Israel in Bondage to the Egyptians! Why?
Only God knows all His reason for such a situation, but the scriptures do give us some insight. In Gen. 15:8, Abram asks “How shall I know that I shall inherit it”. God had promised him a land for inheritance. He seems to be asking for some conformation, so in verse 13, God gives him conformation. His heirs would serve and be afflicted 400 years. Then they would inherit the land (Gen. 15:16). This bondage may have already been in Gods plan, and was then used by God as conformation of His promise to Abram, maybe not. Nevertheless, they served the Egyptians and they inherited the land.
Abraham Sacrifices Isaac! Why?
Yes! Abraham was being proven – put to the test – by God in Gen. 22:1-14. Our life is not a blueprint. Our sovereign God has chosen to give us “freewill”, and every choice changes things. A test is to prove you. Unlike a test, a temptation is to make you fall. God temps no one (James 1:13). That’s the adversary’s job. Abraham passed the test, showing that he was a man of faith – a man who believed God (James 2:21-24). Abraham knew that because of God’s promise (Gen. 16:19), God would even raise Isaac from the dead (Heb. 11:17-19).
The Promised Seed? Who?
In Gen. 12:2-3, God gives Abram a promise. Part of that promise is that in Abram all families of the earth would be blessed. Gen. 18:18 and 22:18 and many other places repeat the promise. For many years it was thought that the promise was to be fulfilled by the fleshly decedents of Abraham, Israel the nation. But Gal. 3:16 & 29 tells us that it is Jesus who is the promised seed and that if we are Christ’s, we are Abraham’s seed. Therefore, we – the Church – are to bless all nations.
So, from these three brief studies, what have we learned about God and His dealings with mankind.
- a) God’s plans often span generations. Therefore we may not witness their beginnings or fulfillments. But to faithfully fill our roll in His plan is enough.
- b) Obedience at times may be difficult. We may not understand, but we trust Him and obey Him. He has a plan.
- c) God may “test” us but He will not “tempt” us. He wants our obedience, not our demise.
- d) “Freewill” – A gift from the sovereign creator – is one reason for His testing. Our life is not without numerous possibilities. The Creator not only deals with the world, but with us individually.
- e) His plan may be misunderstood, but at the appropriate time He will reveal the hidden things to us.
- f) As we choose rightly, our part in His plan will be worth the unknowing, the cost, and the wait.