Sunday, March 18, 2007

Living in a Tent, Worshipping at an Altar

In Genesis 12, Abram goes down to Egypt for legitimate reasons. After all, there was a famine in the land. But that sort of begs the question as to whether or not God could have or would have provided for Abram back in the land that God had promised him? But, we can deal with that in another post.

So what does Abram do after his little jaunt down into Egypt? In Genesis 13, he comes back to the fertile land of the promise and he builds an altar. Abram finds himself in a situation that is very familiar to many of us. He finds himself in a location, and a spiritual condition, where he does not feel God's presence as near as he once did. So Abram does what makes sense. He goes back to the place where he last felt close tot he presence of God. And further he returns to the lifestyle that he was living prior to his sojourn in Egypt.

Abram did what he should to rekindle the fire of God's presence within him. He did not beat himself up for his recent sin. Instead he got busy by getting back on the journey and adventure that God had called him to. He went back to living in a tent as a pilgrim, back to worshipping at the altar that he had built before, and back to calling upon the name of the Lord.

Here is a model for you and I to follow when we find that we too have wandered from God's presence and found ourselves mired in sin. First, get out of the place of sin. Second, return to the place and the activities where we last felt God's presence.

This I know for sure. If we are feeling afar off from God, rest assured it is not God who has wandered from us. It is always us who have wandered from God.

Weak and wounded sinner
Lost and left to die
O, raise your head, for love is passing by
Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus and live!

Now your burden's lifted
And carried far away
And precious blood has washed away the stain, so
Sing to Jesus
Sing to Jesus
Sing to Jesus and live!

And like a newborn baby
Don't be afraid to crawl
And remember when you walk
Sometimes we
Fall on Jesus
Fall on Jesus
Fall on Jesus and live!

Sometimes the way is lonely
And steep and filled with pain
So if your sky is dark and pours the rain, then
Cry to Jesus
Cry to Jesus
Cry to Jesus and live!

O, and when the love spills over
And music fills the night
And when you can't contain your joy inside, then
Dance for Jesus
Dance for Jesus
Dance for Jesus and live!

And with your final heartbeat
Kiss the world goodbye
Then go in peace, and laugh on Glory's side, and
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus and live!
Chris Rice - Untitled Hymn (Come To Jesus)


  1. I was thinking about what we had talked about with Lot picking a place for him to dwell and Abrahm staying on a journey. I was thinking about what I tend to do when I am not in motion. I tend to look at what I have and become happy with what I have done. I look to see how I can make things better for myself in my area. There seems to be a lot of "I", "my", "me" "myself" involved when it comes to a stationary attitude.

    When I think of a journey, our focus is not on us, but on what is ahead. We must put our faith and/or trust in something other than ourselves in hopes of getting to where we are headed safely. When on a journey, it seems to be easier to let go of self, because your focus becomes outwardly instead of inwardly.

    or maybe I am just in need of food...

  2. Scott,
    Excellent thoughts. In fact many of the sources that I used for the lesson on Sunday talked about Abram's complacency being rooted in his contentment with his personal wealth and circumstances. Abram was happy with what he had accumulated and with the successful life he was living.

    I am glad to be on the journey with you and the rest of the folks in that class.

  3. My same thoughts of being ready to move came again Sunday. When Abram had to go rescue Lot, they refer to him as the "Hebrew" which meant that he was an immigrant in that land, it reminded me again, that I must be ready to move when He calls me too.

    I am starting to wonder, if I am ready and if He is going to call me. I think I am willing, but the ready part I think is lacking. I think I have acquired too much "stuff" too.

  4. Keep digging into the Word my friend. The Old Testament has much to teach us about what God's plan for us has been from the very beginning. It also has much to say about how He communicates with us.