Wednesday, January 27, 2010

"Good As Dead"

"Sarai was barren; she had no child... Isaac intreated the LORD for Rebecca, because she was barren... Rachel was barren (Genesis 11:30; 25:21; 29:31).

The closing and opening of wombs is a common theme throughout the book of Genesis. The wives of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were all barren, by God's design, because these three men were the spiritual progenitors through which the Lord's blessing would come upon Israel, and ultimately the entire world. This would require that their sons be born not of earthly devices, but by Divine and miraculous intervention in order to be the type and forerunner of the Son who would ultimately fulfill all of the promises of God.

Sarah, Rebecca, and Rachel all eventually conceived by the mercy and power of God, and a great spiritual truth was revealed. Our Lord is able to bring something out of apparently nothing for those who trust Him and submit to Him. The barren womb becomes the scene of the miraculous, and even more, the virgin womb ultimately becomes the first earthly dwellingplace of God, "manifest in the flesh" (I Timothy 3:16).

The Christian life involves the same dynamic reality of great blessing being known where it seems no good thing is possible. Hope is known in despair. Joy dwells in the very heart of sorrow. Strength is made perfect in weakness. Peace sleeps on a pillow when the storms of the sea are raging. Life transforms a tomb of death into the first abode of the risen Christ. And love is known in hearts where hatred against both God and man once ruled. "Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before Him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were" (Romans 4:16-17).

The "barren" places in our lives are the primary scenes where God most wants to reveal His reality and glory. Will we believe and trust Him to do so? We must, because His honor and the fulfillment of His will is at stake in our lives. "Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised. Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable" (Hebrews 11:11-12). The "past age" and "good as dead" venues are where the sons of promise are born as we "judge Him faithful." The forms of such Divine involvement in our lives are many, and the ways of God are diverse. But all of His working in our lives flows from that fount of faith that chooses to view the barren womb not in despair, but in expectation. What emptiness has our Heavenly Father determined or allowed in order to fill our lives with the Lord Jesus, the great Son of promise? Let us go forth in faith to behold these glories of grace where it seems they could never be.

"Moses endured, as seeing Him who is invisible."
(Hebrews 11:27)

"I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD."
(Psalm 27:13-14)

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