It’s amazing how our kids can turn out so different! Right from a very young age ….. their characters begin to form and as parents you see gifting ….. personality ….. and strengths. Of course there is always a bit of sibling rivalry! The differences can be challenging to parents. You can’t treat them all the same. Isaac and Rebekah had 2 sons ….. Esau & Jacob. They were chalk & cheese! They both had a favourite. Isaac liked Esau because he was a man’s man! He hunted and made great stew! Rebecca preferred Jacob who was more of a homely boy. She encouraged him to deceive his father into giving him Esau’s blessing. That did not go down well! Jealousy and resentment led to them going their separate ways. Every child has a God given gift and purpose. It’s up to us to help them discover it!
When I think of the word ‘test’ it brings back my schooldays! I hated exam time ….. all that cramming ….. and then being tested on the things you didn’t study! The purpose of a test is to reveal how much you understand. One of the meanings of a test is ‘a procedure used to identify or characterise a substance or constituent.’ Abraham was set the test of all tests when ….. after waiting 25 years for his promised son to be born ….. God told him to sacrifice him on an altar. This man of great faith obeyed God believing that God could bring his son back to life. When God saw his willingness ….. he intervened and let the boy live. God was testing what was really in Abraham’s heart. There is so much emotion in this story and we can only imagine what both Abraham and Isaac went through. But it’s not till we are put to the test that we discover our true desires and loyalties. We all have an ‘Isaac’. Would you be willing to lay him on an altar if God asked you to?
When God told Lot and his family to leave Sodom ….. He said ‘Run and don’t look back!’ Unfortuneately ….. Lot’s wife couldn’t resist looking back at the city that had become her home. Maybe she was thinking about the friends she’d made ….. or the security she was leaving behind. Her curiosity made her lag behind her husband and daughters and she was caught up in the fire and brimstone raining down on the city. A harsh lesson but one to learn from. Looking back ….. whether with regret ….. or longing is never a good idea. It’s called the past because it has passed! When God is taking you on to something new ….. run toward it and don’t look back!
When given the choice between 2 options ….. how do you decide which to take? Abraham and his nephew Lot needed to separate because the land couldn’t contain their flocks. Abraham graciously gave Lot the choice of where to go and settle. Lot chose the way that looked best and was closest to a city. Unfortunately ….. that city was Sodom! His choice led to disaster and a downhill spiral. Lessons to be learned from this are that the way that looks best isn’t necessarily the best ….. and ….. always pray before choosing! ‘There’s is a way that seems right ….. but it may lead to death’.