But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” (Genesis 22:11 ESV)
I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, (Genesis 22:17 ESV)
Seriously, I’ve been studying scripture since the age of 20 (and earlier really). It has been a long time – I won’t go into how old I am now. And yet, it seems that every chapter of the Bible that I read, I have more questions. I’ve committed to reading through the Bible again in 2016. This will be at least the 4th time through in a year in addition to all the other Bible study and Sunday school classes I’ve taught and attended. i.e. Not my first time through.
This past year a pastor that I listened to made a recommendation that I think is marvelous. Get a notebook and keep a record of your questions – the date – the chapter and verse. Then later when God reveals the answer, go back and record it along with the date of the answer! You’ll have a book of God’s faithful provision!
So I’ve started my notebook and today I’m adding in some questions. Who is this angel of the LORD and why does God talk directly to Abraham sometimes and other times it is this angel of the LORD? Is it Jesus before He came in the flesh, is it Gabriel the messenger angel?
And what does it mean that “your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies”? Single gate, plural enemies? Is the gate the land that God has promised to Abraham and all his descendants? Are the enemies just Abraham’s enemies or the enemies of Israel or simply those against God? He doesn’t say My enemies.
It is good to ask questions as you read through scripture because God has woven the answers into His word and it is in the searching that we find God. The Bible is really given to us to reveal who God is, what His character is like and what He expects from us. It reveals His will and His plan, at least as much as He wants us to know about it.
God isn’t afraid of our questions, He expects them. His word is living and active and never ceases to amaze me. I learn more every time I open it! It is much like a treasure hunt. Commentaries can help a great deal, but generally God’s own word will show you the answers to your questions, just keep reading.
So Abraham called the name of that place, “The LORD will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the LORD it shall be provided.” (Genesis 22:14 ESV)
God will provide the answers to your questions in time. Trust in Him. Seek Him. Be encouraged. Press on.
but the word of the Lord remains forever.” And this word is the good news that was preached to you. (1 Peter 1:25 ESV)
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12 ESV)
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. James 1:22
He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” Luke 11:28
As for God, his way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him. Psalm 18:30
For the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does. Psalm 33:4
Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. Matthew 24:35
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:4