The Bible is filled with things that are hard to understand. But these are often not the most challenging things the Bible says. Mark Twain once quipped.
Most people are bothered by those passages in Scripture which they cannot understand; but as for me, I always noticed that the passages in Scripture which trouble me most are those which I do understand.
Some of our most beloved Bible verses speak about love. In 1 Corinthians 13:5, the Bible instructs us that “[love] keeps no record of wrongs.” Perhaps this is one of those passages Mark Twain was talking about. Consider how often conflict with our loved ones revolves around opening the file of past offenses. We impute motives based on past failures and introduce our evidence with phrases like, “you always” or “you never.”
Christians are not immune to relational conflict or the temptation to bring forward the record of wrongs. The only difference in this between Christians and non-Christians is that Christians have the gospel as the power, pattern, and process of reconciliation. All conflict relates in some way to sin. The only solution to sin is the gospel. The gospel restores us to God and also to one another through confession, repentance, forgiveness and reconciliation.
The Bible is not a sanitized book of mythologized heroes. It’s most faithful men are sinners who are reconciled to God and with their loved ones only through the gospel. We see their failures and their brokenness in living color, but we also see the kindness of God which leads them to repentance.
Abraham is a good example of this. In Genesis 12, God graciously calls Abraham and promises to bless him and be with him. Abraham obeys God’s call and establishes faith and worship as a pattern in his family’s life, yet before the chapter is exhausted, he cowers before a petty tyrant and swaps his beloved wife with a pagan to save his own skin. Though God graciously thwarts Abraham’s faithless act, can you imagine how this might plague his relationship with Sarah and seem to jeopardize God’s means of blessing the families of the earth? Yet this is not what we find. In Abraham and Sarah we see the reconciling power of the gospel at work in the most intimate of human relationships.
Join us this Lord’s Day, May 14 as we examine this troubling account of Abraham and Sarah from Genesis 12 and consider the power of the gospel in our relationships. We meet from 5:00 – 6:30 pm in The Commons at St. Andrews Anglican Church at 8300 Kanis Rd in Little Rock. Click here for directions.
Come with a friend you and join us for fellowship and conversation. We look forward to seeing you there May 14 at 5:00 pm.