As I'm studying the life of Abraham during my morning times with God, I'm so encouraged by two things I notice - neither youth nor perfection were required for God to work in Abraham's life and use Abraham in incredible ways.
When I read Genesis 12:1-5 I see that Abraham was 75 years old when God first called Him to this great thing God wanted to do through him. I don't know about you but I find that encouraging. I've been struggling with feeling discouraged because I lost my job and I'm 50 years old and haven't found what I'm supposed to be doing. Because of all the emphasis our culture places on youth, it would be easy for me to figure that I'm past my prime. But God's been graciously and repeatedly showing me that He uses people at every age and stage.
The other thing that really strikes me about God coming to Abraham and choosing Abraham is that Abraham was not some perfect guy; he did not come from a culture that was saturated in following God, and sometimes he acted like a jerk and a coward. Yet Abraham was the man God chose to be the father of a great nation through whom the whole world would be blessed.
Prior to God coming to Abraham, he had lived in Ur and Haran. Anthropologists tell us that the culture in those areas at that time were polytheistic. Nanna, the moon god, was the city of Ur's patron. The scripture is silent concerning Abram and his family's religious practices. Victor Hamilton, in his book entitled The Book of Genesis, says that several sources suggest that Terah (Abraham's father), Sarai (Abraham's wife), and Haran (Abraham's brother) were named after the moon god or his associates. So Abraham came out of a culture steeped with worshiping all kinds of gods; Abraham did not have a distinguished, God-following pedigree. Yet God chose to reveal himself as THE God to Abraham. It appears that God chose to do this just because He chose to, not based on anything specifically about Abraham.
Then in Genesis 12:10-20 Abraham is shown telling his wife to lie and say she's his sister so that not one will hurt him. The Egyptian pharaoh even took Sarah for his wife (the Bible is unclear what all this entailed) and Abraham let him. Sarah got out of that situation only because God sent plagues onto pharaoh for his actions so he released Sarah. Definitely not commendable actions on Abraham's part. But God chose to use Abraham.
I don't know about you, but I relate much better to people who aren't perfect. So the fact that God chose to use Abraham just because God wanted to encourages me. It encourages me that even when I mess up, all is not lost. God will still get done what God wants to do.
What about you, do you ever struggle with thinking that your age or past mistakes make you ineligible for God to do great things through?
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