Letters from Neil | May 27th, 2020

Redemption AZ / July 7, 2020
covid-19, salt

May 27, 2020

Good morning Salties & friends,

Today we’ll look at verses 27 – 32 of chapter 11 completing our study in the first large section of Genesis; chapters 1 – 11. Here the focus narrows again from Shem’s genealogy through Eber’s son Peleg to one particular descendant, Terah, the father of Abraham, Nahor and Haran (the father of Lot). The focus of the rest of Genesis will narrow further to just one family, Abrahams. This of course is a supernatural work of God since Sarai, Abram’s wife is barren (vs 30). Their home, Ur was an important city in the land of Sumer. It was a powerful and influential city until 1950 BC (Abram was born around 2160 BC). Abe’s father Terah intended to move his family from Ur to the land of Canaan but stopped and settled in Haran which was northwest of Ur along the Euphrates river. Both Ur and Haran were important centers for the worship of the moon gods Nannar & Sin. It was a prosperous, highly civilized but perverted city founded by Ham’s descendants. 

According to verse 31 Abraham’s migration to the land of Canaan didn’t take place right away. In fact, this verse makes it seem like a family decision led by his father Terah who decided to stay in Haran rather than move on to Canaan. Why would God choose an idolatrous man with a barren wife from a pagan society to be called the father of His people and a friend of God? I believe the answer is found in 1 Corinthians 1:26-29 “For consider your calling, brothers; not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.” Paul is referencing from Jeremiah 9:23-24 to demonstrate not even Abraham can boast, the man who gets the most space in the Hebrews 11 “hall of faith.” God’s choice of Abraham in the Old Testament just like His choice of us today, did not depend upon Abraham’s upbringing, good works or religious activity. God reveals how great His power is by choosing those that the world views as nobodies.

According to God, the greatest man who ever lived besides Jesus was John the Baptist. A man with no formal education, no profession, no impressive appearance or political position. Yet Jesus said of him “Truly I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist” (Matt 11:11). No one, not even John has the right to boast before God. May this truth cause us to humbly praise and thank God our Savior for choosing us to receive His mercy and be called His beloved children, regardless of our background or past history.

This concludes our study in the first section of Genesis. For the rest of this week I’ll be doing some miscellaneous devotions so that next Thursday when many of us will meet together I can start with the beginning of the next big section, Genesis 12. Also, Friday will be my last Daily Connection instead I’ll be sending out the transcript from our weekly studies on Thursday afternoon. 

May God bless and keep you, Neil