There are only two more Sundays to go in our journey through the book of Genesis. I can hardly believe it’s coming to an end. And what a finish!
This week we’ll be greeted to a big surprise in the ending. Humanly speaking, it doesn’t seem like it should turn out this way, but it’s been God’s plan, since before the beginning of creation, to bring about what He’ll announce to us in this week’s passage. It may just change how you think about the advancement of the kingdom of God and your role in it.
God’s kingdom is present and advancing among us, but not yet fully realized. Christians are receiving a kingdom that can’t be shaken, no matter what the circumstances of life or how things may appear around us. This Sunday we’ll look at four distinguishing marks of that kingdom and consider where that leaves us, both Christians and non-Christians, in the period where Christ’s kingdom is advancing but not yet fully realized.
Dr. Al Mohler recently referred to Christians as the new “Moral Outlaws.” In case you’ve been in a far away land, you can’t help but notice that American morality is shifting at warp speed. What was the predominent view of morality, just a few years ago, is now considered outdated, intolerent and, by some, hateful. These days, anyone with a Biblical world view is seen as out of touch. Worse than that, Christians, holding to the authority of Scripture (is there any other kind?), are being classified by the culture as “immoral.” The speed with which all this is happening is unprecedented in almost all of human history.
The response by American Christians has been all over the map. Some are panicking, many are sounding the alarm and others are deciding if they can’t beat them, they’ll join them. Yet, I don’t think any of these approaches is Biblical. The Bible shows Christians that we are called into a world just like the one we live in. And our passage in Genesis, this week, suggests how we may want to approach the challenges we face with our rapidly shifting and increasingly hostile environment. Christians, I believe, have much more to offer the world than the world has to offer us. That seems to be the overarching lesson in our passage this week.
This Sunday, we’ll look at a number of ways we might expect God’s people to function in this environment, and we’ll consider just how we can respond to our neighbors, family members, classmates and others who see us as the new moral outlaws.
I get panicked when we run out of ice cream, but imagine having no food in your house and knowing all the local grocery stores are sold out. That’s the kind of the situation we see the family of Israel dealing with in this week’s passage from the book of Genesis. It’s a life and death situation. If they don’t go to Egypt to buy food, they will surely die in the land in which God has promised them. If they go to Egypt, they might just die unless they comply with the terms of Egypt’s second in command. It seems like a risky situation, but the sons of Israel will soon find that the mercy of Almighty God is astonishing.
The mercy of Almighty God should be astonishing to us too. This Sunday, we’ll look at several reasons to be astonished and find hope in God’s mercy during ordinary times and in times of great distress.