A God Near at Hand, Part 2

Grace For The Journey

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23Oct  As we saw yesterday, people have different ideas about God’s involvement in their lives and in His creation.  Deists believe that a Creator God exists but that He is disinterested in humanity and does not intervene in its affairs.  Of course, most professing Christians reject the deistic creed, holding that, conversely, God is intimately involved in His creation and especially with those whom He has called into His church.

In the early chapters of the book of Genesis, we see a pattern of God’s involvement with humanity, which we will continue to develop.  Yesterday we began by looking at Genesis 1:27-28 where the Bible begins to teach us a about God’s direct involvement with man and His creation.  Today we will look at additional passages of Scripture that reveal this truth.

2) In Genesis 6:13-24, God intervenes directly in human affairs, informing Noah about the violent state of mankind and instructing him to build the ark to save his family and the animals He would bring to him.  God proceeds to execute righteous judgment by causing water to flood the earth so that only the eight people that He had chosen are saved to live into the new era of human life.

3) Genesis 11:1-9 relates the story of the Tower of Babel, in which God’s sees the activities of man.  He is not idly standing back in the vastness of space just letting time tick on.  On the contrary, He is involved in observing the advancements of humanity, judging its deeds and intentions, and in this case, intervening decisively so that His plan would continue to move forward as He designed and at the pace He desired.

4) As we move forward in time, we see God speaking to Abram in Genesis 12:1.  We should not gloss over this.  Sometimes we read a biblical account but fail to grasp its full import.  But note in this verse that God spoke to Abram.  Their conversation was probably similar to what Adam and Eve experienced in the Garden of Eden.  God was present, talking with Abram, instructing him on where to go and what to do.  They had a personal, intimate relationship; God and Abram were friends (James 2:23).

5) Later in Genesis, the Angel of Lord appears and speaks to Hagar, telling her that He would make a great nation from her child (Genesis 16:7-16).  Keep in mind that God stood before Hagar, appearing as a mighty angel and directly addressing her.  Notice what she says in verse 13 once He has finished speaking, “Then she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees; for she said, ‘Have I also here seen Him who sees me?’ Therefore the well was called Beer Lahai Roi; observe, it is between Kadesh and Bered.”

Notice her response is, “You are the God Who sees me!”  She is amazed that God was interested in, and would make something of an insignificant Egyptian maidservant.

6) In Genesis 17, the Lord appears again to Abram, who falls on his face as God tells him more about the covenant that He is making with him and instructs him on how he should conduct his life from then on.  The Lord changes his name to Abraham, letting him know that many nations will descend from him and make him exceedingly fruitful.  The Lord is not a God who stands back and lets things happen!   He is not passive in the least; when He wills to do something, He takes direct and personal action.

7) In Genesis 18:1-15, He appears yet again to Abraham, this time accompanied by two angels, and He does not speak and quickly disappear.  He stays and talks with Abraham for hours – long enough for a fine meal to be prepared for Him from scratch and eaten!  This is not a God who is far away or for some reason has avoided interacting or intervening in His creation!

There are many other examples of this kind,

And

We have not yet exhausted the book of Genesis!

We will note one other example because it is helpful to demonstrate, not only that God personally interacted with many people, but also that their responses to their encounters with Deity can be instructive and inspiring.

8) This particular example of God interacting with an individual is found in Genesis 32:27-30, the account of God meeting Jacob as he returns to Canaan and begins wrestling with him.  We see that this encounter and response from Jacob is similar to what we saw from Hagar.

Those verses say, “So He said to him, ‘What is your name?’ He said, ‘Jacob.  And He said, ‘Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.’  Then Jacob asked, saying, ‘Tell me Your name, I pray.’ And He said, ‘Why is it that you ask about My name?’ And He blessed him there.  So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: ‘For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.’”

Hagar’s response is more rhetorical – “Have I also here seen Him who sees me?” – but in the form of a question nonetheless, as if she could not believe her own eyes.  Jacob’s response, on the other hand, is matter-of-fact: “For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.”  He knew he had just had a personal, face-to-face, encounter with God – a long wrestling match and conversation.  That is awesome!

We will look at this truth further in the near future.  We will see that God’s interaction with human beings did not end with the close of the book of Genesis.

This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey

Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!

Pastor Terry

Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”

Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

 

 

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