the art of double-living
Rescuing a true hero of faith from the VBS version of his life.
For many characters in the Holy Bible, their story is exclusive and their tale is a bit of a one-and-done. Adam & Eve, Noah, Jacob, Joseph, Job, Daniel, etc.
In these instances, we take on the characters, setting, plot, conflict, and eventual resolution while associating a simple, overarching moral to the story. Then, we take their lives and mold them into our vacation bible school song versions of who theses characters were.
Many of us never graduate out of the VBS version of the story.
Abraham was stuck in that version with me. Until recently.
I thought I knew Abraham; however, I found myself utterly surprised and unfamiliar with his stories I read through the account of his life. Abraham was much different than anyone else in the Bible.
For starters, many of us today could say that we have lived or are still living what is commonly referred to as "double-lives".
While the consequences of double-living is a topic for another day, the moral is that Abraham, actually lived a definitive double life with two names and two completely different stories.
Abram/Abraham's couple of lives are so interesting, that Moses used more real estate on Abraham’s 175 years of life than he did on Adam, Cain, Lamech, Seth, Enoch, Noah, and Shem combined.
Abraham is one of the most important characters in the bible, but also in the history of humanity.
While I'll leave you to read and make your own assessment of Abraham's story in Genesis 12-25, below is a list of 12 impactful lessons I learned throughout the account of Abraham’s life.
Gen 13:13 [Pairs with 14:12] Our association with wickedness and those who are wicked will bring defeat and despair to our lives for which we require a savior (Abraham/Jesus)
Gen 15:6 - Full belief in the abilities of God will be credited to us as righteousness (as seen with Noah, Moses, Elijah, Daniel, David, etc.)
Gen 15:13 - A struggle is always required in a covenant with the Lord.
Gen 15:8 - Even those who fully believe God is capable of what he has said still have the human craving to require verification or assurance even after God has delivered much greater in the past.
Gen16:7/20:3 - If God is fully in charge of directing your path, he will direct that of others along your path in order to achieve his goals.
Gen17:17/18:15 - What seems laughably impossible to us is mere clockwork for our God
Gen18:24-32 - A classic human debate with God. We see that God’s only intention is to be JUST. However; Abraham sees his punishment on Sodom as unjust. To see God’s wrath as unjust is a consequence of having a low view of sin.
Gen 19:17/26 - Looking back can be deadly.
Gen 22:2 - Obeying God’s commands means sacrificing what you love most [Parallels with 22:12] Isaac was a parallel to Christ
Gen 22:14 - Approach the Lord with your heart as an altar and he will provide the sacrifice.
Gen 24:1/25:8 God always makes good on his promises. He, unlike his human creations, is always faithful to the end.
Gen 24:58 - Before God even asks anything of us, our answer should be, “I will go.”
The verses in this list and lessons attached allow me to rescue Abraham from the VBS quicksand he lived in to claim his rightful place as a true hero of our faith.
Read Abraham's story yourself, and get a sense of the true importance of his life and ministry.
Thank God that Father Abraham had many sons, and many sons had Father Abraham. Thank God that I am one of them and so are you because Abraham's story made way for your story and my story to be told.
PS would love to hear your take on Abraham's story. Drop a comment below and share with your friends!