Sunday, January 13, 2008

Daniel means “God is Judge”. We began reading through the book of Daniel as a family yesterday. Papa pointed out the repetition of certain numbers—especially ten, which appears to be a number of testing or judgment. “We met with the S Family for ten weeks,” he added.

While Papa returned Nick to campus for the Spring semester that begins tomorrow, the rest of us snuggled into a cozy afternoon of projects. With the creative urge strong upon me I dug through my stash of hand-me-down fabric until I unearthed a large piece of cream colored double knit. Loosely using a little girls jumper pattern, I cut, pinned and sewed until I had a nifty little shirt dress to wear over pants. I had just changed the thread to a chocolate brown for some artsy top-stitching when my machine rebelled, began skipping stitches and finally refused to sew at all, no doubt protesting the slippery knit fabric. After teasing, pleading and begging uselessly for some time I threaded and old fashioned needle and went at it by hand. Before I knew it my creativity had expanded to include custom embroidered vines, button flowers, beadwork and intricate knotting over the bottom, back and shoulder of the dress. Hand-washing will certainly be a necessity.

Abraham is now in Abraham’s bosom, according to my reading for today. Pondering the life of Abraham leaves me in awe of the Lord and His ways. They are too high. I cannot attain to them. He called Abraham from among complete heathens. I see no evidence that Abraham was in any way seeking Yahweh, yet the Lord appeared to Him and called Him and promised to bless Him. Each step of the way, Abraham hesitated and God had to give a little nudge. Abraham’s journey lasted for years before he actually believed God and was reckoned righteous. How does this work? Amazingly, beyond my understanding, the Lord can and does draw people for years sometimes before they finally trust Him. The human mind can devise all kinds of questions: What if Abraham had died before he trusted God? What if Abraham hadn’t gone to the land of Canaan? Does it matter, all these “what ifs”? The point is that God was in control. He drew, knowing precisely when Abraham would finally trust and obey Him wholly. Was He fooled or thwarted? Absolutely not. Never. Faith bore immediate fruit in Abraham, though. God made a covenant with him and told him to circumcise his whole household. The same day, it says, Abraham and his son Ishmael and all his household were circumcised. He’d not even yet seen the child of promise, though he’d believed God. And later, when God told him to sacrifice his son, his obedience was immediate. That’s the undeniable mark of those who are “righteous” in the old testament. They obey God. It is the evidence of their faith in Him and His faithfulness.

He who has shown Himself faithful, since the beginning of time, is truly worthy of my faith.

Lord, Thy arm is full of power
To lead or save at any hour.
Thy faithfulness, as proved in past
The steadfast mountains, will outlast.

Thy promise of my soul’s salvation,
More secure than earth’s foundation,
Causes hope that’s staid in Thee
To grow to touch eternity.

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