Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Fiery Light of God's Reassurance in Dark Times

"As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him… When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces." Genesis 15:12 & 17)

Honestly, there are many things about this passage that I don’t quite understand. Perhaps in a future study I will discover insights that will open my eyes and help me grasp the significance in the details described in these verses. But I totally get the BIG PICTURE. Abraham has heard God’s call to leave his old life behind (literally) and he has surrendered and followed God into unfamiliar territory. God has promised him that He will be with him, bless him and use him in mighty ways. The Bible says that “Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.” (Gen. 15:7)  

But life in this broken and DARK world is hard and struggles and trials have a way of wearing on us. It’s not that Abraham didn’t believe God or desire to follow him, there were just a lot of things he couldn’t see or understand and he needed reassurance from God. I can relate with that.

And God graciously understood that need. He came to Abraham in the midst of his darkness—as a fiery light, a flame that must have burned bright in contrast to the the darkness, and He made Himself known to Abraham in a way that provided the reassurance he needed.  I can relate with Abraham’s need for reassurance in dark times and I am thankful for the way God has reassured me of His promises, power and presence in my life many times.

“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.” (Isa. 9:2) 

This is a prophecy about Jesus. Abraham is called the “Father of Our Faith” for a reason. In many ways, His journey of leaving the old and familiar behind to follow God into an amazing, but sometimes scary adventure of faith is OUR JOURNEY. All Christ followers have said “Good-bye” to their old lives and set their hearts on following God to a place He will show us. (Gen. 12:1) All of us face dark, uncertain days. And praise the Lord, God has been gracious to all of us. He has sent His Son, the Light of life, the Light of the World to be our Savior.  He has given us the bright, fiery light of His Word as a lamp to our feet and a light to our path (Ps. 119:105) and He poured His Spirit into our hearts (Rom. 5:5) to encourage and strengthen us day by day.  Thank you Jesus!

Until next time...