I read through Genesis every year. I teach it and have taught it for the past six years. Every year, Genesis reminds me that my actions speak my faith louder than my words do. Every year, this book of beginnings reminds me to ransack the depths of my heart for unbelief. How can I find it?
“Genesis reminds me to ransack the depths of my heart for unbelief.
In Genesis 12, God calls Abram to trust him. He tells Abram that if he leaves his relatives, his country, and all that he knows then He will make a nation out of him and bless him. This isn’t the prosperity gospel where if we give God x then God will give us prosperity. No, God is going to do something with this one man in order to bless all the families of the earth.
What does he do? He partially obeys. Of course, partial obedience is full disobedience. Abram leaves his country but…he brings his relative, Lot. This may not be a big deal to some but I think it is significant in light of the rest of the context.
“Partial obedience is full disobedience.”
In Genesis 12:7, God tells Abram that He would give him the land of Canaan to his descendants. This is significant for multiple reasons. Abram’s wife is barren yet God promises descendants. Abram doesn’t own any land yet God says the land of Canaan will belong to his descendants. Then…there is a famine and Abram peaces out to Egypt.
While on his way to Egypt, he tells his wife to say she is his sister when they are confronted by Pharaoh. Abram is fearful that if Pharaoh finds out Sarai is his wife then he will have him killed in order to take Sarai. This is messed up. You see, Abram’s actions reveal his faith, or belief system, greater than his words.
“Abram’s actions reveal his faith, or belief system, greater than his words.“
Abram decided to go but he brought his nephew with him. God isn’t sufficient. God promises the land but when famine hits then Abram leaves. God’s word isn’t true. Pharaoh is a threat so Abram hides behind his wife. Abram fears man greater than he fears God.
These the few ways that reveal what Abram truly believes. He struggles to cling to what God says. Don’t you think that a man who audibly heard God speak would stride in confidence? Don’t you think that a man, who heard God say, “I will bless those who bless you and I will curse those who curse you”, would walk into Pharaoh’s palace and sing, “Can’t touch this!” Yet, Abram’s a coward.
Hold on. This is where I begin to ransack my heart for my own unbelief. It is easy for me to read about Abram and think, “What an idiot”. Yet, reading my own life is a bit harder. My heart tends to place its trust, hopes, faith in anything but God. It is in this chapter that I begin to remember that my faith, my hope, my trusts should be set on the eternal rather than the temporary.
“My heart tends to place its trust, hopes, faith in anything but God.“
I say one thing with my mouth but do my actions speak something louder? I say I love God but do I do what he commands? Do I say I love Jesus and then turn around curse my brother with the same tongue? Do I trust him or do I need other’s approval? Do I fear him greater than I fear man?
I struggle in all these areas and I bet you do too. So, how do we overcome? We must be aware of what we are doing and what that action is speaking in light Christ, in light of the gospel.