Husband’s Prayer

Genesis 25:19-26

19 This is the account of the family line of Abraham’s son Isaac. Abraham became the father of Isaac, 20 and Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah daughter of Bethuel the Aramean from Paddan Aram and sister of Laban the Aramean.

21 Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was childless. The Lord answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant. 22 The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, “Why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the Lord.

23 The Lord said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.”

24 When the time came for her to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb. 25 The first to come out was red, and his whole body was like a hairy garment; so they named him Esau. 26 After this, his brother came out, with his hand grasping Esau’s heel; so he was named Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when Rebekah gave birth to them.

No Complaint!

How would you prove practically that you are genuine believers of God?

Not a few have assumed that Christians should be kind, good, meek, not argumentative, or simple wholesome person. Such lifestyle is very noble but not enough to practically prove that one has faith in the Lord, why? Other religions like Buddhists have a lifestyle of meekness, modesty and unassuming attitude.

Few years ago, my partner and I were riding in tandem on a scooter, a small motorcycle. At a junction in a wet market in Thailand, an old man pedaling a tricycle suddenly crossed our path. We avoided the collision but bumped into a motorcycle parked near the sidewalk.

There’s no apparent damage after a loud impact noise. My partner waved at the crowd standing near the motorcycle, and we went our way as if nothing happened. Those who saw the accident did not say anything. In North America, that accident is a big deal but not among Buddhist people.

People who can control their temper during undesirable situations are admirable but such virtue does not prove genuine faith in God.

Not all shining yellow stones are gold. They need to be tested if they are genuine. Similarly, faith should be tested. To measure the level of faith we have in Christ, it is great to consider the testing of Abraham’s faith and compare it.

It is pointless to claim or even seriously fancy that one believes in the Lord unless it proven or measured in practical way. To compare the strength of our faith in God, reflect on Abraham’s practice of faith. Abraham was tested and came out stronger in his faith. Likewise, God tests to reveal the level of our faith.

Apostle Paul testified in Philippians 3:4-6, 4If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.

Apostle Paul sincerely tried to be righteous by religious zeal and obeyed the law. And, he discovered that living a Christian lifestyle is by God’s grace. The righteous lifestyle that God accepts is inspired and initiated by the Spirit of Christ.

Righteousness dictated by human effort seeks approval or appreciation from mankind. The one who by the human standard of righteousness would wish, yearn and desire that others would notice and appreciate what has been done.

Don’t wait for others to tell you that you have grown in your faith in God.

Prove it by yourselves that you really have faith. When others appreciate your lifestyle, it should only come only as an added bonus for you.

Abraham never told others that he had strong faith in God. Our Lord Jesus mandated us to testify of what He did our life and not what we do with our human initiatives. As Christian, we point others to Christ. We reconcile others to God, not to ourselves. Actually, Christ warned that others will hate us because of Him.

Christ declares in Mark 13:13, 13 Everyone will hate you because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.

We don’t intentionally do wicked things just to be hated. Instead, when we decide and do something because the Holy Spirit told us or inspired us to do it, He will also sustain us with His joy and peace even when others disagree or hate us as a result. We will feel sorry for they don’t understand it.

When Abraham sent his other children away from where Isaac lives, he gave them gifts but he left everything he owned to Isaac. His other children became hostile to other tribes related to them because of that. Did he feel bad?

Did God approve when Abraham send his other children away from Isaac? Did God reprimand him? From non-believers’ perspective, what he did was not acceptable. It’s favoritism! Yet still, Abraham was called friend of God.

It teaches us in James 2:23, 23And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend.

If others disagree with what we do but we choose to please God, that’s the kind of faith that God approves. If others hate us because of Christ, His grace sustains us to keep obeying Him with joyful willingness.

Abraham was called the father of all who have faith in God. His life exhibits how to practice faith in God. Have you learned from Abraham’s lifestyle? What problem God used to test your faith? Have you grown in faith, yet?

What did Isaac learn from the practice of faith of his father Abraham?

Let’s learn from the account of Isaac’s practice of his faith in God.

19 This is the account of the family line of Abraham’s son Isaac. Abraham became the father of Isaac, 20 and Isaac was 40 years old when he married Rebekah daughter of Bethuel the Aramean from Paddan Aram and sister of Laban the Aramean.

Abraham died but his influence was apparent in Isaac’s prayer life. Prayer was significant to Isaac’s practice of faith. He asked God on behalf of his wife.

1. Ask

21 Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was childless. The Lord answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant. 

Prayer is communication with God. When we talk with God and ask Him for our needs, praise Him for what He has done in our life, even ask provision on behalf of others, it is called prayer. Asking God for things we cannot have or do with our own human ability is a practice of faith that God expects us to act upon.

God loves us unconditionally and also conditionally. What is the difference between the conditional and unconditional love of God?

The unconditional love of God applies to anything that He does without our consent. When He does things favorable to us out of His grace, He does not ask us for our approval—that’s when His unconditional love is displayed or applied.

God’s unconditional love is given to all who don’t deserve His love.

In comparison, God’s conditional love is applied when we deserve it but He gives it according to His conditions or requirements. When we ask Him for favor, even if promised it, He will grant what we asked for when His terms are met.

It says in 1 Peter 3:7, 7Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

To be considerate is to acknowledge the limitation of others. The term ‘weaker partner’ may sound like profiling or discrimination of physical strength, but not disregarding the capability of wives. It is more of what wives cannot do alone. And, husbands are required to regard wives as God’s heirs.

God answered Isaac’s prayer for his wife Rebekah because he was considerate to her. For 20 years as married couple, Isaac did not blame her. He understood that Rebekah loved and respected him because she was loyal to him for 20 years. She did not even travel to visit her parents and siblings.

So, if husbands wish or expect answers to their prayers, the Lord requires husbands to be considerate, treat and respect their wives as weaker partners.

How about wives? How about children? How about singles or unmarried people? Does God require conditions for answered prayers?

It also teaches us in Isaiah 59:2, 2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.

It warns us in James 4:3, 3When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

God allowed Rebekah to be barren for 20 years, maybe, to test Isaac. Isaac may have done everything other people do for wives to become pregnant.

Maybe, they exercised regularly and ate healthy food to be sure that they have healthy physical bodies. Isaac realized that for wives to be pregnant, he had to pray. God answered his prayer. Rebekah his wife got pregnant.

2. Answer

22The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, “Why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the Lord. 23The Lord said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.”

Interestingly, Isaac may have prayed for one child but God granted him twin brothers. Rebekah may have heard when Isaac prayed for her. When she realized that she was pregnant, she also prayed and asked God about her pregnancy. The Lord declared about the future of their children.

God has a plan for every child born on this earth. Parents may have plans and wishes about the future of children, too. Is it proper for parents to dictate what kind of life their children should follow? As believers, it is much better if we (parents) seek God first and ask Him what we have to pray for our children.

Celebrity

There’s movie about a celebrity mother who tried to dictate what kind of lifestyle her son should follow. Since she has money, she provided everything her son needed. When the son becomes adult, he wants to decide about the woman he wanted to marry but his mother rejected his idea.

The celebrity mother wanted her son to marry someone who belongs to a high class in society. So, instead of gaining more respect from her son, their mother—son relationship has grown cold and were alienated from each other.

Such strange parents-children relationship has become ordinary realities not just among celebrities but in all walks of life. Parents have responsibilities to provide for practical and spiritual needs of their children but God has plans for each person that can be contradictory to parents’ wishes or personal dream.

Nonetheless, it should not prevent us from praying for the welfare of our children.

It reminds us in Psalm 34:15, 15The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry.

It teaches us in 1 John 5:14-15, 14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.

Therefore, it’s very crucial to know much about the Scripture, why? God’s word contains His requirements for answered prayers. This may not be the best illustration: But, if you received a gift card, read the instruction in it to know where the gift card is accepted. Likewise, to avail of the many gifts God has prepared for us, read His requirements to have confidence that He will answer your prayer.

Rebekah asked God about her pregnancy. God declared His plans for her twins. The reality of God’s plan started to actualize when the twins were born.

3. Actualize

24 When the time came for her to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb. 25 The first to come out was red, and his whole body was like a hairy garment; so they named him Esau. 26 After this, his brother came out, with his hand grasping Esau’s heel; so he was named Jacob. Isaac was 60-years old when Rebekah gave birth to them.

The name Esau sounds like a Hebrew word for ‘accomplish’ being the first born. The name Jacob is properly interpreted as ‘heel-catcher’ because he was holding onto his brother’s heel. To Hebrews, “Heel-catcher” is a figurative expression for deceiver. Later, Jacob deceived his brother Esau twice.

God has already declared about their future even before it happened. The Lord told Rebekah that the older Esau will serve the younger son Jacob. Rebekah heard it straight from God and it might have been the reason she favored Jacob over Esau. Isaac favored Esau being his first born son.

Anyways, what God has declared about the future of Esau and Jacob, it came to actuality right from the moment they were born. Such is another practical proof that whatever God declares, it will certainly materialize or happen.

It teaches us in Proverbs 16:9, 9In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.

US/North Korea Summit

US president Donald Trump has cancelled his planned summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The US president said he was pulling out of the meeting because of the “tremendous anger and open hostility” in a recent statement from Mr. Kim. He called it a “missed opportunity” and “truly sad moment in history” to secure a peace deal with North Korea – something that no US president has done in the past.

The United States of America is considered as the most powerful nation in this generation but even its president cannot actualize or put into reality his own proclamation. The US/North Korea meeting of their leaders have been planned to be held on June 12 in Singapore but as of this writing is was cancelled.

The US/North Korea Summit may resume or not, it only proves that humans have limitations. No human can control what may happen on the future.

God may have directed that it’s not yet the right time for such historic event to be actualized or happened. If powerful leaders cannot make their declaration into reality, would ordinary citizens be exempted? Such reality separates humans from God. What God declares will surely happen. Human’s word is not absolute.

It reminds us in Proverbs 3:5-6, 5Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

We can only trust the Lord if we receive His gift of faith.

Ask God to give you the gift of faith.

Read the Bible for you to grow strong in your faith in Him. The love of reading the Bible is a practical proof that you have received faith from God.

It says in Romans 10:17, 17Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.

We can grow in our faith in the Lord if we hear His message. God’s requirements that you may not hear from sermons are readily available in the Scripture. Reading the Scripture will also help you to prove that the sermons you heard are really biblical.

Don’t be easily misled by sweet-talking preachers.

Read your Bible for you to grow in your faith in the Lord.

<‘)))>< ltsii/2018 ><(((‘>

 

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.