Monday, January 7, 2013

the God of Abraham, Isaac, and... Rachel

This weekend we hosted 14 Mozambican ladies and 14 of their children (all under 5 years old!).  Rachel was finishing up her study of the Sermon on the Mount with these women from villages north of Montepuez.  They sang, studied the teachings of Jesus, ate, hung out, and even watched a movie together.  These are some of Rachel's best friends and it was again a joy for me to see her in her element.

Last year we hosted this same group for a couple of nights and at the end of that visit all the women loaded up in our truck for me to give them a ride home.  This was right before our furlough trip to the United States and Rachel was telling these ladies goodbye, reminding them that she loved and would miss them.  As we pulled away I heard one of the women in the back seat say in Makua-Metto - "the God of Rachel is good."

That got me thinking about how often in scripture God is named through his relationship to human beings.  He is called the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Exodus 3:6), the God of King David (1 Kings 1:36), the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (Daniel 3:29), the God of Daniel (Daniel 6:26), the God and Father of Jesus (2 Cor. 11:31).

God doesn't demand we use an unpronounceable name to address him.  Instead he says, "You know that servant of mine - I am his or her God and I'm fine if you call me by that name."

God is willing to be known by his relationship to people.

That fact carries responsibility.  People know the character of our God by... our own character.

Rachel had spent that visit loving on these ladies, praying over them, singing and dancing with them, holding their children, eating with them, laughing with them, giving them gifts, encouraging them and showing them that they are valuable in real and tangible ways - all while having pink eye (yeah, she rocks!).  So, our witness is important in revealing the nature of God.  But, it certainly is not only up to us.

God is willing to be known by his relationship to people.

That fact brings freedom.  People know the character of God by... the way HE has acted in this person's life.

The God of Abraham acted and faithfully fulfilled his promises to his servant.  The God of Daniel shut the mouths of lions.  The God and Father of Jesus raised him from the dead.  So, the weight of being known as the true God doesn't rest on his servants but on the I AM who speaks and acts according to his purposes.  

May it be so with us that in everything we say and do, those around us declare: "the God of _____ is good!"



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