December 23
'Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ Romans 10:13
Bible reading: Genesis 21:22-34 (Go to the Bible passage)
Yesterday, we already read that God came to Abimelek in a dream; Abimelek had got to know God and he revered Him. Now we read that Abimelek testified that God was with Abraham in everything he did. Hereby, Abimelek had grown to respect Abraham, but he had more confidence in the God of Abraham than in Abraham himself. Therefore Abimelek wanted Abraham to swear to him before God that he would not deal falsely with him. And so Abraham swore to be sincere with Abimelek and his descendants, before the God they both had come to know.
Is it not remarkable that – although they both knew God – there was such a big difference between these two men? Why did God bless Abraham more than Abimelek? Why did Abimelek in fact fear Abraham, although they both knew God? Is it not because God had entrusted Abraham with a tremendous task?
For through the offspring of Abraham would come the Messiah, the Savior, Who would save the whole world! Therefore the protecting hand of God was especially extended over Abraham. God had entrusted Abraham with this great task because Abraham not only knew God and obeyed Him in deep reverence, but because he trusted God and obeyed Him with a fully committed heart (Genesis 26:5).
God does not want us to obey Him out of fear, but out of love and devotion. And if we serve Him like this, then we get to know Him. Not only as a God Who is to be feared, but as Yahweh, the Eternally Faithful, Who approaches us in His Son Jesus Who also for us was born in a stable in Bethlehem.

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