I recently had a conversation with someone,about the story of Sara and Abraham, that left me with more questions than answers.
The questions are not on the story but on how a lot of Christians view the story. During the conversation we talked about how Sara gave birth in her old age. So I asked “Do you think it is possible for that to happen today?”. They responded “No, people back then are not like we are now. Plus God doesn’t do stuff like that anymore.”
After that conversation I couldn’t stop thinking about that response so I started asking everyone the exact same thing and found that this person wasn’t alone in how they view the story. Most people when asked describe the story like a fairy tale or any other children’s story. And I’m afraid that a children’s story is what it has become to many of us.
What about the other great stories we read in the bible. When people tell the story of Noah it is in a way that leads you to believe that it didn’t actually happen or it is impossible today. Then when we talk about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego we get the same response. Don’t even ask about Jonah and the whale that is defiantly out of the realm of possibility.
My question is do we believe these stories are actually true? Do we believe God shut the mouths of the lions when Daniel was in the den? Do we believe Elijah prayed and Fire Fell from heaven? Do we believe God parted the sea?
Look most of us lead powerless lives that never attempt anything that even gets close to significant because we don’t trust God and we don’t believe what he says. These stories are meant to encourage us to give us hope, guidance, direction, strength, perseverance.
In Hebrews 11 we read what most people refer to as the hall of fame of Faith. We read how all these people in these old stories had faith and believed and trusted in God and what their outcome was. Then we read in Hebrews 12:1-3 NIV “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
Then we read in Hebrews 13:7 “Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.”
This is one of the greatest lessons I have ever learned. Look at and consider the outcome of someone’s life. If they have what you desire or they are where you want to be, imitate their faith. Do what they did/do and you will follow the road to where you want to be.
Most of us live normal moderate lives with no power and no hope. What would your life look like if you practiced what these scriptures teach. What would happen of you believed God created YOU to do something great. What would it look like if you attempted something great. What would it look like if you believed that he loved you so much he sent his son to exchange his life for yours. How confident would you be that he would meet your needs if you knew he loved you as much as his own son. What would you attempt if you knew that no matter how large the task that God would provide.
The question isn’t “do we believe the old stories” but do we believe in a God holds the universe in the palm of his hand. Who created everything and sustains it all by his word. Who loves you. Who is bigger than all of our problems and mistakes. Who knows your name and desires to call you son or daughter.