January 4

Genesis 12-15, Psalm 4

People question the existence of God for a multitude of reasons. Some question His love, some His fairness, some His justice. Among the most common reasons given is how unfair that certain people will be judged when they have not had the same availability as we in the United States do. Often they will come up with an extreme example, such as a Muslim woman confined to her house with an overbearing husband, etc. Then will make the statement of, "How fair is it that she will be judged like us". One response to this though, is you are not in that situation, so what is your excuse. There are so many problems with this thought process, among them is we somehow humanize God and put the same limitations we have onto Him. In the book and movie, "The Rabbi Who Found Messiah" one of the most esteemed Rabbis in Israel, Rabbi Yitzhak Kaduri, claims to have met Messiah Jesus in a vision. In a letter which he did not allow to be opened until a year after his death, this truth was revealed to a shocked world. In the Muslim world the number of adherents, even among ISIS, turning to Christ due to visions, is staggering. I have a patient who came to Christ and is married to an Iranian Muslim. Though he allowed her to go to church and even bring his children there, he personally did not take part in this. That was until he had a vision of Jesus on the waters urging him to come. When visited by his Iranian family members he must hide his conversion due to threat of death to him and his family if revealed.

We see in the relationship between God and Abram, that God related to Abram in many different ways. We read in Genesis 15:1, "After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, "Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward." In this instance, God communicated through a vision. We will see in chapter 18 that Abram encounters 3 angels, One of them is The Angel of the Lord. The Angel of the Lord, as opposed to all other angels allows worship. This Angel is a Christophany or a pre-incarnate appearance of Christ in the Old Testament. Many claim that Melchizidek in Genesis 14:18-20, is also a Christophany (Hebrews 7). We also read of the Lord appearing to Abram in Genesis 12:7, "Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, "To your descendants I will give this land." There were also many times that the Lord spoke to Abram. We read in Genesis 13:14, "And the Lord said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him: "Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are-northward, southward, eastward, and westward;" Interspersed with all of this communication were long periods of silence. It is during these quiet times that Abram leaned on God and grew in his faith. We read in Genesis 15:6, "And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness." Even when Abram did not see how God could fulfill His gracious promise to him regarding an heir, he trusted the Lord anyway. He looked beyond what he could see to what God could see."

We live in a very noisy and distracted world. If God were trying to communicate with us, would we even hear Him. How many of us pray a monologue, not a dialogue. We give a list of requests, etc., then go about our business never even bothering to wait for a response. How many of us read His Word, worship, pray, etc which are many of the ways that we communicate in our relationship with Him, with music playing, our I-phones continually going off, etc. In Hebrews 13:2, we read, "Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels." God's messengers, His angels are many and around us. How often do we miss them? We see a very sobering scene in Revelation 20:11-15 at the Great White Throne Judgment. We read, "Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them...And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire." Those who place their faith in Jesus will have their names permanently and irrevocably written in the Lamb's Book of Life. Those depending on their own efforts to reach heaven will find themselves in the lake of fire. There will be no discussions, arguments or debates at this throne. No one will stand and yell, unfair, that they never heard. God is 100% fair and 100% just, no one will be judged without fair opportunity. God is communicating to the world, the problem does not lie with Him, but to earth's citizens who choose to be blind and deaf to His offer.

Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley:

Marj Lancaster