announced to the world that Sarah was his sister, because he did not want to be killed by Abimelech for possession of his wife–for the king could not take another man’s wife. God had to step in and save Sarah through a dream He sent to Abimelech. The king was not happy.

Another error of judgment came when God was too slow, in the eyes of Sarah and Abraham, in sending her a son. At Sarah’t request, Abraham took Hagar (Sarah’s slave) and had a son, Ishmael, by her. That resulted in all sorts of dysfunctional family problems for years! Again, Abraham had followed his own wisdom instead of seeking God’s advice.

Why bring up the warts? None of us wants to brag about the goof-ups we have committed. I bring up what I call Abraham’s warts because they demonstrate that God does not choose us because of our goodness. None of us is good enough for God to choose; none of us has a perfect faith–not even Abraham. We struggle with doubt and mis-steps just like Abraham. Our faith, given to us by God to exercise, shines one day and struggles the next. We are loved and chosen by God just because He wants to do it. He loves us and chooses us, warts and all.

sue wilson

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