No Time Out … Just Call Out

Here’s what you should not do — keep your distance from God for a period of time to prove your seriousness.

No my sin-sick but Gospel-redeemed freed friends, instead of putting yourself in a ego-stroking, never-satisfying, unnecessary, fruitless, and sinful time-out, believe the Gospel and call out to your faithful, consistent, never-temperamental, always merciful, and only gracious Savior.  God is the Heavenly Father of prodigals, and he looks your way with a convicting Spirit, watching gaze, feet ready to run, arms wide open, brand new shoes, spectacularly clean robe, new rings for your fingers, and an eagerness to reconcile and feast.

 

In Genesis 12, we see the ups and downs of the Christian life. First, we see how Abram was singled out. The Lord chose him, came his way, and arrested his attention. Abram was God’s predestined one.

Abram was then called outHe was to leave the land of Ur and follow the leading of the Lord.

At this point, Abram set out. The Lord arrested his attention and his affections, and his heart-change was proven by his actions. Abram willingly followed the unusual leading of his God.

However, the patriarch and his bride were soon stressed out. After being distanced from everything natural and normal, they struggled with life in a strange land, in a severe season of famine, while being surrounded by hedonistic, narcissistic, and dangerous neighbors.

It was then that Abram copped out. The predestined man of God proved to be a patriarchal punk. Moses recorded Abram’s heinous sin:

Now there was a famine in the land. So Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was severe in the land. When he was about to enter Egypt, he said to Sarai his wife, “I know that you are a woman beautiful in appearance, and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me, but they will let you live. Say you are my sister, that it may go well with me because of you, and that my life may be spared for your sake.” When Abram entered Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. And when the princes of Pharaoh saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house. And for her sake he dealt well with Abram; and he had sheep, oxen, male donkeys, male servants, female servants, female donkeys, and camels.     (Genesis 12:10-16)

However, there was good news. The sinful saint and his bride were helped out. God consistently and unwaveringly adored his elect couple. Intimately, he kept his watchful eye on his son and daughter. Powerfully, he used his mighty hand to protect her and their marriage from intense abuse. Mercifully, God responded to Abram’s sin, and graciously he called his sinful saint to see his transgressions and repent. Yes, in the end, the “man of faith” experienced God’s  faithfulness despite his wretched unfaithfulness.

And, how did the sinful saint respond? It’s beautiful! It’s how he responded each time his merciful God displayed his unmerited affection — Abram built and altar and called out to God.

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