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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.

Being Genuine

is part of being serious.

Genesis 15:13–21

Then the LORD said to Abram, “Know for certain that your offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and they will be afflicted for four hundred years. But I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions. As for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried in a good old age. And they shall come back here in the fourth generation, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”

When the sun had gone down and it was dark, behold, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces. On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your offspring I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates, the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites and the Jebusites.”

God answers Abram’s insolent question in great detail. However, it starts out sounding more like a curse than a blessing. Four centuries of slavery is beyond horrible, but Abram’s descendants will eventually possess this land.

This plan isn’t designed to go easy on Abram or his descendants; it’s designed to glorify God. His power and holiness will be manifested over and over. Meanwhile, man’s depravity will be showcased from every angle.

That’s what history is—a study of God’s goodness and man’s badness. That’s the point of, “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

Abram asks how he can know that his descendants will possess this land. God’s answer is, “Well, since you asked …” and what comes next isn’t pretty.

But it’s the truth.

Though the message to Abram wasn’t sugar-coated, it was still an immense blessing. The takeaway from all this is not that we should avoid tough questions; it’s that we should expect, even treasure, tough answers.

Being genuine is part of being serious. Genuine communication with God is one of the cornerstones of serious faith. The last thing God wants is people who sing praises when what they really want to do is scream.

The book of Lamentations is inspired scripture. The author (probably Jeremiah) was just being himself when he wrote it. It’s okay to lament, scream, and cry before the LORD—or to ask, “Why?” or, “How?”

But today’s lesson goes beyond that. When we’re honest with God, He’s honest with us.

This goes somewhere. Be prepared for a response that’s more than just, “Now there there.”

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These weekday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. Saturdays' by Matt Richardson. Subscribe here:

The weekly study guides, which include questions for discussion or meditation, are here:

Scripture taken from the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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