Genesis 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 21, 24, 26, & 28 – And God said . . .
My dad used to say to me when he had a few tough days in a row, “They told me days like this would come, but they didn’t say they would come like grapes – in bunches.” Well, as we consider Abraham and his “You talking to me?” moments, it does seem that on at least one occasion, they at least came in small groups. Think of this. He has just been informed that Ishmael would not be his heir. He was told he would have to change his name from Abram to Abraham. He was told that Saria’s name would now be Sarah. He was told that the number of his seed would be as the sand of the sea. Now imagine being told all that in a few moments of time, with another major piece of information yet to come that would, at the very least, make most men weak in the knees. Jehovah speaks to Abraham (his new name) and tells him he must circumcise every male born or bought for his household, and that included himself, now 99 years old. I have no doubt in my mind that at that moment, Abraham had a “You talking to me?” moment, and a rather stout one at that.
I cannot and will not be too graphic here, but please consider what God had just commanded Abraham to do. Circumcision is no small manner. It is the surgical removal of the male foreskin. That means blood, lots of blood from a very vacuous place of the male body. That means pain, much pain, at a very sensitive place on the male body. It would be bad enough to have to do this to all your servant. But it is also for every male bought or born into that household. Oh, and let us not forget. This order included Abraham, too. Can you begin to identify the difficulty Abraham was about to undertake? I’ve gone through some painful things in my life. I had bones broken. I’ve had surgeries from which I had to recover. I’ve had injuries to my body that were very painful and took time to heal. I’ve had to go through therapy to regain strength and mobility for surgeries or injury, and that therapy was painful. But none of the blood letting or pain of surgery did I ever have to do to myself. Oh, and one more thing. When those things occurred in my life, there was anesthesia. But in the days of Abraham, there was nothing like what we have today. We’re talking about an act of extreme courage, self-control, personal discipline, and pain tolerance that is truly enormous. Yet Abraham did it. A “You talking to me?” moment does not imply it is an opportunity for disobedience, but may indeed push one to the limits of that very thing. Herein is a level of commitment that many will never know.
Manna for Today – Genesis 1; Psalm 119:89; Proverbs 4:20-23; Mark 11:22-26; Romans 3:4