Friday, January 9, 2009

Day 9 God & Calaminty: Relentless or Relents

Within the past four days, I have come across the same message in different biblical books and now it turns up in the daily reading, so it bears mentioning at least, and for me, to be taken to heart.
Sunday's sermon was from Jonah, last night's bible study was in Joel and this morning we see the same theme in action in Gen 20....
Jonah 4:2 ..."I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, A God who relents from sending calamity"
Joel 2:13 "Rend your heart not your garments, Return to the Lord your God for he is gracious and compassionate slow to anger and abounding in love, for he relents from sending calamity"

Here in Gen 20 we see this in action. God speaks to Abimelech the heathen king, God knows he took Sarah in good conscience and God steps in and warns Abimelech to prevent him from sinning against him, (the God he does not honor) and bringing calamity onto his family.

God sent Jonah to warn the people of Ninevah, the calamity that was surely heading their way, and they repented, this time round at least. They Repented of their evil and violent ways and God had compassion on them. Jonah 2:10
Joel is sent to God's own people encouraging them to "Return to the Lord your God"

Here Abimelech makes Restitution to the person who was wronged in the situation, Sarah. Imagine introducing yourself as the spinster sister instead of being the wife of Abraham. She was already bearing the brunt of being infertile, is still dealing with the whole Hagar drama (Gen 16) and this was being compounded by her husband by referring to her as his sister. Abimlech gives Sarah via Abraham 1000 shekles of silver V16 "This is to cover the offense against you before all who are with you; you are completely vindicated".
What was the offense being spoken off? Abimelech didn't touch her.
Here is the more literal translation from the Hebrew from Everett Fox "it (the money) shall serve you as a covering for the eyes for all who are with you, and with everyone, that you have been decided for." The offense was her implied spinsterhood afterall!

Even so, it takes a prayer from Abraham to heal Abimelech family from infertility and with them Sarah is also healed.. but that's tomorrows story :)

Side note:
The three elements of heeding God warning from sending claminity into our lives that I see are
Repenting from the wrong behaviour, Returning to God with our heart, making Resistution where necessary. He will do whatever it takes to get our attention and save us from ourselves.


  1. True, true. Restituion and stoping the sin is part and parcel to repentance. Without it we are not truly repentent.

    I hadn't thought about it until you mentioned Sarah still reeling from the degrading circumstances of Hagar, that Hagar was with them at this time. She had already had the child by Abraham, so of course everyone thought she was the real wife and Sarah the sister.

    I understand the humiliation of having another woman as taunted as my husband's wife and the mother of my children. It happened to me in my first marriage. But as God blessed Sarah with a son later, God blessed me with a new husband who is faithful.

    Good lesson Siobhan.

    Shirley FAy

  2. Yes good lesson for sure and I am thankful He does whatever it takes to get our attention.
    I got into the Sodom and Gommorrah in chapter 19.
    So in the nineteenth chapter,
    And two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening and Lot was sitting in the gateway of the city. When he saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. (Gen.19:1)
    Now sitting in the gate of the city was a place of prominence, it was a place of honor and distinction to sit in the gate of the city. And so Lot sitting in the gate of the city saw these two men as they were coming at evening.
    He invited them to his home, because he knew the danger and conditions of the city also hospitality was extremely important then, But before they were able to lie down, it says in verse 4 all the men from every part of the city of Sodom-both young and old surrounded the house.
    Then Lot went out and pleaded and offered his daughter’s that showed how much women were valued, Praise the Lord for Jesus who loves us women.
    Now what I’m getting to in verse 12 The two men said to Lot, “ Do you have anyone else here- sons-in-law, sons or daughters. Or anyone else in the city belongs to you? Get them out of here, Because we are going to destroy this place. The outcry to the Lord against its people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it.”
    Verse 14 So lot went out and spoke to his son-in-laws.( so they were obviously in the group outside ? WOW
    But here Lot, and again I believe it shows that even Lot himself in his own morals, in his own values, had been corrupted by his living in Sodom. I do not see how you can live in the midst of such corruption and it not have some influence upon you.
    Living as we do in this day and age in which we live, we are under constant bombardment and constant pressure to accept evil, to tolerate evil, and to accept perversion as natural. And if you dare say something against the homosexuals, you have a parade going on at your front door.Or file suit against you. And it's got to the place where people become sort of cowered into a position of just not standing for what they believe.
    If you would dare say in a school class that Jesus is the only way to salvation, You are restrained or taken to court. And so it's hard to live in the midst of a society that is so corrupt without it rubbing off a little on us. Christians need to stand up for what is evil like homosexuality, abortion etc.
    Now Lot's own morals had been corrupted to the extent that he was willing to give his daughters over to be abused by these men. The gesture was not a fine gesture of Lot. It was a gesture that showed his own moral depravity as the result of living in Sodom. Lot made the choice of moving into the plains. He pitched his tent toward Sodom. That was the beginning of it. But now he has his house in Sodom.
    There is a danger in pitching your tent towards the world. It is interesting, "Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful" (Psalm 1:1 There's a progression there. First of all, you're listening to the counsel of the ungodly. Next of all, you're standing around with them and the next thing you find yourself sitting in their company. Lot moved toward Sodom. Next he was living in Sodom. But it had its effect upon his own life and upon his own moral values as well as his children. If we as Christians do not make a strong example in our homes , how do we expect our children to stand up to the tremendous pressures that is in front of them daily.

    And when the morning arose, the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take your wife, and your two daughters, which are here; lest you be consumed in the iniquity of the city (Gen 19:15)(
    And so they were hurrying them. Said, "Get out of here now".
    And while he lingered (Gen 19:16)
    There still was a reluctance to leave the place, he was reluctant to leave. Just sort of lingering around.
    And Lot said unto them, Oh, not so, my Lord (Gen 19:18) (
    Perfect example of those who pray, "Not Thy will, mine be done". If you're doing what he said, He is your Lord. If you're not doing what He says He is not your lord of your life. "Why do you call me, Lord, Lord, and yet you don't do the things I command you" (Luke 6:46)? Diana