A Strong Foundation

"There is no adapting God's holiness, His truth and wisdom, to fit into our designs."

ABRAHAM HAD A VISION of great darkness, and the Lord God said to him for one hundred years his seed would be a stranger in a land that was not theirs. They would be servants to that nation then be delivered, and that nation would be judged. Though what nation is not stated, we know from history, it was Egypt, so in the next chapter, when we read that his wife, Sarai, gave her Egyptian maid, Hagar, to him, we must pause. From Hagar would come his son, Ishmael, a thorn in Israel’s flesh in his future generations.

King Solomon made a similar choice. When God appeared to him in a dream and asked him, “What shall I give thee?”, much is made of his choice, that Solomon asked for wisdom and God was pleased with his reply. But the picture of it widens when we include the fact given beforehand. “And Solomon made affinity with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and took Pharaoh's daughter, and brought her into the city of David (1 Kings 3:1).” Though Solomon made the right choice to God’s question, he had just brought Egypt into Israel, knowing Israel had been delivered from Egypt, generations ago.

The darkness Abraham had seen that would befall his seed, became the ten plagues of Egypt and the parting of the Red Sea. Yet, this much time later, Solomon chose to wed the daughter of Pharoah. And lest we think it was trivial, a short time after that, he built her a house. Having made a wise decision, Solomon ignored his unwise choice, the presence of Egypt. We know how his life ended. What started with Pharoah’s daughter became sin that drew him away from the true God.

With great reluctance, Abraham placed his son by Hagar in his wife’s hand and Sarai sent them away. Only from Isaac would their seed be called. It is worth noting, that God blessed Ishmael because he was Abraham’s son. He saw the weeping of Hagar and comforted her regarding her son. But the covenant that was promised to Isaac, the son of Abraham and Sarah, would not encompass Ishamel, though Abraham tried to place him inside it (Genesis 18:25).

No action either he or Solomon did from their own emotions would override the plan of God. Their bad choices would, however, cause trouble. Abraham wept for Ishmael. Solomon worshipped false gods.

“Think of the Israelites who after 40 years still have Egypt living in their heads. Because of this they weren’t fit to step into Canaan and acquire it, so God had to circumcize them as a natural and spiritual act to cleanse them. (Joshua 5:2-8)” Nate Johnston

There is no adapting God’s holiness, His truth and wisdom, to fit into our designs. We are to relinquish who we are and allow God to shape us instead. We are to become living sacrifices. Notice, LIVING. Though death comes to our wills, our emotions, though our bodies continually decay, our spirits are alive in Christ, filled with the Spirit of God, and the quantity and quality of eternal life is ours.

Egypt still exists. You can go there and see the reminders of past generations, but within the walls of its historic places, is sand. We cannot build our house on sand. All the work of the enemy, though it may sound good in the moment, is a vast desert, blown about by a hot wind. It is dunes shifted this way and that. No place to lay a foundation. Solomon lost his foundation in the arms of foreign women. That which was given to him by his father, David, a man after God’s heart, became so much smoke lifted from the high places. In smoke, there is no breath.

Though Abraham gave into Egypt in the arms of Hagar, and Ishmael came as a result, when called upon to sacrifice Isaac, the promised seed of God, he had no doubt of God’s resurrection, and God provided a ram. In his faith came God’s righteousness, and his children are today as many as the stars in the heavens. Even greater, God knows them all by name (Psalm 147:4).

“And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.” (Genesis 22:5)

“The stone the masons discarded as flawed is now the capstone! This is God’s work. We rub our eyes—we can hardly believe it! This is the very day God acted—let’s celebrate and be festive! Salvation now, God. Salvation now! Oh yes, God—a free and full life!” (Psalm 118: 21-25 MSG)

Image by Noopur from Pixabay

Suzanne D. Williams, Author