I’ve been reading in Genesis these past few weeks and have been struck again by the awesomeness and power and goodness and love of God! I felt absolutely dumbstruck again by the (not to overuse the word but..) awesomeness of what He created and how with such care and detail and foresight! We, the human race, are created in His very own image, after His likeness, because He wanted to have intimate fellowship with us!!! And I fell in love again with how distinctly he made us male and female. We women were created as no other things had been…specially designed by our God as distinct and beautiful but also in His image and likeness! How incredible is that? I’ve heard some say that they believe God does not care about the details of our life. But how can a God that creates with such uniqueness and distinction and foresight not be a God of detail? No. I can see that even the details of my life, however mundane they may seem to me, are important to my Lord who created me!
John MacArthur pointed out in his commentary of Genesis that every time man responded to God’s authority with rebellion, God extended grace and mercy with the justice! The more man rebelled, the more grace that was extended! And did we every push Him! To the point where He finally destroyed almost all living things! But even in that, His grace is seen—in His delay of a year while the ark was built for men to repent; His grace in sparing Noah, his wife, their three sons and their sons’ wives who feared and obeyed the Lord. God re-created almost everything about the earth and re-established man in it. Again and again God restates His plan for salvation and fellowship to His children. He does not ignore sin but He shows such patience and grace!
And then I began reading about the life of Abram and several things about Abram’s journey and adventures with God struck a chord with me. Abraham set out for parts-unknown when God told him to go, not knowing the outcome, but trusting the God who had called him. Wherever he stopped, he built an altar and worshipped God there. Every place God led him to was received with gratitude and worship. But there were times when Abraham panicked, doubted God’s promises or that it was really what God had meant when He spoke them, worried over how things were looking, and leaned on his own understanding of the situation. In most situations, Abram and Sarai made a huge mess by taking things into their own hands. In contrast, in Genesis 15, when Abraham called out to God with his doubts and fears, God answered with sweet reassurance and promise. He was knew exactly what He was doing and it would be okay. As I look towards the end of my time here in PNG, so many things in my life feel “up-in-the-air” again. So many decisions to be made—some of them mine to make, some of them for others’ to make. I begin to worry, dream and plan things instead of trusting that God is working and will tell me the next step when it’s time. But I’m impatient and it seems like it’s taking such a long time! But looking at how things turned out for Abram in Egypt when he lied to the king about Sarai, or when Sarai insisted he take her maid for his wife to bear the promised heir, or when he lied to the king of Gerar about Sarai, I realized that I don’t want that. Every time he or his wife took things into their own hands to do what they understood needed to happen, it created a mess! Proverbs warns often against relying on your own understanding and, as one of the missionaries here pointed out last Sunday, “We always think our understanding is right!” I don’t want to be them. I don’t want to make these things messy. So I’m going to have to trust, resting in gratitude in the place He has me now. Going no further than He directs and worshipping Him for the amazing God that He is wherever I happen to land. This is the life God is for me.
Also in John MacArthur’s commentary on Genesis, I found a list of some of the names used for God in the Old Testament and the translations of those names:
1. Elohim, meaning “God,” a reference to God’s power and might (Gen. 1:1, Ps. 19:1)
2. Jehovah (sometimes spelled Yahweh), a reference to God’s divine salvation (Gen. 2:4)
3. El-Elyon, meaning “The most high God” (Gen. 14:17-20, Is. 14:13-14)
4. El-Roi, meaning “The strong one who sees” (Gen. 16:12)
5. El-Shaddai, meaning “The God of the mountains” or “God almighty” (Gen. 17:1, Ps. 91:1)
6. Jehovah-Jireh, meaning “The Lord will provide” (Gen. 22:13-14)
7. Jehovah-Rapha, meaning “The Lord our healer” (Ex. 16:26)
8. Jehovah-Nissi, meaning “The Lord our banner” (Ex. 17:15)
9. Jehovah-Maccaddeshem, meaning “The Lord thy sanctifier” (Ex. 31:13)
10. Jehovah-Shalom, meaning “The Lord is peace” (Judg. 6:24)
11. Jehovah-Rohi, meaning “The Lord my shepherd” (Ps. 23:1)
12. Jehovah-Sabbaoth, meaning “The Lord of hosts” (Is. 6:1-3)
13. El-Olam, meaning “The everlasting God” (Is. 40:28-31)
14. Jehovah-Tsidkenu, meaning “The Lord our righteousness” (Jer. 23:6)
15. Jehovah-Shammah, meaning “The Lord who is present” (Ezek. 48: 35)
16. Adonai, meaning “Lord,” a reference to the lordship of God (Mal. 1:6)
I also read that morning Proverbs 18:10, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.” I may not have the promises for the future that Abraham received but the same God who promised Himself to Abraham has promised Himself to me. The names that describe Him are promises of His character, who He will always be. And that, to me, is safety.